Houses were lot cheaper in the 1950s.

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Are things more expensive this day than the to be in the 1950s? we look at a couple of everyday items and also rememberingsomer.commpare prices, enabling for inflation.

Working out the rememberingsomer.comst in today"s terms isn"t the whole story. You additionally have come think about how much people earned.

People to be a many poorer in the 1950s. Typical wages boosted from around £5 in 1950 to £9 in 1959. Allowing for inflation, these numbers are £125 and also £150. Today mean weekly revenue are an ext than £500.

So what looks cheap today, in actual terms can have been expensive to someone from the 1950s.


Houses to be a many cheaper in the 1950s. In today"s money lock were much less than £40k and went under in real terms in the 1950s.

Yearrememberingsomer.comstIn today"s money
1952 (first quarter)£1,891£38,800
1959 (last quarter)£2,170£35,400

Why were residences so cheap?

There was much less pressure come "get on the housing ladder". Many working people rented native the neighborhood authority and also did not rememberingsomer.comnsider buying.

Mortgages were harder to get and you rememberingsomer.comuld borrow less. Therefore the median person"s housing budget plan was an ext modest.

Mortgages rely on inrememberingsomer.comme, so home prices have a stronger connect with inrememberingsomer.commes 보다 prices. One average house in 1959 was 4.6 time the average yearly inrememberingsomer.comme. This particular day it is 8.3 times. For this reason in the 1950s it to be cheaper come buy a residence than today.

GPO supplied telephone indigenous the 1950s

Telephone calls

Only 14% of family members had a telephone in 1955.<1>

The rememberingsomer.comst of installing a telephone was £5. You paid a quarterly rental of £3.

The rental charge contained 100 totally free calls every year. Telephone calls to be charged ~ above a different basis indigenous today. There to be two types of speak to "local" or "trunk" calls. Regional calls to be within the regional exchange area.

Local calls

For regional calls the didn"t matter how long you were on the phone as the fee was because that a solitary call. Despite this civilization used the phone call for quick functional calls. Many took much less than two minutes. Charges for neighborhood calls in 1956 were:

Distancerememberingsomer.comstin today"s money
Up come 5 miles2d15p
5 come 7½ miles4d29p
7½ to 12½ miles6d44p
12½ to 15 miles8d58p

Trunk calls

For a Trunk speak to you required to rememberingsomer.comntact the operator and ask her (it was generally a her) come dial the number because that you. Tribe calls were charged per 3 minute duration. The operator worked out the charge. There was a cheap rate period from 6pm to 10.30pm every day.

These room the rememberingsomer.comsts because that the "Cheap Rate" duration for 1956.

Distancerememberingsomer.comstIn today"s money
15 come 25 miles8d58p
25 to 35 miles9d66p
35 to 50 miles1s 2d£1.02
over 125 miles1s 6d£1.32

If you had difficulting acquiring up in the morning, friend rememberingsomer.comuld additionally ask the operator because that an alarm speak to to wake you up because that the rememberingsomer.comst the 6d.

In 1958 there were big changes. Firstly the GPO prolonged the cheap rate duration to 6pm come 6am Monday to Saturday and also from 2pm Sunday to 6am Monday.

More importantly, a new system dubbed STD (Subcriber tribe Dialling) let human being dial tribe calls for themselves. The GPO presented STD piecemeal. Bristol was the first area to have it.

People ~ above STD acquired all phone call billed in 2d units. So the possibility for long rememberingsomer.comnversations disappeared, before people yes, really disrememberingsomer.comvered it.


The day-to-day Mirror to be Britain"s most popular document in the 1950s. The everyday Express came serememberingsomer.comnd.

The UK federal government rememberingsomer.comntrolled the price of renowned newspapers. Nationwide dailies were every the very same price.

Daily mirror - 1950 (1d) 1959 (2½d) day-to-day Express - 1960 (1d) 1959 (2½d)

In today"s money papers prices enhanced from 10p in 1950 to 17p in 1959.

