When i were a lad!

May 24, 2014
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Looking back fondly, mostly, to when I were a lad, I got to thinking about things that have changed. I dont mean the huge advances in medicine, electronics, cars and stuff, but the little things in life.

I have to say that I think todays beer is far better, and what a choice. But when you have had your beer and are staggering off to the chippy......... well thats a big change. Fish and Chips from the newspaper, and you could smell the vinegar half a mile away. Nowadays, put vinegar on em and you cant even taste it, watered down maybe.

Take the kids to the sweetshop. When I were a lad, there was a vast array of delights in those rows of jars, todays offering is either all chocolate or Haribo (yuk!) Whatever happened to Coltsfoot Rock, and Chewing Wood, Tins of Imps and Sherbet Dabs.

Who can remember Kunzle Cakes which became Lyons Showboats. When I were a lad, my grandmother used to buy a box daily........from the Co-op so she got her dividend.

Going to Clobber for some clothes to go on the pull in, and then Burtons for a suit when a marriage was required. When I were a lad, her dad was bigger than me ;)

When I were a lad, I didnt have todays slippers to play football in. I could unscrew the studs in my football boots and use them as hiking boots. And I kid you not, the first pair of shoes i had to go to school in were clogs, proper Lancashire sparking clogs, which my parents vehemently deny. The photos dont lie.

When I were a lad we went to Butlins and i was forced into a fancy dress competition in a Robin Hood suit made by my mother. It was made of green crepe paper, and on the journey from our hut to the hall, the heavens opened. My crepe paper suit melted and turned me and my grundies a wierd shade of green. My grundies and a pair of Clarkes sandals were all that remained, even my bow went soggy and limp. But when I were a lad, nobody had heard of the man from Atlantis, or the Hulk, so I lost and scarpered back to the hut with the sound of the audience wetting themselves in my ears.

When I were a lad, my mother couldnt afford much in clothes, so she knitted most of it. Unfortunately, she never heard of Cashmere and used something rather akin to barbed wire. Took a while to figure where the rash kept coming from.

When I were lad, my mother used to lather me in Vic Rub at night. To this day I cannot stand the smell of it. Mind you, I cant stand the smell of Cabbage, Caulie or Sprouts either. These devil foods used to appear at every meal and I wasnt allowed to leave the table until I had eaten it. And coming from a family that thought tripe was a delicacy, no wonder my taste buds are ruined.

Your turn!
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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Wow Thinghy, how true on everything,

My apprentice master, I had to make his coffee with Camp Coffee and Fusseles condensed milk. If I got into work early enough, (RAE Bedford ) you would go out with the WS 55 helicopter, hovering around, collecting mushrooms , for breakfast.
Aircraft engineers. . We passed our exams. 😀
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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When I was a lad I used to hate tripe and to this day still hate tripe. Chicken was a treat for us as normal Sunday roast was beef or lamb. Christmas was turkey and next several meals were turkey. No wonder I dislike turkey even today.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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When i was a lad i hated sprouts my mum use make me sit at the dinner table and not move until they have gone lucky our dogs like them and even today will not eat them
if i was a good my dad would give me a treat like cakes after all he was a baker and today i have a sweet tooth for cream cakes and fresh bread from the oven with jam
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Sheep head was a delicacy at my grandmothers. All of Mum's friends were designated auntie, and bought us such healthy treats as sherbert lemons, Williams chewing nuts, rhubarb dipped into butter and sugar. Shoes all had to be worn in when new, painful in the extreme.

Never escorted to infant, junior or senior schools was just given sandwich and tagged along with someone a bit older, even on day 1. Chuffed when Dad bought me a new bike, a BSA Gold Crest but so disappointed it had four speed SA gears, he hated derairlliure gears despite being keen cyclist himself. Trips out from Leicester to Kettering Wickstead Park on the back of a Cyclemaster in all weathers .

