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North-East Diary

Roy Ripley &
Brian Pears
© Copyright Brian Pears 1994-2011

Songs, Films
and Prices

All decimal conversions are approximate.


Popular Songs - 1939

Jeepers Creepers - Begin the Beguine - You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby - Two Sleepy People - My Own - Beer Barrel Polka - If I Didn't Care - Little Sir Echo - Run Rabbit Run - There'll Always be an England - Woodchopper's Ball - Over the Rainbow - Blue Skies Around the Corner - It's in the Air - The Umbrella Man - Undecided - Hold Tight, Hold Tight - My Heart Belongs to Daddy - We'll Meet Again - An Apple For the Teacher - Wings Over the Navy - Le Fiacre - We're Going to Hang Out the Washing on the Siegfried Line - Tears on my Pillow - Deep Purple - J'attendrai.

Films - 1939

  • Goodbye Mr Chips with Robert Donat and Greer Garson.
  • Pygmalion with Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard.
  • Pinocchio by Walt Disney.
  • Wuthering Heights with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon.
  • Gone with the Wind with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.
  • Stage Coach with John Wayne and Claire Trevor.
  • Babes in Arms with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.
  • Roaring Twenties with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Priscilla Lane.

What it cost - 1939

Butter 1/6 (7½p) per lb. - Margarine 6d (2½p) per lb. - Lard 7d (3p) per lb. Cheddar cheese 10d (4p) per lb. - Danish side bacon 1/6 (7½p) per lb. - Milk 3d (1½p) per pint - Egyptian eggs 8d (3½p) per dozen - CWS Tea-tips 3/- (15p) per lb. - Granulated sugar 4½d (2p) per lb. - Large tin of Lokreel peaches 1/2 (6p) - Nestles cream 6½d (2½p) per small tin - Sweet biscuits 1/- (5p) per lb. - Chocolate Fingers 1/9 (8½p) per lb. - Flour 1/7 (8p) per stone (14lb.) - Self raising flour 7½d (3p) per 3lb. - Players cigarettes 10 for 7d (3p) - Woodbine cigarettes 10 for 5d (2p) - St Bruno tobacco 1/2 (6p) per 1oz. - Marcella Elegante cigars 50 for £1/1/6 (£1.07½p). - Danish eggs, large 2/- (10p) per dozen. - Potatoes 1/2 (6p) per stone (14lb).

A live-in maid doing plain cooking could be engaged for £1 per week and a modern furnished bungalow could be rented for 2 to 3 gns (£2.10p to £3.15p) and a detached three bedroomed bungalow with a garage and garden cost £550, and a new baby Austin to go in the garage cost £122.

Barry Noble advertised: Jaffas 1d (½p) each - Nelis pears 4d (1½p) per lb - Newtowns 4d (1½p) per lb - McIntosh Reds 4d (1½p) per lb - Grapefruit 5 for 4d (1½p) - Lemons ½d (-) each - Cooking Apples 6d (2½p) for 3½lb.


Popular songs - 1940

Goodnight Children Everywhere - Over the Rainbow - Somewhere in France With You - Where or When - Oh Johnny Oh - In the Mood - It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow - Who's Taking You Home Tonight - There's a Boy Coming Home on Leave - Fools Rush In - I'll Never Smile Again - If I Only Had Wings - Too Romantic - Our Love Affair - Careless - It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day - A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square - Let the People Sing - Scatterbrain - You've Done Something to My Heart - The Boys in the Back Room - When You Wish Upon a Star - South Rampart Street Parade - Pennsylvania 65-000.

Films - 1940

  • The Philadelphia Story with James Stewart and Katherine Hepburn.
  • The Grapes of Wrath with Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell.
  • Road to Singapore with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.
  • Fantasia by Walt Disney.
  • Strike up the Band with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.
  • Kitty Foyle with Ginger Rogers and Dennis Morgan.
  • The Westerner with Gary Cooper and Doris Davenport.
  • Rebecca with Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine and George Sanders.

What it cost - 1940

Rowntree's Cocoa, 6d (2½p) per ¼lb. - Chappie Dog Food, 7d (3p) per tin. - Black Cat cigarettes, 10 for 6d (2½p).- Reckitt's Bath Cubes, 2d (1p) each. - A small bungalow, £250. - 10 hp Vauxhall saloon car, £169. - Drene Shampoo, 6d (2½p), 1/- (5p) and 2/6 (12½p) per bottle. - Maltesers, 2d (1p) per packet, 6d (2½p) per box - Oxydol sold in 3½d (1½p), 6d (2½p) and 1/- (5p) pkts. - Wrigley's PK Chewing Gum, 1d (½p) per packet - Halls Wine, 3/9 (19p) and 6/6 (32½p) per bottle. - Celanese ties cost 1/6 (7½p) each.