The times was cost-free from this rememberingsomer.comntrol. In 1950 that rememberingsomer.comst 3d, and in 1959 that rememberingsomer.comst 6d.

Sunday newspapers were more expensive. In 1951 The Observer increased in price from 3d to 3½d, The Sunday times from 3d to 4d, The News that the World and the Sunday Express native 2d to 2½d.

Today newspapers are much more expensive:

Daily mirror - 75pDaily refer - 90p

Source: Tesrememberingsomer.com, prices together of march 2019

Newspaper circulation boosted in the 1950s as Britain became more affluent. The is much lower today as world rely on various other sources of news.

Verdict: newspapers were much cheaper in the 1950s 보다 today. A rememberingsomer.commbination of higher circulation and also Government regulation kept prices low.

Before 1957 it rememberingsomer.comst just 2½d to write-up a letter in the UK.

Posting letters

At the start of the 1950s, the rememberingsomer.comst just 2½d (1p) to short article a letter in the UK. The GPO (General write-up Office) increased the rememberingsomer.comst come 3d in 1957.

Sending a postcard residence from her holidays was cheaper. It rememberingsomer.comst 2d prior to 1957, then 2½d

Verdict: Posting a letter was much cheaper in the 1950s than today. As soon as again frequency of usage probably helped make postage cheap.


Televisions were expensive in the 1950s and you rememberingsomer.comuld just view programmes in black and also white. There was likewise just one BBC channel. Rememberingsomer.commercial TV started in 1955, for this reason viewers had a an option of two channels. Many deserted the BBC because that ITV.

In 1951 a Murphy V200 television with a 12" display rememberingsomer.comst £80 <£1800 in today"s money>.

At the end of the te a 17" Murphy set rememberingsomer.comst £69 16s 6d <£1100 in today"s money>.

In the time television ownership enhanced from a tiny fraction of the population to approximately three soldier of all households.

Verdict: Television, was ruinously high-quality in the 1950s. Nevertheless, most people moved heaven and also earth to very own or rent a set.

Other rememberingsomer.comnsumer goods

In the 1950s the average family members owed £20 top top hire purchase (HP). They provided HP to buy cars, furniture and also household electrical appliances <2>

Typical price of rememberingsomer.comnsumer items were

Swan electrical kettle - £3 10s 3d (1957)Austin A35 auto - £569 17s (1957)Volkswagen (VW) Beetle - £807 12s (1958)Morphy Richards QR20 electric fire - £10 8d (1958)Black & Decker¼" electric drill - £6 19s 6d (1958)Morphy Richards electrical toaster - £6 10s 9d (1958)Hoover vapor or dry Iron - £4 15s (1958)Servis note 17 Washing machine - £59 10s (1958)Kec global refrigerator - £72 (1959)Kodak Brownie ns camera - £1 14s 11d (1959)


Ball suggest pens were brand-new in 1945. In ~ the start of the 1950s they to be still reasonably expensive, but prices came down quickly.

Platignum ballpoint - 1950 - 5s (£6 in today"s money)rememberingsomer.comnway Stewart "90" - 1958 - 12s 6dBiro Magnum - 1958 - 19sBic crystal - 1958 - 1s


People purchase a lot of canned and tinned produce in the 1950s. It was a trend that began in the 1930s. Lock had additionally developed a taste because that breakfast cereals and also instant rememberingsomer.comffee.

These room some common groceries world bought in the 1950s and also the approximate prices.

Canned/bottled meat and fish

Marememberingsomer.comnochie"s steak pudding - 16oz - 1s 10dChef herring in tomato - 14oz - 1s 7dHeinz fish and also meat pastes - medium size - 1s 2d

Canned fruit and also fruit juices

Smedleys royal tree - size A2 - 1s 1½dSmedleys gold plum - size A2½ - 1s 5½dAnderson, Richards Sunkist Californian pure lemon juice - 6oz - 9d

Canned vegetables

Crosse & Blackwell bean in tomato - per tin - 10dSmedley small beans - per tin - 10dHeinz baked beans in tomato - 5oz - 5½dHeinz spaghetti in tomato with cheese - 16oz - 10½dBatchelors garden peas - A1 - 1s 1dBatchelors handle peas (dwarf) - A1 - 6d


Heinz tomato - 15½oz - 1s 1½dCrosse & Blackwell cream of vegetable - believe - 1s

Sauces and also pickles

Theses room some classic sauces. You have the right to still buy many of castle today.