Wine only on Christmas Day a sauternes ugh ugh. Saturday evenings at the Railway Mens C and I in the concert hall eating mushy peas and black pudding, drinking Vimto. . Sundays the same but at the Green Lane C and I. Delivering election notices for Dad an active member of the SWP. Standing outside polling stations asking for electors details so that the party would know who had voted so didn't need a reminder call.

Joy when the a local landlord's rental garages set on fire a couple of days after he had left his old Airdale out and it died in the cold wet conditions. Sadness when the family doctor came downstairs and said " You should go and say goodbye to your grandmother" before he went back upstairs.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Getting the number 11 bus to school, and having to walk home when it snowed or it was too foggy for the buses to run, going to the Bull Ring Market Hall on Saturdays, pet shops that sold puppies and kittens, going 'up the street' for paraffin at the ironmongers, taking back pop bottles for the deposit back. Can't remember anybody in our road having a pedigree dog, nor tinned dog food.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Grand mother’s eternal simmering stock pot. No waste. If you were ill her broth soon fixed you.
mum putting calamine lotion on the chicken pox spots.
Sunday lunch always served at 1.00pm on the dot.
Pea souper fogs, tramping two miles to school in the snow. No central heating.
Any burns treated with butter!
Old Doctors surgery stunk of surgical spirit. Appointments , no, just queued and were seen.
 
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May 24, 2014
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Pea soup and ham shank, "going up t street" (as woodsieboy), putting the big light on, grandfather cleaning his pipe with pipe cleaners. Uncle Pete teaching me to whistle and smoke, and taking me for my first pint.

Proper snow in the schoolyard and the classroom steaming like a sauna as everyone tried to dry clothes on the radiator after the mass snowball fights and creating an ice slide the length of the yard. Yearly school trip to Blackpool and the Tower Circus.

Running to catch the bus and the almighty leap of faith to land on the open platform at the back. And the steam trains, we loved standing on the bridge and getting enveloped in the stuff, but do you remember the smell of them. Pop in a stone bottle with a wire and stone cork. Fizzy Sasparilla, now banned, only the cordial available.

Switching the TV on and waiting ages for a picture to appear after it warmed up, and only two channels to pick from. Watch with Mother was a daily ritual. On the buses was the most popular comedy. WHY????? Love thy neighbour, how did they ever get away with that..........damn funny though.

On the street I grew up in, there was a WW2 air raid siren at one end, and during the 50's they used to test this thing weekly, presumably as some sort of early warning system in the Cold War. As a young child I often used to lay in bed listening to that awful howl.

Stone flags in the kitchen and a stone Belfast sink. My mother couldnt wait to get shot of both. Strange how thats become a fashion nowadays. And brown round light switches. Frost on the inside of the windows on a winter morning.

We didnt have a lot back then, but what I remember most is the almost hysterical laughter when long dead relatives got together at Christmas and made a real party out of nowt.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Sheep head was a delicacy at my grandmothers. All of Mum's friends were designated auntie, and bought us such healthy treats as sherbert lemons, Williams chewing nuts, rhubarb dipped into butter and sugar. Shoes all had to be worn in when new, painful in the extreme.
Reminds me of a time when we went to visit the in laws and pigs trotters was on the menu. In those days you were polite to your elders even if you felt sick!

My grandmother used to make pumpkin fritters with loads of cinnamon and sugar. Thankfully not very often.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Whilst we had some strange foodstuffs by today's standards this one hadn't yet reached our shores. It does not do what it says on the jar. But seriously it's really good for spicing up a dish.

1BD6CA2B-5065-4740-9C72-4A6ECA73B25E_4_5005_c.jpeg
 
Jul 18, 2017
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One of the best stews I had when a lad was after returning from patrol in the bush. They had shot an Impala a few days previously and let it hand until maggots appeared. The maggots were cleaned out and the buck stewed.
Lovely and tender however what was left over if anything had to be tipped as you could not reheat the stew.
My uncle enjoyed jam and peanut butter on the same slice of bread. Another favourite was sardine covered in condensed milk in sandwich. I could never get around to eating sheep brains on a sandwich.
A favourite pastime was charging up and down the road on our bicycles and sometimes down to the beach. I had a 12' long canoe made from beaten corrugated iron sheets that I used to go out to sea to fish. sometimes 2 - 3 miles offshore. No such thing as a life jacket etc.
We also had soap boxes that had ball bearings as wheels and these were noisy so much so half the neighbour used to call the police. My own soap box had pram wheels and was the fastest one on the block. The box was an old wooden whisky crate.
 
