The good old days - old timer goes off on one again
Some of us old uns have gone on about the good old days, when we were kids and the world was innocent. Well, here I go again. For those over 50 – a taste of nostalgia, for under – turn to the next page.
Do you remember when kids were not allowed in pubs? We could go in the pub garden if there was one. Children weren’t allowed in pubs because people went to the pub to smoke, drink, have the occasional fight and avoid their wives. The very thought of a child in a pub was disgusting, let alone special pubs for children with ‘activity rooms, baby changing facilities, and a children’s menu.
Then there was going to the beach.
Your parents (for any Portsmouth kids reading, that’s your mum and a man she once met. For any children of transgenders/gays/ civil ceremonies or whatever, just look at some old photographs, I’m not going there). We would go to Calshot or Lepe mostly. You’d have to get changed under an old towel and you could wander off all day without an air and sea rescue mission being launched. It was before health and safety barriers were put up and the Paedo obsessed patrols marched up and down the beach looking for a man to set fire to. At some point you would return, covered in sea weed and tar and eat sarnies brought from home and drink Tizer. Then you would go home again, with a pocket full of stones and shells.
Or you would go to the park, with the dog. The park had grass and a swing and if you fell off, you became the proud owner of a scar. No one molested you; you were not offered Special Brew or heroin or converted to Islam. You would have to dodge the dog**** (which was white) and it was socially acceptable to climb trees and throw conkers at girls. In fact you were allowed to play conkers and the girls played hop scotch or something.
Back home Mum would buy flour, eggs, milk, butter and sugar and make a cake. That required mixing it all in a bowl and if you didn't seriously **** your mum off, you got to lick out the bowl. By magic, about an hour later, a cake had appeared and you could eat it in front of a black and white television watching cartoons that consisted of Tom and Jerry, Popeye and Huckleberry Hound. Live action was Sea Hunt, Whirlybirds, the Lone Ranger and Ivanhoe. And at dinner you ate what was on your plate. All of it. Or you got a clout from the old man.
Books, comics (The Eagle), bird watching and playing with bonfires. These were things you did when there was nothing on the telly (yes it closed down every afternoon). We made bows and arrows, trollies (soapbox carts). Finding a discarded pram was a dream - rip off the axles, few bits of wood and nails and we’d race down the hills when having a race wasn't seen as being politically incorrect. Speaking of which we collected Robinsons jam golliwog stickers. In the hot summers we would collect grasshoppers and burn ants with a magnifying glass and drink triangle jublees that took hours to drink. We built rafts on the river near Mansbridge using wood and five gallon cans that always seemed to be available.
I think a greater problem is that the media has drummed into us a vision of the outside world which isn't true, but our consistent trust in them means that we do worry about the things you listed when they don't actually exist in any greater amount than they did 30 years ago...
My son has scabs from playing, my nephews bugger off on the beach and come back hours later to homemade lunch, my sister bakes cakes, I still burn ants with a mag glass... the world is only full of paedos, police and worry if you think it is.
Im glad i grow up nowadays, your times sound boring.
Excellent memories of an era, Alf. Mine was very much the same. There were one or two times we were bored, especially when it rained, but usually there was something to do, or enjoy.
I never liked Calshot or Lepe [no sand on the beach] but nowadays I love them, especially Calshot, as I often sail from there. We'd always be going to the beach in the summer, from West Wittering to Weymouth, the biggest argument would be.. where shall we go..?
Invariably, if we had a proper summer holiday, it would be Cornwall, and more beaches. On TV, there was the Robinson Crusoe series, and an island with a sandy beach. No wonder I love being near the sea.
Did you make arrows out of green garden sticks and playing cards for flights..? They could be lethal.
I agree though, it is perceived to be different nowadays. People could just as well get off their arses and do what we did for fun.
Last edited by St Landrew; 10-09-2008 at 10:33 AM.
Yes but it is all too easy for parents to sit their kids in front of the tv with a playstation/DS/laptop etc. When I was a kid, I didn't need to be told to go out, we were out all the time, even if it was in the back garden making a 'den' or suchlike.
Originally Posted by St Landrew
I share your love of the sea and the beach, going on hols to Shanklin every year instilled this in me.
I remember those times with fondness too. I can remember, when I was about 10, cycling on my own from Sholing to Botley (and back). No worries about 'evil people'. Mind you cycling was probably safer in those days.
I remember Lepe well. Although most summer Sundays we'd set off at sparrow fart to Hayling Island, stay there all day and then stop off on Portsdown Hill for tea. There was an ice-cream seller there who made the most fabulous ice-cream (inevitably called Tony lol). I used to roll down the Hill without fear.
But I also remember that everything was very grey in those days and that there wasn't the freedom to express myself in the way children can these days (rightly so). Clothes were boring, generally, and I now hate the fact that everyone 'knew their place' and had to conform.
I think I'd rather be a child today than then.
Originally Posted by St Landrew
Bows and arrows were made from willow. We would trim the arrows to be as straight as we could. We did use playing cards then raided the shed and screwed nuts onto the tip end of the arrow. Went for miles. Looking back, it is a wonder we didn't kill each other.
Another game we would play was Tarzan and would be up a tree, 30 or 40 feet and jump like monkeys to an adjacent tree. Never occured to us that one slip and we were dead. We just did it.
We also used to swim at the Lido in summer though god knows what disease and pestilence the water contained. When the 'new baths' opened in the early 60's I'd think nothing of diving off the ten metre board. Went back a few years later and it took all my nerve to jump of the five.
The bottom line was that by and large we made our own fun. And if it was peeing with rain, or you had the mumps or measels or something, we would read a book. That is a habit that I thankfully have never got out of.
