The DYR blog

The blog with general chat about all things from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s plus news about new features and developments on the website.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spam fritter, anyone?

For the last few years I've been scoffed at whenever I suggest a dinner of Spam and bubble to my other half - I believe, "URRRGGHHH!" was the word he used. But now, I'm pleased to say that Spam is back and 2009 is set to the year of canned spiced ham and pork. Mmmmmm...

Along with other retro foods, such as Arctic Roll which now has a new chocolate flavour out, many of us are harking back to foods of yesteryear and shaking off the luxury foods of today. Spam in particular held the nation together through WWII, and experts believe our modern-day credit-crunch is the reason behind it's come back - it's cheap, fills you up and is a good cupboard staple. Last year saw sales rise by 9.7%, which is quite a turnaround from the slump its seen since the 80s. Americans especially are getting behind the product, and there are now fan sites, recipe books and even its own museum for Spam lovers to savour.

At the launch of Spam in 1936, its slogan was "Tastes fine. Saves time" and this hasn't really changed. So, ignore Monty Python's infamous Spam slur, and instead let Hormel Foods brand-new advertising campaign convince you that Spam is "still out there".

Sunday, January 11, 2009


As this month's competitions open, last month's close, and here are the lucky winners:

S. Langton is now the envy of everyone after winning a signed picture of Richard 'Jaws' Kiel plus new Quantum Of Solace playing cards. Congrats also go to the winners of Lego Batman for Nintendo Wii: L. Mitchell, A. Collinson and A. Dowers. 

If you weren't among the lucky ones, have another go and enter our two brand-new competitions. We have a pair of tickets to Byte Back (see below) - UK classic gaming conventions - a must for any gamer worth his (or her) joystick! And if the kids are finding it hard to stay cooped up out of the cold this winter, try your luck at winning a copy of Dean Wilkinson's The Classic Children's TV Quiz Book? It'll have little ones and big kids entertained with all its TV trivia from past and present. Click here to enter. Good luck!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Win tickets to Byte Back!

Calling all gamers! This is your chance to bag a pair of tickets to Byte Back - UK Classic Gaming Convention 2009...

Held in celebration of the history of video games, the event aims to unite people with a common passion - gaming - from all age groups and backgrounds. Visitors will have a chance to play games from yesteryear as well as present day - from classic arcade games and those for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64, to the ultra-modern Wii, XBox and Playstation. While you're there enter some great competitions and even speak to some of the gaming industry insiders. There will also be tons of gaming merchandise available to buy, as well as some homebrew games being showcased.

Byte Back will be held on 7th and 8th March at Bidds Live music Club in Stoke-on-Trent. Tickets cost £12 for adults (weekend ticket) and £5 for under-16s, while children under-10 go free! Buy tickets online and find our more about the event at - all proceeds will be donated to charity. So, why not make a weekend of it and introduce your little-ones to some of the classic video games from your childhood? Never again will they ask, "Daddy, what's an A-TAR-I?".

For your chance to win two tickets, simply recommend DYR to friends and family. All participants will be submitted into a free prize draw. The winner will be drawn 21st February 2009. Travel to convention is not included.

***EDIT: Competition now closed***

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The wonder of Woolies

Over the past weeks, we've herded through its doors, arms outstretched ready for a bargain, but it just wasn't the same, was it? My local Woolworths store was stripped of any goodness long before today, when the final store closed its doors for good as the company became the latest victim of the economic downturn. 

Like the other self-confessed vultures who were there to see off a life-long friend, I admit to buying a mug or two, a calendar I didn't really care for and a couple of bargain bin CDs of bands, again, that I didn't really care for. But really, in my final few visits to dear Woolies, all I longed for was to see its shelves stacked with Sweetheart desserts, Betta Bilda and the Pick 'n' Mix spilling over with fried eggs... just like the old days! 

In the 80s, Woolworths' ad campaign declared, "Everybody needs a Woolworths store these days," and in those days we did. Every high street had one, and off we'd trot with Mum and Dad on a Saturday morning, our pocket money clenched in our tiny, sweaty palms. Much like the US's Honest Eds, or a Wilkinson's of sorts, Woolies was the kind of store that had everything - "a last-resort store" I heard one person put it. From haberdashery to TVs, bean bags to birthday cardS, Play-doh and even Zodiac crisps (remember those?), it had it all. Better still, its name alone has always been enough to bring teenage memories flooding back. Hands up who bought their first hit single from Woolies? Or got a slap on the wrist for trying to nick the Pick 'n' Mix?

We can't let the wonder of Woolies go forgotten now, can we? Which is why we want to hear all about your memories of it, so get posting here. Woolies wanderers, step forward... 

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Museum of brands, packaging and advertising

If you're looking for something different to do next time you're in London, why not head over to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill. It’s all there... the toys and games, posters and magazines, fads and fashions, postcards and packaging. Nostalgic and inspiring, it’s an unexpected reunion with your past!

Featuring over 12,000 original items from the Robert Opie Collection, the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising has now opened in London’s Notting Hill after seventeen years in Gloucester.

This history of consumer culture is revealed decade by decade in the “time tunnel”, from Victorian times to the present day. Discover the trends of daily life, the revolution in shopping habits, the groceries, sweets and household goods, the changes in taste and tempo, the advent of motoring, aviation, radio and television, the gradual emancipation of women and the effects of two world wars.

More details can be found on their website: