"Her mam reminds me of the woman on the cover of the Littlewoods catalogue"

Littlewoods catalogue 1952
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumLittlewoods catalogue 1952 - Credit: thecatalogshop.co.uk
The Littlewoods catalogue introduced home shopping to Britain in the early 1930s. Although the concept was fairly well-established by the 1950s, the beginning of the decade was still a period of post-war austerity. By the end of the decade however, with greater affluence and more security of employment, spending was up and women in particular were seeing a great improvement in their quality of life through the introduction of labour saving devices such as vacuum cleaners and electric twin-tub washing machines into the home. Often these would be purchased through the catalogues on the instalment plan. The images on the catalogue fuelled working-class aspirations for a more comfortable, up-to-date lifestyle. 

Littlewoods catalogue 1960
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumLittlewoods catalogue 1960 - Credit: thecatalogshop.co.uk
The boy in the story sees Judith's mother as fashionable and even glamorous - hence the reference to "the woman on the cover of the Littlewoods catalogue", an enviable role model for the young working mother.