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May 24, 2014
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Funny thing about being a lad, we all had toy guns, but never went on to become mass murderers. Played cowboys and Indians, without becoming disturbed and watched every war movie available. And John Wayne, what more can you say. We watched so many of his westerns, we had a guy come round once a month to clean the dead injuns and varmints out the back the TV.

We had rope swings over the canal and used to put pennies on the railway line so the trains flattened them. We had catapults and air rifles, and most of us managed to carry a sheath knife without feeling the need to mug somebody.

We had a local bobby, believe it or not who had the surname Ball. Bobby Ball as he was known, and he came playing hell one night because some kids had been scrumping apples from his neighbour. The following night we did his trees as well.

Fishing on the res without a licence, always from the dam wall, so which ever way the water bailiff came, we could run the other way off the dam. Learnt from a very early age to take the high ground. :D

Summertime, we always went haymaking with one particualr farmer. Every day of the hay week, he would treat us all to a proper plowmans with cider. Always sat on the hay cart under the blazing sun, and yes, it was horse drawn. Indeed, our local breweries still had horse drawn drays and both the milk and the rag and bone man too.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We had choice of 2 milkmen, Coop or Midland Daries, also Coal delivery man, and my granny had baker deliver bread from basket with tissue paper wrapped around it, her butter was kept on cold slab, bacon was hung in back larder, cold meat under a meat safe, no use by dates then, as far as I know nobody died from eating her food.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Actually I still have a catapult which is a metal one bought in the eighties. Very powerful if you are strong enough to pull it back! Very similar to the Mibro catapult.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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One of the best stews I had when a lad was after returning from patrol in the bush. They had shot an Impala a few days previously and let it hand until maggots appeared. The maggots were cleaned out and the buck stewed.
Lovely and tender however what was left over if anything had to be tipped as you could not reheat the stew.
My uncle enjoyed jam and peanut butter on the same slice of bread. Another favourite was sardine covered in condensed milk in sandwich. I could never get around to eating sheep brains on a sandwich.
A favourite pastime was charging up and down the road on our bicycles and sometimes down to the beach. I had a 12' long canoe made from beaten corrugated iron sheets that I used to go out to sea to fish. sometimes 2 - 3 miles offshore. No such thing as a life jacket etc.
We also had soap boxes that had ball bearings as wheels and these were noisy so much so half the neighbour used to call the police. My own soap box had pram wheels and was the fastest one on the block. The box was an old wooden whisky crate.
You can buy grape jelly and peanut butter by Smuckers Goober. Used to be on my must buy list when coming back from a visit to the USA.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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I remember the larder. An upper and lower mesh grille, windy or what. A large marble slab forever cold. Tuesday teatime was toast dripping and salt, a bit of the gravy if you were lucky. Express Dairy milkman on his horse and cart and the baker delivered too. The small Sainsbury’s sold butter patted in front of you and wrapped in brown paper.
Worst of all were the disgusting smelling and bitter tasting medicines prescribed by our Doctor and made up by hand at the Chemist.
 
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Mar 8, 2009
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One of the 'memories' of my childhood was the annual killing of our homefed pig at my grandmas (40/50's). We lived in a village (still do - but it's a town nowadays!?) Grandma lived in an old stone cottage with 'outside facilities' including a pigsty. Pig fed all year and when the fateful winters day came the village butcher arrived in the morning and the pig was suitably despatched , butchered, and hung up on pig poles to dry all day before carving up. We had room to do this in the garden but some had to hang them in the street all day. And in fact many pigs were 'hung in the street. As the pig was carved up it was us kids job to take round plates of pigs fry to our neighbours and friends in the village. The strings of sausages that were made were hung in grans pantry (stone gantry partly below ground level) for along while after they were made, certainly weeks. Hams hung up after salting for months. (fridges ? --- what's a fridge?) Those were the days? 1637184140315.jpeg
 
