Sunday, October 03, 2010

My parents - Mr and Mrs W Snr - have recently bought a small 1970s house in the London suburbs. They removed the old gas fire which dated from the original build, as it was an aesthetic nightmare and most probably some kind of potential carbon monoxide risk too. The previous owner had, however, very kindly left some leaflets about the product, which is called the New World Highspeed G740. I naively assumed these might be instructions, but they're actually marketing blurb.

After telling us about the heater's high-performance duplex burner and its 'warm comforting glow', the copywriter very quickly starts to lose his grip on reality.

'The Highspeed G740 looks good, too,' he writes. 'It has a mellow teak veneered case, beautifully styled by the designers of G-Plan furniture, with a gently curving front and rounded corners. Its good looks make it the focal point of any room.'

Now, I know the 70s were a bleak period. We had the four-day week and re-runs of It's a Knockout on the telly. All the same, I think even Rigsby from Rising Damp would have questioned the radiator becoming the centre piece of the front room.

Gotta love the mood shot on the leaflet though, eh? Look at the table in the foreground. The open packet of Benson & Hedges alongside a gold lighter. The chic grey and brown coffee cup. Some strange cuboid radio alarm clock. Over on the right, we see the hi-fi turntable, no doubt connected to speakers producing stereo sound. Is that Gladys Knight & The Pips I can hear?


  1. Back in the 1970s, Phil, watching the Highspeed G740 was the highlight of our day. Made a change from all those editions of 'It's A Knockout'. Mind you, I'm not sure what was 'new world' about it. Not the sort of thing you tend to see in many American homes.

  2. It's no surprise the previous occupants proudly passed on the blurb to your folks, Phil.

    That's no ordinary wall mounted gas fire, my friend. That's a been styled by the designers of G-Plan and if those folks can do a dining suite you can be confident in their abilities when it comes to styling a teak veneered case for a fire place, and no mistake.

    Just look at those lines. Especially that big thick one along the bottom.