Friday, 20 December 2013

Tennants Lager Girl

I was working in LouLesBelles today and a lady came in for a browse.    We got talking after she hear heard my accent.   She told me she used to work for Scottish Television and had appeared as one of the 'Tennants Lager Girls' in the late 1960's early 1970s.      This was a long running series of different model's pictures on cans of lager.     The ladies name was Susan.    Tennants Lager girls on cans

It brought flashbacks of my upbringing in Scotland when it seemed quite normal for parents, uncles and aunties to gather and get unco' fu'.    I remember the Tennant's tins lined up (empties!) with all the different girl pictures and my Dad and Uncles Jack, Joe, George, Ecky and David liking to look at them.   I think they were considered quite racy in their day (the tins not the Uncles!).   The word sexist has not even been thought about at least in our part of Scotland.  

When 'the crowd' gathered we children (me, my two brothers and my sister) and various cousins were usually left at a loose end to amuse ourselves.    I have many, many memories some hilarious and others horrendous of what nowadays would probably be considered abuse. Nothing really bad, but just being 'looked after' by daft drunk (kindly in their way) adults - all smoking like 'lums' and either singing or snoring sometimes quarrelling over nothing.     It was particularly awful when we were on holiday in the caravan and there was no escape.    I used to dread the clink of the whisky bottle and still feel the same anxiety today.

On the other hand - I can proudly say I never had a school dinner in my life.   I was driven to school and back every day in a lovely Wolseley, or Jaguar or Rover car.   My mother cooked wholesome food and we lived in a 'posh' new bungalow, had holidays and many happy days out.    My Dad was born in 1910 and my mother in 1921.    He lived to 79 and she to 53.    When Mum died suddenly in 1974 I was a rebellious surly 17 year old caught up in the tail end of the swinging 60's and the start of the 1970's 'awakening'. against a back drop of power strikes, miners strikes, unions strife surrounded by adults who liked nothing more than to recall war time memories, 'hae a wee nip' (and a Tennant's Lager) and tut tut at the state of the world and the length of our skirts.    I lived in my false eyelashes!   I was insanely jealous of my 'big' sister and let her know it by behaving badly.    

I am sure the Tennant's tin pictures were a huge influence on me - something I thought I was supposed to aspire to.    I don't recall anyone telling me there was a different path - or maybe i didn't listen.

Gosh Susan of Tennant's Lager - a lot of powerful memories have been unleashed today.

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