Pocket money

She was probably about 9. Those were the days when 9 year olds were allowed to go to the shops on their own, with just an instruction not to speak to the strange man from round the corner if they happened across him. (Out of interest she found out via Friends Reunited many years later that he had in fact been convicted of one of those offences, the question being “Was it any safer then than it is now?”). But that is not the point of this story. She was off to spend her pocket money, just as she did every Saturday morning.

How pocket money has changed

My Mum swears she only ever got 10p pocket money on a Saturday. I say she’s either got a very dodgy memory, or she’s older than she looks. Probably both. In any case, penny chews  – the kind that cost 2p nowadays – used to be 4 a penny apparently. Which begs the question, how on earth did they earn their name in the first place?

Multi-Coloured_Swap_Shop_TitlesAnyway, Saturday would come round, and off she would trot, with Lisa, the family German Shepherd, to spend her pocket money. A handful of black jacks, fruit salads, white mice, and a Caramac bar. Always a Caramac. Then straight home to watch Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. Thank heavens at least Noel Edmunds has remained intact, whilst DLT, Stuart Hall, and Rolf Harris and the other stars of Mummy’s childhood have fallen into disgrace. That’s how she spent her Saturday mornings, while her Dad was playing golf, and her Mum was baking next week’s biscuits.

On this particular morning, she had taken off as usual, with her measley 10p, and Lisa the dog, tying the lead carefully to the post outside the newsagent’s. She had watched her Saturday TV, licked bowls helped out in the kitchen and had a bit of lunch – apparently Campbell’s cream of tomato soup was a favourite – I knew I was adopted! The afternoon wore on, and her Dad came home and fed the dog before going back up to the shops for the ritual Saturday takeaway. Only the dog wouldn’t come for her dinner. Highly unusual, she must be sickening for something. They called, they yelled, they searched, but no Lisa. Then Mummy remembered.

"German Shepherd"

She ran, Grandad drove the 2 minutes it took to get to the newsagent’s, where the dog was waiting patiently, tied securely to the post, with a quizzical look on her face…

This post is an entry into theTots100/Roosterbank Pocket Money Competition, which I’m hoping to win because it will force Mummy to finally get round to opening me a Roosterbank account, which I’ve been nagging her about for ages! That way maybe I’ll stop squandering my weekly £2 (yes £2 – I’d love to know how that equates to what Mummy used to get, given inflation over the last 57 years (that may be an exaggeration, but I’m not fessing up to anything)), and save it up for something a bit more meaningful!

15 thoughts on “Pocket money”

  1. I remember walking to the corner store as a child with pocket money. When a penny could actually buy five pieces of gum or candy, now a days there is no longer the penny and if there was, it certainly wouldn’t buy any thing.

  2. Ohh I remember going to the shop for 10p mix ups…Got way more for your money years ago then you do now….lol I may be showing my age…hehehe

  3. My Mother in law left my husband outside a shop as a baby – got all the way home before she realised she forgot about the pram!

  4. Katie, you beat me to it!
    My mum left my brother outside the supermarket in his pram when he was brand new and had to dash back for him when she got home and remembered she now had 2 children! At least she and your mum-in-law can blame lack of sleep/baby brain! 😉

    Ah, I remember Saturday night takeaway in front of Gladiators. Those were the days…

  5. We’ve started giving Lucas pocket money in exchange for him doing chores. He empties the cutlery drawer from the dishwasher (after I’ve extracted anything sharp) and helps with the recycling. I used to get 10p a week to and loved the penny sweets – white mice and shrimps…………

  6. I dread the whole pocket money thing but should start really as Edith always nags for magazines. If I give her 10p a week she can save and appreciate the cost of the damn things!!

  7. We don’t do pocket money but the boys tend to get whatever it is they want (usually the latest computer game). We don’t really ‘do’ sweets apart from special times of year either (completely not like my childhood). I used to get 5p off my nan – and loved how you could get 2 mojos for half a penny. What with GCSE results out today and now this I’m starting to feel a little old lol.


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