These were always my favourite adverts. They offered a wholesome and comforting product which was cheap and brought the family together. You could gather round the fireplace in your night clothes and warm your hands with the thick mugs.

I was always ordered to clean my teeth carefully before bed, only to marinate my gums in Cocoa over night. Drinking Chocolate was what the rich kids had at night. Cocoa had another delight - lumps of brown bitter powder which refused to dissolve in the hot milk. These could be stored in the cheek for oral scrutiny later. It was as close to fun as was allowed in Watford in 1958.

That I was right to drink the stuff to intensify the depth of sleep can be seen in the Horlicks strip cartoons.


The Ovaltine ads keenly register the difference btween American and British advertising of this period. The product was comforting and produced energy in the UK, while it gave you Morning Freshness and let you wear a skimpy nightie in the States.



"Mrs. Black of Somerset Farm, Cranleigh, Surrey is as pretty as a picture and looks as if she might be whisked away on the breeze like thistledown..."


I mean, have you looked at her with her bucket and her dancing dog. She ends the day, a monumental Thatcher presence in her own dirigeable hanger which is masquerading as a leather armchair. Thistledown? Come now... Remember the song, "She can make a dress out of a feed bag, and a man out of you..." Peggy Lee, I think.


The Bourn-Vita brand character is seen here, the mug with a sleeping face and night cap on its head. It worried me that the steam would make the hat soggy and it would fall into the Bourn-Vita. Even at the age of eight.