The remarkable adverts featured in Peterborough newspapers during WW2 - from Oxo to ‘gas-proof air raid shelter’

For the past four weeks, the PT’s Looking Back section has run a series of articles to mark the 80th anniversary of the Second World War.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 12:44 pm
A WW2 advert in Peterborough

Most of the material was culled from a special supplement produced by The Evening Telegraph in 1989, 50 years after the war began. That supplement also featured advertisements printed in Peterborough newspapers during the war. Today, we reprint a selection and they include both local and national products, items that have long since disappeared, and a few that are still going strong today. The tone of the adverts reflects the time and is very different to what we see today. Indeed, some would almost certainly fall foul of the Advertising Standards Authority. It might have been wartime and people needed light relief more than ever. The Embassy Theatre had a production of the comedy thriller Poison while on the silver screen - in this case the Savoy Cinema in Palmerston Road, Woodston – Laurel and Hardy were starring in Saps At Sea. Bisto, Persil and Oxo were some of the household names of the war years which have retained that status to this day. Locally, Groby Granite Co, of Dogsthorpe Road, were advertising its ‘gas-proof air raid shelter’, which, boasted the ad, could be ‘erected in a few hours.’ Meanwhile, Hoyles, of the Arcade, Peterborough, were selling blackout materials.

Footwear bargains were on offer in a sale at the Boot &Shoe Dept.
Beechum Powders boasted its product would act like magic and for 2d stop a cold.

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It wouldnt be allowed today but tobacco brand St Julien advertised its products
The iconic Oxo cube which the company marketed as first aid for the larder. Adding in these trying times you need the extra nourishment.
Pears Soap was by Royal appointment
Sanatogen tonic wine promised users an immediate feeling of wellbeing.
Biscuit company Macvita (not connected to McVitie) appealed to the housewife.
A call for women to serve in the canteens
A hosehold name then and a household name now. One old penny would get you a packet.
Bargains for sale
Aspro vowed to beat colds and was proud that prices were the same as pre-war
Persil (and 14,000 housewives, claimed the ad) was boasting still whiter whites
Local company Hoyles had black out material for sale.