Children's Clothes

We had very few outfits - a best dress for special occasions and then what we wore to Junior School, before the obligatory school uniform of Secondary School.

I remember woolly Chilprufe vests, and the dreaded liberty bodice. Knitted, home-made cardigans and home-made cotton dresses. Mum always insisted on 'proper' shoes and sandals so we regularly went to Clarks Shoe Department to be x-rayed before buying the next size. Start-rite shoes were viewed as 'not so good' so, naturally, that's what we wanted.

When it rained we had gaberdine macs, with a detachable hood, in a sensible navy.

Winters seemed so much snowier so wellies were worn with thick wellie socks which always slipped down. But we were warmer than the boys at school who wore knee-length shorts held up by snake belts, and long, grey woolly socks held up, or nor, by elastic garters. Lots of boys wore peaked caps which they were expected to 'doff' to their elders.

Hair-styles for children were either 'home-cut' pudding basin shapes, or the girls wore plaits. Boys ended up with the same short back and sides as their dads. When girls were going to a party hair was rolled up in pipe cleaners to make a curl, and doused in Armani wave set lotion - which never lasted very long. Party dresses in the mid 50s were stiff nylon with petticoats of paper nylon or net starched to stick out. I had a bright peach dress with diamante trim, along with black patent party shoes. And that became my sister's party dress down the line!

Dorne Coggins