Children aren't allowed out with knives to make bows and arrows these days.
Originally Posted by Alf Tupper
Grey memories..? I still remember the vivid green of The Dell pitch the first time I looked upon it, as a kid in 1966. I don't think I've seen a richer colour since.
Originally Posted by bridge too far
We didn't care about what clothes we had on, as long as we were warm and dry, and preferably clean. The first time I thought I had odd clothes on was when someone told me I had. And then they'd only learned that opinion from someone else, who learned it... Silly really, isn't it.
I share your opinion of knowing one's place. It's one of the things that I cheer about of today's society, that hardly anyone now knows their place.
I also find it rather sad that the heirarchy still exists, and that some people still look down on poorer, less educated others nowadays, when they are only several months from the financial gutter themselves. Having security and education does not make a nicer person. Just a more secure and educated one.
I blame the internet.
In the old days we were never told about the problems/bad stuff, now we get bombarded with it 25 hrs a day , 8 days a week.
Meh. It was easier growing up with a Playstation.
Christ im only 24 and i can relate to the first post, sounds just like my childhood..... shows how things have changed in this technology revolution.
Originally Posted by scott_saints
trouble is i think we all look back on our childhoods with rose coloured specs on..
i had a fantastic childhood, altho we had very liitle money.i had a lot of good friends and would go off on our bikes, making go-carts, climb trees and build dens.we would be gone all day long. so long as i was back within calling distance of home by the time the street lights came on, everything was ok..
however, should i NOT have been home on time, then i would have been 'for it'!! and now i'm a parent myself i can see that my parents didn't freak out because they were on some power trip, but because they would start to worry that something bad had happened to me.
every generation for the last 100 years or so has been allowed more freedom to explore and develop and have had more material possession that the previous generation.
every child should be able to look back on their childhood with a smile on their face and say "yeh, i had a great time as a kid".....and i'm sure today's generation will be able to do the same too
I understand how people would look back nostalgically at their past but it is a shame that some stupid prejudices and misplaced ideas slip through.
I am in my mid-twenties so I don't know what is happening to kids today but I am pretty sure that they can go to the park without being converted to Islam and can race around on bikes or carts without being accused of being politically incorrect.
Furthermore, what is so admirable about a father hitting his kids for not eating their tea?
Originally Posted by scott_saints
While you rightly point that out Baj, I do fear for the future of this once great country.
Originally Posted by Baj
What's a triangle jublee?
30 years I think.
Originally Posted by Deppo
I have this on an email........................
If like me you grew up in the 60s and 70s, enjoy these memories... If you grew up in the 80s and after, simply imagine...
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No mobile phones. Unthinkable.
We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.
We ate cakes, bread and butter, and drank sugary pop but we were never overweight.........we had pleasure from our food rather than worrying about what we were eating. We shared one bottle of pop with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this?
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, XBoxes, video games and all 99 channels on Sky Digital TV, video tape movies, surround sound, personal mobile phones, Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms........ we had friends. We went outside and found them.
Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law, imagine that!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to. And perhaps you are one of them.
Hmm, a little sugar coated, and I perceived the sales pitch at the end, but essentially, that's a fairly sound summary of growing up when I was a kid. I was born in 1958 [birthday on the way] and we kids were given just as much freedom to play as kids from earlier eras, but with an added chance to explore because of the post war attitude, which was to go out and enjoy life. There was always the call from parents to beware of the bogeyman, but we were allowed to do things on our own. Besides, if I stayed inside when the sun was shining, my Dad would look at me agast, and ask why on earth wasn't I playing outside. It never took me too long to take his advice.
Originally Posted by exit2
I know I've mentioned it a couple of times before about myself, but could you see a 7 year old boy of today, bussing across town, paying through the turnstiles, into a football stadium on their own, and watching a game, fortnight after fortnight..? Somehow, I don't think so. Is it the perceived danger they would be in..? Would it be their lack of resourcefulness or fear that would stop them..? Would they be so lumberingly fat and lazy that they'd demand to be driven to the stadium anyway..?
Well... when you've got SKY in the bedroom, who cares if you can't make it to your local team. And there's just so much texting a 7 year old has to do nowadays, in any case.
Nor should we forget the joys of the old money. Those old penny coins were so heavy but just one of them would get you 4 chews at the sweet shop (Fruit Salad or Back Jack). The thrupenny bit would buy a 3D ice lolly and a tanner was a Real Treat. Sweets were bought loose and in 4ozs measures - "a quarter of pineapple chunks" - and are sherbert fountains still available?
We had to learn our times table and would to stand up and recite it when instructed to do so by the teacher. Weekly spelling tests, grammar lessons, learning poems and passages from Shakespeare off-by-heart - mostly still remembered even now.
Wearing a school cap and having to give the peak a quick touch when you passed a lady in the street (sounds weird now but was the norm then) ...
Yes, I bought sweets from the jar with the old money. I did recite..! I did have a school cap too, for a while.
But I'm blowed if I tweaked the peak whenever I passed a lady.
I might as well own up to not only liking Noggin The Nog but also thoroughly enjoying Muffin The Mule.
Are these euphemisms?
Originally Posted by Kingsland Codger
Originally Posted by Kingsland Codger
Sherbet fountains still available. Sweet shop in the Swan Centre. Sadly, not 3d anymore!
I was born in '84 and most of what you described counts for my "generation" as well. Of course we had computers and stuff but that doesn't mean we didn't play football on the street until dinner and a bit more after dinner. But then, maybe that's the difference of growing up in a city or in a smaller suburb town.
Originally Posted by exit2