Radio, Cinema and Shops

What It Cost


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).

Sourced with permission from North East Diary 1939-1945 by Brian Pears and Roy Ripley


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)).