Wednesday, 10 February 2010


LUX - OMO - TIDE - FAIRY SNOW - OXYDOL - DREFT... just some of the washing products that were popular in the 60's, but now I think all have disappeared.
I have 3 items relating to the subject here, so starting first with the photos above.
These are some of the greenie poles aroond the backies in Kemnay Gardens where we lived. They were standard council installations that everyone in Craigie had in the 60's. However, none of the ones in the snaps exist anymore. All the garden areas have been partitioned off from each other and everyone uses whirligigs now.
With old style tenements, many had pulley systems outside the windows on the upper floors which were attached to a large main pole that held many clothes lines.
Which brings me to the 2nd item. Some examples of these pulleys crop up in a short film I have (below), the footage of which was taken around various locations in Dundee in the 60's.
But before we go on a retro tour of the backies, item 3 is a wee reminder of how washing powder was advertised on tv in the 60's, with the one below being for Fairy Snow, who's slogan some of you may recall... "Forces Grey Out - Forces White In!"


  1. I remember charging round the backies wi' a clothes pole under my arm pretending to be a knight.

    Ivanhoooooooooooooooooe !

  2. i remember we had a wee gang going!!! the craigie havoc and we'd run thru the gardens andpull the poles down!! of course this was done to the elderly so they couldn't chase us - our gang didnt las very long hahahaha. good times

  3. I've got eight stitches in my head as a result of being hit over the napper with a greenie pole outside The Gaitey in Charleston..

    A particularly Dundonian assault I would say.

  4. I remember swinging round greenie poles in the backies of Kemnay Gardens/Crathie Place and banging into one - thus giving myself a rather lovely black eye! Those were the days!!

  5. do you remember playing poley-tig??

  6. Tracey... can't remember you in oor Craigie Havoc! We were usually too busy keeping the 'Mid' out o Craigie to bother with pullin greenie poles doon... although the auld buggers did give you a good chase when we did.... LOL

  7. We used to nail blocks of wood on the side of the poles , and make pairs of stilts.

  8. it was just a laugh and that's what we called ourselves - the guild brothers, colin lamb, les duncan and a few of us from Douglas.

  9. Throughout all of the 60's and the early 70's, the grass in-between our greenie poles was worn away to bare mud due to us using the poles for futba posts!

  10. Greenie poles made ace goalposts for crossy and shooty-in and heeders tournaments.
    Also did anyone else risk decapitation running through the backies at night, being caught across the throat by a claes line and spinning round the rope cartoon stylee before landing on your back with the worst ever childhood injury ........"gittin' the wind blahn oot o' yi'"

    El Supremo

  11. God I can still feel that peculiar feeling in my hands hear that weird noise it made as you spun round the poley.
    We used to Sing "Dizzy, Dizzy Dandy" as we went round.
    I was part raised by my Grandparents & spent a lot of time around my Great Grandparents so I suspect it was some old fragment of doggerel?

    Sure they're was more words but cannae mind!

    Not sure if it might have had anything to do with Benjamin "Dizzy" Disraeli?

  12. that bit of film o' the pletties and washin certainly takes me back any ideas where the film was shot

  13. One of my Aunties lived in Erskine Street and the other in Maitland Street. Now whether this is true or not, their pullys were apparently attached what with the tenements in each street backing onto each other and - in the days before everyone had phones - they would send each other messages via the washing pullys.

    I also remember pleading with my parents for Swingball. They point blank refused but my dad, being the creative type, put a tennis ball in one of my mum's stockings, tied it to the greenie pole and aquired a knackered tennis racquet.
    Admittedly it kept me quiet for a while but then they eventually caved-in and I got the real Swingball - the grass in the garden never quite recovered! well as the sound of your hand on the greenie pole, it was the distinctive way it smelled afterwards. Normally of some potentially toxic paint and rust!

  14. The film was brill, the pletties, just like I remember when a kid living in Lochee Road No 143, the back greenies had a washie where you had to take your turn on the alloted day of the week. The outside loos on the stairs, with the cut newspapers on string for loo paper, them were the days, not.

  15. I'm not 100% sure where the pletties in the film where located, but in my mind, the area south of Lochee Road, crops up. The Polepark - Blackness area. Don't know if I'm right or not. There were probably still dozens of streets with these old tenements, in the 60's.
    From the footage, you wouldn't think it was the age of psychedelic colours and E-Type Jags!!