I don't recall them being called that. In fact in a strict Methodist household I don't think the word 'sex' was in my vocabulary. But (and this shows my age) my 'pin-up-boy' as we called such creatures was firmly fixed on Michael Rennie after seeing him as Harry Lime in the film 'The third man'.
I don't recall huge posters - or even small posters. We girls just had to dream.
Now in today's world I see the latest sex symbol is Gary Lineker - aged 62! (I do wonder whether his salary as anchorman at £1.35 million a year of 'Match of the Day' has anything to do with it). With a salary like that it would only take a couple of month's salary to be in a position to bid for her late majesty Queen Elisabeth's Rolls Royce which is up for sale with a price tag of at least 'a little over 2 million'.
I can assure any of you men who may be wondering what 'an old dear' of 90 coming up to 91 is doing thinking about sex symbols - the feeling doesn't go away altogether with age you know. Feeling and actions are not the same as anyone who has been sitting looking at a high privet hedge deciding whether to get up and go and cut it back knows. What does transmogrify (if that is the right word) is what we fancy our 'pin up boys' for.
As you will know if you read me regularly - Monty Don (but only in his working gear please) comes high on my list - not as a sex symbol I hasten to add but as someone who - standing on my patio - could transform my garden into perfection.
Then there's Sir Simon Rattle - still a commanding figure at 68 - his hair still a charming head of bubbles (remember him?) just white now, but join my club Sir Simon. I can just imagine us, slippers on, perhaps Sir S in an elegant smoking jacket, me in a sumptious Kaftan and gold slippers while I listen to him reminiscing about 'orchestras I have worked with' of 'why I love Mahler's 9th'). But, hang on a minute - that sounds like an evening meeting and I am falling asleep by 9pm - and that's without the glass in hand (and it wouldn't be Prosecco - oh dear me no - Brandy at least) so make my falling asleep time 8pm.
Oh dear - my dream balloon is deflating sadly. It looks like a toss up between Monty and D my existing gardener. Thinking of money - I did entertain my gardener a couple of weeks ago in my black nightie (for black nightie don't think 'sexy' think' old lady' and 'keeping snug in bed') when, pressed for time he came to mow my front lawn at 8pm, after my night-time carer had been and got me ready for bed. He needed paying. I gave him a choice - come in while I write the cheque or come back in the morning. He's known me twenty years so the answer was obvious. He came in - 'knackered' to use his word - he'd been on the go since 8 that morning - behindhand because rain kept stopping work. So no swet there.
But I could have a large poster of Monty on the wall (I/m sure such a thing exists). The snag is my gardener gets a bit uppity at the mention of Monty. When I told him last week that Monty had recommended cutting Alchemilla Mollis back to ground level to give it time to make a nice neat clump for Autumn, he smirked and said he knew that without having to ask Monty for advice.
And so it remains. I am thinking I might have a pokerwork sign on my bedroom wall - "A Cat can look at a King".