KIDS in the 1970s faced death-defying risks on a daily basis, and the survivors don’t like to talk about it. Here are six hazards they shrugged off:
Blue car fumes
To compliment their brown-and-beige paintwork, 70s cars emitted exhaust fumes of the deepest azure blue. When inhaled, this noxious smog offered flavours reminiscent of licking the lead soldiers granddad gave you, with added dizziness.
Wild swimming five decades ago was enhanced by fizzing river water capped with impressive heads of chemical foam which you could throw at one another like summer snowballs. It was all caused by the run-off from the factory upstream, which made additives for blue drinks.
Travelling by car was better than a rollercoaster back then. You could stand between the front seats, you could clamber out of the sunroof in the rain, and if Dad had to stop suddenly the cigarette butts from the overflowing dashboard ashtray acted as a carcinogenic airbag.
Packs of wild dogs
Everyone had a dog and owners were committed to allowing them to be their authentic selves, roaming free around the neighbourhood all day. Which was thoughtful, as dogs, being pack animals, loved nothing more than surrounding the weakest child they could find and terrifying them.
Less than 30 years since the war there were copious pieces of open ground which had been buildings before the Nazis bombed them, and these were prudently used as playgrounds for the young to explore, unsupervised, at their leisure. What’s that big metal thing? Throw rocks at it.
As British as it gets. Lovely chips cooking in an open pan of oil hotter than the sun were a magnet for hungry kids. Be careful, because the pan easily set alight creating a localised kitchen inferno, and sensibly running it under the cold tap would spread it far and wide. And this was perfectly normal back then.