The Scottish Motor Traction Co Ltd advised that the fare from Glasgow to London was £1/10/- (£1.50p) and the return fare was £2/10/- (£2.50p).

120 Wills 'Gold Flake' cigarettes could be sent to the British Forces in France for 3/9 (18½p).

Seats in London's 'His Majesty's Theatre' to see Stanley Lupino, Florence Desmond & Sally Gray in 'Funny Side Up' cost from 1/6 to 10/6 (7½p to 52½p).


Popular songs - 1941

The Ferry Boat Serenade - The Hut Sut Song - Bless 'em All - Just One of Those Things - Only Forever - Maybe - Whispering Grass - The Last Time I Saw Paris - Amapola - Dolores - When They Sound the Last All Clear. - All the Things You Are - Flamingo - South American Way - You Stepped Out of a Dream - Down Forget-me-not Lane.

Films - 1941

  • Sergeant York with Gary Cooper and Joan Leslie.
  • Major Barbara with Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison and Deborah Kerr.
  • How Green was my Valley with Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara.
  • The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart, Greenstreet and Lorre.
  • The Big Store with The Marx Brothers.
  • Suspicion with Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant.
  • Road to Zanzibar with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.
  • The Great Lie with Bette Davis, Mary Astor and George Brent.
  • Babes on Broadway with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney.

What it cost - 1941

Embassy cigarettes, 10 for 9d (4p) - Wisdom toothbrushes, 2/5 (12p) each - Eve toilet soap 3d (1½p) per bar - Palmolive toilet soap 4d (2p) per bar - Vim 6d (2½p) per canister - De Reszke Minor cigarettes, 10 for 6½d (2½p) - Hartley's headlamp masks 10/6 (52½p) to 12/6 (62½p) each - Gibbs Dentifrice 7½d (3½p) and 1/3 (6½p) per tin - Cremola Pudding 3d (1½p) and 6d (2½p) per pkt - Rowntrees cocoa 5d (2p) per ¼lb and 9½d (3½p) per ½lb - Cadbury's Ration Chocolate sold at 2½d (1p) per bar, the supply was very limited - and the weight of the bar was not mentioned.

Gamages advertised a shirt (with a spare collar) at 6/11 (35p) - a pair of flannel trousers at 15/9 (78p) - a pair of shoes, all leather at 13/9 (68p) - and a mans self lined raincoat for 1 guinea (that was £1/1/- (£1.05)).


Popular songs - 1942

I Know Why - Rose O'Day - Elmer's Tune - Ma I Miss Your Apple Pie - Tangerine - The White Cliffs of Dover - You are my Sunshine - Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree - Deep in the Heart of Texas - String of Pearls - The Lamplighter's Serenade - I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas - Watch the Birdie - What More Can I Say - Chatanooga Choo-Choo - The Fleets In.

Films - 1942

  • In Which We Serve with Noel Coward and Celia Johnson.
  • Mrs Miniver with Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney and Joan Leslie.
  • Road to Morocco with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.
  • Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (in which Dooley
    Wilson sings 'As Time Goes By', but he did not play the piano, it was dubbed.
    He was a drummer).

What it cost - 1942

This from a Rowntree's advertisement ... Brunch chocolate bars, Cream Tablet bars and bars of Plain York chocolate all sold at 2½d (1p) and 2 points each - the famous fruit gums were no longer sold in tubes or packets but were sold loose at 7d (3p) and 4 points per 4oz.

Other prices quoted were ... Black and White Scotch Whisky £1/3/- (£1.15) per bottle and 12/- (60p) per ½ bottle - Zixt Hand soap (soap with an abrasive added for dirty and oily hands) 4d (1½p) and 1 coupon per small tablet - A three hole safety razor plus three razor blades - 'worth their weight in gold' - for 2/10d (14p).

Gamage's advertisement ... Featured a Black Japanned Metal Coal Bunker to hold 2 cwt. cost £1/5/3 (£1.26) plus 3/- (15p) carriage - Gas Pokers were priced at 5/9 (29p) postage and packing 7d (3p) extra, the flexible metal tubing for it cost 5d (2p) per foot extra.