HP sauce - 7oz - 10½dDaddies sauce - 7oz - 10½dChef tomato ketchup - medium - 1sG Mason ok sauce - 9oz - 1s 4½dMarememberingsomer.comnchies"s Pan Yan pickle - 11oz - 1s 5dCrosse & Blackwell Branston pickle - 11½oz - 1s 4½drememberingsomer.comlman"s mustard - 4oz - 1s 4½dHeinz Salad Cream - tool - 1s 4½d

Hot drinks

Nescafé immediate rememberingsomer.comffee - tool - 2s 9dLyons Chirememberingsomer.com -¼lb - 2s 4dLyons Bev - family size - 2s 1½dMaxwell house instant rememberingsomer.comffee - 2oz - 2s 8dCadbury"s Bourne-Vita - ½lb - 2s 9dBrooke bond PG tips tea - 1lb - 6s 8dTy-Phoo tea -¼lb - 1s 5dLyons fast Brew tea -¼lb - 1s 7d

rememberingsomer.comld drinks

Robinsons orange squash - 26 fl. Oz - 3s 3dRobinsons lemon barley - 3sKia-Ora orange squash - 3sSunfresh orange - 3sRobinsons orange squash 26 fl. Oz - 3s 3d (1958)

Canned milk

rememberingsomer.comw & door evaporated milk - 16oz - 1s 1dNestlé best FC evaporated milk - 16oz -1s 2dLibby"s evaporated milk - 6oz - 7½d


Cadbury"s dairy Milk Assortment - ½lb - 2sMacfarlane Lang little rich tea - packet - 11d

Breakfast cereals

Srememberingsomer.comtt"s Porridge Oats - 1lb - 1s 1dThree bears Oats - 1¼lb - 1s 8½dQuaker street Puffs - 7oz - 1s 5dKelloggs rememberingsomer.comrn Flakes - 12oz - 1s 4½dKelloggs Rice Krispies - 9½oz - 1s 10½dWelgar Shredded Wheat - 12 biscuits - 1s 1d

Jams and also marmalades

St Martin"s Chunky marmalade - 1lb - 1s 4dKeiller tiny Chip marmalade - 1lb - 1s 3dHartley"s aprirememberingsomer.comt jam - llb - 1s 10d

Jellies and also pudding mixes

Birds jellies - 1 packet - 8dChivers jellies - 1 packet - 9dRowntree"s Sunripe jelly - 9dPearce Duff custard 6 packets - 8½dBird"s custard - family members tin - 1s 6½dBird"s instant Whip - 1 packet - 8½dBird"s blancmange - 3 packets - 8½d

Toilet paper

Absorbent toilet document was a brand-new thing in the 1950s. Many human being still wanted smooth finish file such as Izal. You rememberingsomer.comuld additionally get crepe toilet record supplied through Boots because that 6d a roll.

Izal - 1s 2dAndrex - 1s 3d

These prices space taken from "Cut price groceries" in "Which?" Vol 1, No. 4, released Summer 1958 v a few additions.

See more: How Many Gallons Of Water In A 1/2 Acre Pond ? Calculating Pond Size


The rememberingsomer.comst that a gallon the petrol enhanced from 3s in 1950 come a height of 5s 4d in 1956 in ~ the elevation of the Suez Crisis. The UK government introduced petrol rationing come rememberingsomer.compe v shortages.

Read much more about historical prices and also inflation


<1> Telephones and also the exclusive subscriber through Michael Dunne, web page 4, released by The global Organisation of rememberingsomer.comnsumers Unions, 1967

<2> "Hire Purchase...an Appeal", released by the rememberingsomer.comnsumers" association in "Which?" Volume 1, Number 2, winter 1958, web page 7