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 Was it the " Good Old Days?"

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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Was it the " Good Old Days?"    Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:08 pm

The good old days, or where they? Sometimes we look back and believe that times were better when we were young, but realistically times were hard and our parents struggled to survive and I was born in war time so nothing was easy. My Dad was a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and had served on many ships, including one that was involved with sinking the Bismark. In 1943 he decided that leaving the Navy and joining the Fleet Air Arm would be a good idea and he was posted to Eastleigh airport which is now known as Southampton Airport. The runway had old oil drums placed on it to stop the Germans landing on the runway and a single machine gun was mounted at the airport as their only form of defence. A German Bomber plane came back from London with two bombs still onboard and dropped them on the first and second hangers, just by luck my Dad was in the third one at the time and escaped injury. He was awarded the British Empire Medal by the King at the end of the war for "
Devotion to Duty"
. My Mum and I attended the ceremony at Buckingham Palace and I still remember the occasion although I was only three at the time.

His Dad (my Granddad) was a member of the 3rd Hussars and was given the command of 'Rough Rider,"
this meant he broke the horses in for the Regiment, so he must have been a tough cookie. Horses were broken the hard way in those times, not as they are done in the UK now. I must have inherited this 'gene' from him because I started riding horses in my teens and when my daughters were 6 and 7 years of age I started them riding ponies as well. They were bought more ponies as they got taller and eventually we had seven horses for them and me to ride. I bought a livery yard with a riding stables with 48 stables and we all rode and attended showjumping competitions in our spare time, both girls became successful at showjumping and I ended up being their groom and adviser at competitions. Their bedroom walls were literally covered in rossette's and cups scattered about the house and my Caroline was honoured to enter a showjumping competition for the Pony Club at Hickstead, my Jeni amonst her many other wins won a major Cross Country competition in Surrey which had dozens of entries and worked hard on a long course to become the eventual winner. Currently my Grandson and Granddaughter have taken up riding as well, so the habit has now covered a few generations of our family, needless to say they are now doing showjumping!

So going back to my Granddad, he fought in the Boar War in Khartoum and was sent out on a patrol to fight the "
Fuzzi Wuzzis,"
this all went fine until his patrol were surrounded by them and rather than be shot to pieces the patrol surrendered to them, I believe they knew that surrendering was safe. They were taken back to the Fuzzy Wuzzis lines and stripped of their weapons and uniforms, they didn't have any facilities for keeping prisoners and so our Great British patrol was sent back to their own lines in their Long John's. After arriving at the British lines looking a bit worse for wear, the MO was called for and every man was inspected for sabre wounds or bullet holes and if none were found they were put on a charge for not fighting the enemy. It so happened that Lord Kitchener was in attendance at the time and my Granddad had the onerous privilege of being put "
on a charge"
by the famous man!! As many of you may know he advertised for recruits on a big poster that was sent all around the country and entitled "
Your Country Needs You."


With all this knowledge entrusted to me during my youth it should have been my honour to be a member of the armed forces, but nothing could have further from the truth. The very thought of it worried the heck out of me and I was working at a printing establishment in London as an Apprentice Compositor, with a six year indenture contract. We all attended the The College of Printing and took our exams whilst working during the day, some of the time we had to work as the boy outside the overseers office, this meant we were always running errands around the firm and getting the overseers their "
dripping toast"
from a local cafe. The head overseer was Mr LeComber and he was often to be seen sniffing snuff off the back of his hand, I tried it a few times and always ended up sneezing it all over the place. On the day I finished my apprenticeship I entered the overseers office at 12.50, to which Mr LeComber said "
what do want laddie,"
he called all us apprentices laddie and I informed him that today was my last day as an apprentice, to which he replied "
stand outside laddie, I will be with you shortly."
Five minutes later he appeared and said "
come on laddie,"
we then headed up three flights of stairs while he called me laddie all the time, we entered the office of the works manager and he congratulated me on completing my apprenticeship and gave me my indentures. Me and Mr LeComber then left his office and he called me Mr all the way the stairs to the composing department, I was now a journeyman and this obviously carried the privilege of being called Mr. After returning to the composing department the business of the traditional "
bang out"
had to be performed and luckily for me it was all done by me and the Father of the Chapel walking the whole length of the composing room (about 100 yards) whilst everyone banged something that made a noise. This was in stark contrast to what happened in the press room where they stripped the poor encumbant naked and covered his essentials in bronze blue ink. This ink would not come off once applied and had to wear off as the weeks rolled by. When the ceremony had finished in the press room the poor soul had his hands and feet secured with string and put in a small truck, put in the lift and sent to the warehouse where the place was full women!!!

But on the bright side if I decided to go in the forces they would shorten my apprenticeship to 5 years, that was very kind of them but still didn't encourage me to join voluntarily. My pal Ken who was a fellow apprentice compositor decided to go in and cut his apprenticeship short, on his return he told me that whilst training they made him clean a toilet with his tooth brush. As you can imagine this did nothing to encourage me to join, even if I had kept a spare toothbrush for such occasions. Then the magic day arrived in 1958, what magic I hear you say, well the day the government in their wisdom finished conscription, what a day to celebrate, so I did with one of my cousins who equally didn't want to join.