Popular songs - 1943

Der Fuehrer's Face - My Devotion - American Patrol - Nightingale - Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition - Every Night About This Time - Dearly Beloved - I'm Gonna Get Lit Up - Pistol Packin' Mama - That Old Black Magic - Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer - Sunday, Monday or Always - Perdido - Oh the Pity of It All - My Heart and I - The Old Music Master - I'll be Around - You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To.

Films - 1943

  • Song of Bernardette with Jennifer Jones and Charles Bickford.
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman.
  • Stormy Weather with Lena Horne, Fats Waller and Bill Robinson.
  • Outlaw with Jane Russell, Thomas Mitchell and Walter Huston.
  • Stage Door Canteen with Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Gracie
    Fields, Ethel Waters, Guy Lombardo and Yehudi Menuhin.
  • DuBarry was a Lady with Gene Kelly and Lucille Ball.
  • Watch on the Rhine with Paul Lukas and Bette Davis.

What it cost - 1943

Taken from various newspapers ... Strawberry plants 12 for 2/6 (12½p) - Raspberry canes 12 for 3/6 (17½p) - Darwin Tulip bulbs 12 for 7/6 (37½p) - 100 mixed Daffodil, Tulip and Narcissus bulbs for 19/- (95p) ... Cadbury's Red Label drinking chocolate 10d (4p) per ½lb - Bournville cocoa 9½d (3½p) per ½lb - Bourn-Vita 1/5 (7p) per ½lb - Woodwards Gripe Water 1/5 (7p) per bottle - Booth's Dry Gin £1/5/3 (£1.26) per bottle and 13/3 (66p) per ½ bottle - Wooden soled shoes (which were really clogs) 5 coupons and 12/4 (62p) - One handed storm proof cigarette lighter 6/6 (32½p) plus 6d (2½p) postage and packing.


Popular songs - 1944

They're Either Too Young or Too Old - Besame Mucho - Put Your Arms Around Me Honey - Mairzy Doates and Dozey Doates - I'll Be Seeing You - I'm Making Believe - I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night - No Love No Nothing - Long Ago and Far Away - You Belong to My Heart - It Could Happen to You - I'll Remember April - Going My Way - Poinciana - The Music Stopped - Take the 'A' Train - I Never Mention Your Name - Victory Polka - A Journey To a Star - Dance With a Dolly.

Films - 1944

  • Going My Way with Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald.
  • Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.
  • Arsenic and Old Lace with Josephine Hull and Jean Adair.
  • Since You Went Away with Claudette Colbert and Joseph Cotton.
  • This Happy Breed with John Mills, Stanley Holloway, Robert
    Newton, Celia Johnson and Kay Walsh.
  • None But the Lonely Heart with Cary Grant, Ethel Barrymore
    and Jane Wyatt.

What it cost - 1944

Oatmeal 3½d (1½p) per lb - Meat (average price) 1/2 (6p) per lb - Potatoes 7d (3p) per ½ stone (7lb) - Sugar 4d (1½p) per lb - Milk 9d (3½p) per quart - Cheese 1/1 (5½p) per lb - Bacon 1/10½ (9p) per lb. - Eggs large 2/- (10p) per dozen and small 1/9 (8½p) per dozen - Bread 9d (3½p) per 4lb loaf.


Popular songs - 1945

It Had to be You - Just a Little Fond Affection - Can't Help Singing - There Goes That Song Again - Jukebox Saturday Night - My Guy's Come Back - Don't Fence Me In - After Awhile - I Should Care - It's Been a Long Long Time - Symphony - Sentimental Journey. - It Might As Well Be Spring - It Could Happen To You - Stella by Starlight - Every Time We Say Goodbye - A Little On The Lonely Side - Straighten Up and Fly Right.

Films - 1945

  • Brief Encounter with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn with Lloyd Nolan and Joan Blondell.
  • The Lost Weekend with Ray Milland and Jane Wyman.
  • Mildred Pierce with Joan Crawford and Jack Carson.
  • The Bells of St Marys with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.
  • State Fair with Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews.

What it cost - 1945

Fairy Soap 6½d (2½p) per tablet - Persil 4d (1½p) per small packet - Churchman cigarettes 20 for 2/6 (12½p) - DuBarry face pdr 4/- (20p) per box - Gibb's Dentifrice 7½d (3p) per block - Cadburys Dairy Box 9d (3½p) ¼lb box - Betox (like Bovril) ½lb jar for 1/4 (6½p) - Johnnie Walker Red Label Whiskey £1/5/9 (£1.28½) per bottle, 13/6 (67½p) per ½ bottle - Johnnie Walker Black Label Whiskey £1/7/9 (£1.38½) per bottle.

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