I WAS pleased to see that a television channel was showing, ‘Rock Around the Clock,’ so taped it to enjoy an evening of nostalgia. When Bill Hayley and the Comets beat out those inimitable 1950s hits, I turned up the volume and indulged in some private bopping of my own. (My husband hid in the kitchen). It brought back memories of waiting with friends for the buses to take us to the Orchid, Purley, or the Streatham Ballroom for an evening of fun, our feminine, graceful skirts floating over our sugar-dipped nylon petticoats and a pair of low heeled shoes in our bags, should our three inch stilettos become too uncomfortable.

The lads had to look smart, too, without clean shirts and trousers they knew that had no chance of winning a girl’s approval.

I do not understand why the media often describe the ‘fifties as being a time of misery. I have never met anyone of my age who feels that. Apart from the rhythmic, memorable music and dancing we finally had an end to rationing, and that well-known brand of commodities gradually reintroduced its fifty seven varieties.

Young people spent time in newly established coffee bars with exotic names, where we spent hours digging away at the brown sugar and putting the world to rights.

There was the Festival of Britain, new furniture with spindly legs and curtains with bright geometric patterns. Young marrieds painted their kitchens red and yellow and realised that the outside of houses did not have to be brown. Teddy Boys could be a nuisance, but we thought nothing of travelling alone on trains at night or walking in London. Global warming, terrorism and the scourge of plastic were all in the future and a car was a luxury most people could not afford but would love to own.

Yes, of course there were difficulties (does every age not have them?) but we had survived a terrible war and that was top priority.

Susan Gow