My Dad and my uncles had very little to threaten us with any more, no more of looking at a map of the world and telling us that everything coloured red was the British Empire and that the sun would never set on it all at the same time. How were their sons going to grow up without the onslaught of some RSM ordering them around and making "
real men of them?"
Well we have all done alright thank you, I haven't missed cleaning a toilet with my toothbrush one bit!!
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Carmen
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PostSubject: Re: Was it the " Good Old Days?"    Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:08 pm

What a lovely story and its so nice to hear how it actually was but as you say was they the good old days? well I think they were buit that dosen't mean there aren't more to come. It’s enjoyable remembering past events in life, especially when sharing with others who relate or show interest. It would be foolish to forget happy times and pleasant experiences. Alas, along with the good thoughts come bad, and every life lived will surely have episodes of each to a greater or lesser degree. But our memories are powerful and can literally strengthen or weaken us depending on how we interpret and process them. A fulfilling lifestyle cannot be achieved by only reminiscing about a previous time. For equilibrium we ought to acknowledge the past and plan for the future, but more importantly, we need to live in the present as best we can. g
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cheekychops
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PostSubject: Re: Was it the " Good Old Days?"    Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:09 pm

OH yes the good old days when life was simple and we were kids out in the forest cooking sausages and collecting lemonade bottles to return to get the deposit back for an ice cream and then going bad and collecting said bottles from behind the off licence and taking them in and getting money again. Not a good admition but that's what being a kid was then.
Tea at my grand ma and grandpa's sunday afternoon after sunday school The uncles and dad playing cards and all the aunts and mum preparing tea and my nan God bless her buttering bread as she sat at the table in her wheel chair. Oh so many wonderfu memories and much more to say on the subject but one always new their place how far to go when not to push a point and how to behave when you were out and about Times have changed i wonder will they turn back Thanks for jogging the memory a trip down memory lane is a bonus any time
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: Was it the " Good Old Days?"    Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:10 pm

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is how we remember most things I suppose. I don't look back too much because I have plenty to get on with now with renovating our property and of course planning for the future. But you did remind me of some of my youth with my Grandparents and fond memories of the cuckoo clock on the wall, green baize cloth on the dining table, my Grandad playing Crib, Rich Tea biscuits and the most important of all my Nan's home made rice pudding, oh yes, my taste buds are going mad thinking about the pudding!!!
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speedgunner
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PostSubject: Re: Was it the " Good Old Days?"    Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:47 am

I was born in 51 not long after the war ended so that makes me a "
Baby Boomer"
. My child was that of freedom doing what I liked as regards to going to the woods with a catapault or frog spawning down at the local stream.Saturday mornings were spent at the pictures watching "
Rocket Man"
and Sundays being forced to go to Sunday school.My father was draconian in his disciplianry ways as he was and ex Sergeant Major as was I however I think I am much nicer due to his strict ways.Money was short and my mother would feed us on boiled pigs trotters and cheap cuts of meat on a Sunday.During the week we had mince meat of some description or beans on toast.My mother it has to be said was not the greatest cook in the world as my wife has proved it so.We bathed once a week as it was all my parents could afford by way of electric for the heater and as the youngest I was always last in the bath and came out with a ring of scum around my middle which disgusted me, I never use a bath now and always shower every day it's much cleaner.Toilet paper consisted of the "
Daily Sketch"
news paper torn up into strips and hung on a nail, using news paper is not the best form of toilet paper.I now have at least twenty rolls of soft tissue toilet paper in my house which is an obsession of mine from those days.
Having said all that as times were hard and living on a rough council estate I had a wonderful child hood. We looked out for each other and the local coppers who were proper coppers who would clip you round the like our local bobby "
Bomber Harris"
did and it worked. Better than being hauled up in juniville court embarrising your mum and dad! ! In school a well aimed black board rubber, slipper or the ruler was a good deterant for misbehaving or culmanating into the cane from the head master.I don't really agree with that sort of punishment but it worked. Nowadays it is called AHAD or T i think which is an excuse for an ill disciplined child these days which the parents are to blamed as teachers these days as with the police have one arm tied behind their backs thanks to the PC Brigade who have a lot to answer for as far as I'm concerned.
I became a policeman in a couple of villages near where I was brought up after leaving the Army and I changed the troublesome teenagers attitude, they soon found out that I was fighting fire with fire and found out I used to be them once upon a time in the same area and I am proud to say they found some respect for me.My peers who I went to school with couldn't believe it was me driving a Police car where I grew up as I was a bit of a lad as a teenager, but hey times change and hopefully most of us do for the better I know I did!

I would hate to be a young person today as consecutive Goverments has ham strung everything that I used to know and trust when I was young. For a start you could get a job on a single interview with a couple of references. Now a CV is wanted and a degree of some sort just to get an inerview and the prospect of getting the job is slim to none.The type of crime we have today was unheard of in my day because drugs were not readily available and the hippies only took LSD just to trip out which made them like "
Lucy in the Sky with diamonds"
by the Beatles. Today Cocain and other hard drugs turn normal youngters into violent thieves and muggers, I know I have arrested a few of them.There seem to be no deterant in our land to ensure that drug dealers are kept off the streets as in some Asian countries who either give them long prison sentances or even the death penality which I don't think is harsh because these drug dealers profit from death of the weak.
Technology has made people a slave today to their mobile phones and ipads not that they are a bad thing but sometimes used inaproprately By some people. A telephone box was all we had and press button"
B"
or as a kid a bit of string and two tin cans! Neighbours spoke to each other and mums didn't go out to work and knew their kids as they grew up instead of some day care center bringing up your children whilst the parents go to work.But having said all that I know today it is hard to have only one parent working and the huge utility bills need paying and mortgage or the rent.

In summary I think oldies of my era had it easier than the kids and adults of today and I feel sorry for them for they have never been given the chance to evolve as I have.They are debt ridden and the world is falling apart around them and as I said the Goverments of the past and present are to blame with their false "
Manifesto's"
and lies like our Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did.
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PostSubject: Re: Was it the " Good Old Days?"    Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:57 am

From what I read and what I have been told by my older family it certainly wasn't but I suppose as always there were good times and others but at least people worked together and cared more than they do now about each other.
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