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Top 10 Signs You Grew Up in Britain

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Marc Turner
Ready for a trip down memory lane? Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 signs you grew up in Britain. For this list, we’re looking at the top things that people who grew up in Britain can best relate to, and are probably still influenced by. A healthy helping of nostalgia is on its way! Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Signs You Grew Up in Britain

Ready for a trip down memory lane? Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 signs you grew up in Britain.

For this list, we’re looking at the top things that people who grew up in Britain can best relate to, and are probably still influenced by. A healthy helping of nostalgia is on its way!

#10: You Want to Shout “Bogies!” in Public

And it all dates back to the ever-popular feature on CBBC’s “Dick and Dom in da Bungalow”, where the show’s presenters took it in turns to say “bogies” in a quiet but crowded space, at ever-increasing volumes. Throw in the “snotometer” and some hilarious deadpan commentary, and “Bogies!” quickly became a kid’s favourite pastime, copied in school playgrounds across the country. If Dick and Dom weren’t your cup of tea, there was plenty more Saturday morning chaos to watch including “Going Live!”and “SMTV Live”– at which point we should really pause to remember the brilliance of “Wonky Donkey”. But “Bogies” is the childhood game that’s still on every adult’s lips.

#9: You Still Go to Clarks for Your Smart Shoes

No matter where or when you went to school, odds are your parents dragged you to Clarks when it was time to buy shoes for the new term. What better way to spend the last few days of the summer holidays, eh? There was always that thrill of getting your feet measured by the shop assistant, though, and Clarks didtry everything to make their shoes appear more interesting than they actually were – including pretending that their products were actually magic. And so, to this day, it’s a first thought for lots of us whenever we need some new fancy (but functional) footwear. Even if we don’t end up actually buying from Clarks, that leathery smell of stylish Velcro and all-weather slip-ons will never get old.

#8: Horrible Histories Taught You Everything You Know

The makers of this much-loved CBBC sketch show achieved something truly remarkable: they managed to make learning about history enjoyable. But, of course, “Horrible Histories”started off as a series of books charting the history of, well, pretty much everything… with snarky humour, alliterative titles and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of gags about bodily functions. The transition to TV retained the fun and the gruesomeness, and it added some seriously catchy tunes. But best of all, the entire franchise even managed to get its facts right – making it a better bet for learning history than any Hollywood movie, that’s for sure.

#7: You Can't Move House Without Quoting the Chuckle Brothers

Barry and Paul Chuckle rose to comedy greatness in the ’80s and ‘90s with their unique slapstick humour and classic collection of quotable catchphrases. And their most famous saying, “To me, to you”, is now brilliantly embedded in the British public consciousness. Because, who hasn’t tried to shift a sofa, position a table, or even hang a photo frame without at least once referencing the Chuckle Brothers? The glorious gimmick even inspired the rapper Tinchy Stryder to write a charity single! Other TV catchphrases that people born in Britain invariably hear themselves saying include “But we don’t wanna give you that” ( ala “Millionaire”) and “Blue Peter”’s“Here’s one I made earlier” – from the days when owning a Blue Peter badge was every kid's dream.

#6: You Still Miss Woolies

The British high street has changed a lot in recent times, but of all the shops we’ve loved and lost, surely Woolworths is the most missed? That place sold everything. From the latest magazines to stacks of CD singles, and children’s clothing that championed all kinds of questionable fashion choices. Whatever you needed, as the old slogan went, “Woolies would have it!”. But the main attraction for kids (and a fair few adults) was undoubtedly the pick’n’mix, which sold an apparently endless supply of E numbers in the form of cola bottles, cherry lips and flying saucers. In fact, these sweets were so popular, the final ever bag of Woolies pick’n’mix reportedly sold for a staggering £14,500! Still a bargain, though.

#5: Half-Finished Football Sticker Books

Got. Got. Need! While sticker companies like Panini and Merlin claimed that all football stickers were printed in equal numbers, anyone who’s ever tried to actually complete one of these things would suspect otherwise. Despite blowing all your pocket money on sticker packs, and desperately swapping your doubles with your friends, it just never quite happened. If football wasn’t your thing, your social status was probably dictated instead by how many Pogs or Pokemon cards you owned… But, whatever your collecting craze was, they’re likely now in a loft somewhere, relics of the time you nearly achieved that holy grail of childhood – a complete collection, plus shinies.

#4: Mr Blobby Still Terrifies You

A British childhood served up more than its fair share of scary TV characters, whether it was Mr Noseybonk, the Demon Headmaster or Wolf from “Gladiators”. And, if you’re of the generation that watched “Trapped!”, you spent many a moment worrying if the unsuccessful contestants really did end up getting locked in the tower for eternity. But perhaps the creepiest character (and general premise) of them all came via “Noel’s House Party”. Mr Blobby, with his googly eyes, frozen smile and distorted, screechy voice became the most unconventional of pop culture icons. And, he was also truly the stuff of nightmares.

#3: PVA Glue Still Offers Endless Possibilities

Was there ever anything more excitingly versatile than a bottle of this stuff? And when you see the letters PVA, does your imagination not still go wild? Harking back to another iconic kid’s show, “Art Attack”– which also saw Neil Buchanan make giant collages in random fields – PVA glue featured so often in the series, you’d be forgiven for thinking half the world was held together by it. Of course, our own artistic efforts were rarely quite as good as Neil’s, but perhaps that’s because we spent so much time “accidentally” getting glue on our fingers so that we could peel it off again. Hands up who still keeps a stash of this in the toolbox? Because you just never know when you’ll need to papier-mâché a balloon, or something.

#2: You Have Original Harry Potter Merch

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when “Harry Potter” wasn’t one of the biggest franchises in history. Nowadays, Potter merchandise includes everything from egg cups to lip balms, all neatly emblazoned with a super-stylised brand that’ll keep the Wizarding World running for years to come. But, a few of us were lucky enough to board the Hogwarts Express before the rest of the world jumped on. First editions of book one are now worth tens of thousands of pounds, but even original figurines, trinkets and boards games – the sort sporting old-school illustrations and lots of purple – could earn you a tidy little deposit for your personal Gringotts account. But, are Potterheads ever likely to sell?

#1: You Yearn For “Proper” Packed Lunches

These days, most schools insist that packed lunches contain only healthy treats, but that wasn’t always the case. Roll back the years a few, and the closest we came to our five-a-day was a carton of Um Bongo. Frubes, Push Pops and Billy Bear ham were what the kids of Britain grew up on. And as everyone knows, cheese tastes so much better when it’s shaped into string, right? When we weren’t eating snacks for lunch, we were probably down at the tuck shop buying Monster Munch and penny sweets that really did cost just a penny. Or, carefully carrying our Cadbury’s mini-rolls in those specially-designed storage cases. Now, as a grown-up, whatever you make yourself for lunch it’ll never live up to a dip-dab and Capri Sun. It’s a simple fact of adult life.

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