Birthday parties of the 1950s; an intense, but simple joy for Australian Baby Boomers.
Just a single, very bad photo taken at one of my own parties survives. I wasn’t even looking at the camera, which was a Box Brownie of course. The kids standing on those palings propped against the barn don’t look very secure.
Very little needed to be bought in the those days, just jelly crystals, balloons, cardboard party hats and perhaps a new set of cake candles. Have you noticed that those little candles are still the same today? I found these in a kitchen drawer.
My darling mother had a devilish sense of humour and loved to see us playing this party game. No expense required……every home had flour and a pudding basin.
The flour was turned out and a sixpence placed on top. The idea was that each child had to slice off some flour until the coin fell.
It then had to be retrieved by the ‘toppler’ without using their hands. Oh my hat…what a mess. At least the floury faced person had sixpence to spend on lollies. Health and safety rules would outlaw this now, no doubt.
On to the fun of pass the parcel; at least a dozen layers of paper before some lucky child ended up with the treasure.
Then perhaps a game of pin the tail on the donkey. There was a legacy of drawing pin holes in the wallpaper, but never mind.
Pass the lifesaver lolly was fun, unless your partner was a BOY!
There was also the Minty wrapper tearing competition…..good for a rainy day party.
Something a bit more physical….. musical chairs. The excitement level would rise as each chair was removed. I’m not sure what we used for music at our place, because we didn’t even have a record player.
After all that exercise, time for the feast. It was impossible to have a birthday party without hundreds and thousands. White bread only thanks..
Those colourful little sprinkles were just the ticket for milk arrowroot biscuit faces. Ours always had Jelly Beans for the features.
I don’t think there were many savoury things on the party table at all. Well, sausage rolls of course, and mini frankfurters.
The finale was the cutting of the cake, usually one chosen from the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake book. Blow out those candles and make a wish before the knife hits the plate.
Mine was more likely to be a sponge cake, with my name piped in wobbly letters by my mother. Very special in my eyes though.
It was all washed down with Kia-Ora 50-50 cordial, or perhaps more expensive, fizzy Te-Up if there weren’t too many kids.
ALL TOGETHER NOW……HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU