Friday, 16 October 2009

When I was a lad ...

A friend recently sent to me an email with the following reflections on childhood. It reminded me of many aspects of my upbringing!

This is too scary- I thought was still young!
Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favourite fast food when you were growing up?' 'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him. 'All the food was slow.' 'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?' 'It was a place called 'at home,'' I explained. 'Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.' By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:

 My parents NEVER owned their own house or set foot on a golf course
 Travelled out of the country (Well my Dad went to Iceland and France - as a soldier in WW2) or had a credit card (- cos they didn't exist!)
 My parents never drove me to school. (We never had a car as neither ever learned to drive
 I had a bicycle (second-hand) that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow)
 We didn't have a television in our house until I was 9 - for the Coronation. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at about 10pm, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. It came back on the air at about 5pm with Children's Hour and then the BBC News.
 There was no locally produced news as there were no local TV stations; in fact there was only the BBC - 1 channel!
 I never had a telephone in my room. We never had a telephone! I paid for telephone installation in my parents' home when I was about 32 so they could phone for the doctor when they were ill and I could contact them from abroad easily. That was about 1976! It had a dial that you had to turn for each number.
 Pizzas were not delivered to our home... But milk was - early every morning, in glass bottles. I never saw a pizza until I was about 36!
 All newspapers were delivered by boys. They had to get up at 6AM every morning.
 Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies.
 There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.
 Cinemas usually screened 2 films each sitting - a 'B' film (had minor actors and lasted about an hour) followed by 'Pathe Pictorial News'. There was then an interval of about 15 minutes when ladies would walk the aisles selling ice creams from a tray. The main 'A' film, featuring famous film stars, was them screened and lasted at least 90 minutes. If it was a 'full feature' film, there would be no B film and the interval/ice creams would come during the film itself. Throughout the showing, usherettes would walk the aisles and flash their torched to ensure there was no 'hankie-pankie'! One of our 2 cinemas has double seats in the back row!!
 If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.


Mark Walker said...

Similar thoughts here and I would add as we did have a car - going to the drive in if we were lucky,playing games outside till dark with the mates in the street, drinking warm milk in little botles at school - it sat in the sun after it was delivered as there was no fridge at school.

Memories - as Monty Python said - "and you think that was bad I remember when i was young I had to get up early .... and no one would believe me"

Enjoyed the post

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud (in the library) reading this, or should I type LOL! OMG this did make me think, I'm obviously just a tad younger than you but, I remember life like this. It wasn't so bad. I lived abroad for most of my childhood and we wrote letters home to Gran, they took weeks to get here as did our replies.
Gran would post the Sunday Post to us so we could catch up on news from home.....No telephones! and My parents had phones installed for the same reason and in the same year!

I will watch my kids faces as they read this tonight! I'm sure it will be entertainment!
Christina P.