Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fly Paper and Milk Bars

As I work at my computer with Border Watch on the TV in the background, I noticed that one NZ customs officer commented on the fact that a person subject to a bag inspection was bringing fly papers into the country. It took me back many years, to the late 50’s and early 60’s when I was a nipper.

Before:

(Click on pics to enlarge, especially the place pics below).

and before:

and before: 
and before:

there was:

and there was:


For the benefit and information of the younger generations:

• Houses and shops had flypaper hanging from the ceilings. The strip of paper was pulled out from a cardboard cylinder, with the paper strip covered in an extremely sticky sweet substance that attracted flies and other insects. They ended up stuck to the paper and died. The paper became progressively darker as more and more flies became fatally trapped.

• Some shop owners were not as fastidious about changing the flypaper as they could have been. It was especially disconcerting to see flypaper virtually black with flies hanging from the ceilings in milk bars, which back in those days were quite prolific.

• When retiring for the night, Mum came into the bedrooms with the fly and mosquito spraying pump, filled manually with industrial strength Mortein. This was sprayed into the air and the droplets droppeth as the gentle rain from Heaven, upon the places below and upon us.

As an aside, one of the last surviving milk bars from those days, unrestored and in its original form, is the Olympia Milk Bar in Stanmore, next to where the Stanmore Cinema used to be:


The owner, Kirie Fotious, keeps the interior darkened and displays the original stock from those days, which he will not sell. You can get a coffee or a cup of tea there, or a sandwich, I have been told.   I am also led to believe that the owner is a man of few words and does not exude warm fuzzies.

Another time warp milk bar is in Smith Street, Summer Hill, The Rio.


It is conducted by 88 year old George Poulos, who opened the milk bar with his father in 1952.

A disgression from my disgression:

The present day kiosk at Central Station (I assume it is still there, I haven't been there in years) used to be a traditional milk bar.  Here it is in 1946:


Before that it was a kiosk, as shown from this 1920 pic:


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