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Don’t time fly when you’re having fun?


Happy birthday to me…

Yes, it’s my birthday yet again. My mate Richard; in Sydney, Australia posted a picture of a teddy bear and a birthday cake on Facebook earlier (my birthday started early in Oz). That took me back to when I was a kid, playing  doctors and nurses with teddy and the girl down the road; she was the doctor. I’ll never forget what she did to teddy with that three feet of plastic tubing; no wonder his eye fell out. 

I was abused as a child, even the midwife smacked me. It’s strange how we can remember what happened when we were children, but not what day it is. I remember us borrowing tables and chairs from Old Park School for a street party, they had only just finished building it. I think I was one of the first kids to go there. I used to go through my mate’s garden and out of the back gate and I was at school. I remember free school milk and going to King’s Hill clinic every week to have my warts painted. I remember lumpy gravy and the smell of school dinner, wafting around the school corridors. It’s all burgers and chips these days, I suppose. In those days we had proper food, meat and two veg. I think there must have been a surplus of cabbage, we seemed to have a lot of cabbage. If you eat a lot of cabbage as a child and drink a lot of free milk you grow to 6ft 2 inches tall, like me.  I hate milk…

We used to go to Brunswick Park in the summer, we’d take a bottle of water and a jam buttie. I used to ride around the canal tow paths on my bike as a teenager and on Sundays we would ride to Walsall Arboretum, Barr Beacon or Sutton Park. I used to ride down the Newton Road to Sandwell Valley too. We go to those places taking photographs now. I went to the Arboretum on Monday, they’re working on it; a restoration to it’s former glory…

There was no television when I was a kid, we had the wireless and programmes like Dan Dare, the Goons on Sunday afternoon and Archie Andrews. That ventriloquist was good, you never saw his lips move…

Smile with tongue out

We would go fishing down the cut or one of the many pools left by mine working or whatever. We had to have a licence for that! You could find your way around in those days, there were lots of landmarks; we called them pubs! They keep knocking them down now; even the bloody churches are going.

We had our own council in those days, before we got took over by the empire builders of Sandwell. We had things like swimming baths; now it’s leisure centres with sun tanning thingies. We had a proper market, we still have a market but it’s not the same. No open brazier to keep you warm in winter. I spelt brazier wrong then and it took on a whole new meaning…

Smile with tongue out

People on Facebook comment on my photographs, especially the one of Gray’s sweet shop in the High Street. They have fond memories of the sweets and ice cream. I think that ice cream is Wall’s and available at lots of places; but going in Gray’s is an experience and the chocolate on top makes all the difference. Sandwell tries to attract tourists with new stuff; it’s the old stuff people like. I’m going to go to the Black Country Living Museum at Dudley to take photographs this summer. Now that’s worth visiting, they must have a Gray’s suck shop…

I remember the polio epidemic too, we went up West Bromwich and queued up for vaccination. We had lots of exotic diseases in those days like measles and chickenpox. Health was important and we would have visits from the nit nurse, we had two; one checking your head and another checking the other end for verrucae! Now the kids get advice on oral sex…

Smile with tongue out

I vaguely remember school trips. I went on one to Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle. I remember going to the Atomic Research Establishment at Harwell too, to see a nuclear reactor. The Ban the Bomb Movement started a few years after that and MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction); the Eurozone crisis pales into insignificance compared to nuclear destruction. It wasn’t too bad in the 60’s though, I also remember mini skirts and hot pants…

Smile with tongue out

I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog, I accessed the deep recesses of my mind to find this stuff… There are more fascinating blogs on the Home Page. Be sure to subscribe or follow my blog, there is a good one tomorrow. Do comment, what do you remember? You’re probably too young to remember anything…



2 responses

  1. That is some great memories! My childhood memories revolve more or less around the computer and school and friends. When I’m growing up, that seems like the best things I could get my hands on. On hindsight, I ponder about how technology has stripped off the real fun for a child ): It has definitely done that to me, regrettably.

    2, February 2012 at 12:22 pm

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the comment. Technology was much more primitive when I was a child. No computers or even TV until I was older. We did get out more! I did make things like my own radio and that was fascinating at the time. It was a learning experience too. I liked computers in the 1980’s and early 1990’s when I could program them.m It’s all too complicated now. I had a book on the operating system and a book on programming with my fist PC; now all we get is help files built in that aren’t very helpful.

      2, February 2012 at 12:37 pm

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