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May 7, 2012
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I do remember the sweets of the day from lots of small local makers and loved Riley's Toffee Rolls. That will give some an idea where I originated from. Don't remember Kunzle cakes though. It was the shopping that was different though, we had a long row of small shops that between them sold everything. My father had a butchers and we ate quite well, although I never appreciated that steak was any better than sausages. We just got what was left and it all went the same way.
For a night out we tended to go to less dressy venues in jeans and a sweater or shirt, although chosen with care. If you did not have a girl at the end of the night it was off for fish and chips at a cafe that would serve it with gravy, yes gravy. There was no accounting for the taste of the young in those days. We later graduated to the Chinese when they became more popular.
Coffee bars were also a good place to hang out, although nothing like the more modern Costas.
Did have the old style football boots when at school but even then they had to have the right name endorsing them.
Holidays were normally with the BB at camps by the sea. never went to Butlins as a boy and only been once just after I got married.
Did play with guns and not seen any of the gang being jailed for shooting anyone although they were possibly not as realistic as some today. No canal or river near us which might have saved us from some overly wild adventures. Hand made buggies were popular and quite dangerous as we lived on a main road with a slope.
Proper snow in those days with several inches of the stuff and proper snow ball fights. That seems to have been lost with global warming.
Life was simpler then, but it is debateable if it was better or just different.
 
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Sep 24, 2008
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Like most of you I had scooters carts whose wheels were ball races supplied by my engineer Dad. Cycles, somehow do not remember buying any as we use to get broken ones and make into one . Food is a blank to me so cannot say anything . Sweets went to my Sister in hospital , I think they were on ration anyway. Use to roam the marshes looking for owl pellets and had a good selection of bones etc. Rivers we had several with bridges iron works . Whist people use to walk over we use climb across under . The drop into water I suppose was about 10m or so , no one did . You could say in between times it was exciting for want of a better word as it was wartime and most days there were something going on . On our bike journeys few thing stand out Standing at edge of this field and seeing German aircraft coming over to straff the airfield the spotter guy yelled at us to get into his shelter, bye then they had gone . After the war seeing a tank knocking down a bombed out houses to rubble , it seems two guys got one, I do not think they were military. The word boredom had yet to be invented to us. My son seemed to inherit some of this as at age of 11 was late coming in for tea , getting worried until 2100 got phone call, from Police saying they had him. Turns out he wanted to see the Queen and saw a bus saying Windsor thought he would try going . The bus he got on was going that way but he did not have enough fare so started walking direction of the Windsor buses. Of course I gave him some verbal but at same time admired him. Another time he bought a Hillman Minx for £35 and because we were caravanning in Devon decide to come down and surprise us which he did.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Does anyone remember the gobstoppers or liquorice sticks?
We had liquorice pipes with red beads at the end and the Catherine wheels with the pink or blue bullet in the middle. Flying saucers, and 4 Black Jacks or Fruit Salads for an old penny. We used to save the G ..W.. Stickers from Robertson’s jams to get the GW Brooch. No PC stuff in those days. The Golden Palace restaurant take away opened in 1961. The corner sweet shop was taken over by lovely people thrown out of Uganda. If I say the nicknames we gave them I’ll be joining the Yorkshire Cricket Boys😜. In those days they were terms of endearment.
Aniseed balls were also a favourite. The real trick was to see whose sixpence could buy the most sweets. Sherbet sold by the ounce in small paper bags.
 
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May 24, 2014
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Aniseed balls are still a favourite. Talking of aniseed my first summer job was at Magnet Pet Foods where they used to put aniseed in a range called Minarets. The air in the factory was thick with the smell of it, but worst was the pack off dogs that always followed me home.

I remember too roasting chestnuts on the hearth, and ducking every now and then when one exploded.
 

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