I remember fishing that canal with my dad years ago. There was a pool near by too, I remember it getting dark and I saw a train passing by; things were different in those days. Wednesbury had it’s own council and it was run by the town clerk. There was no chief executive on 140,000 a year in those days. The money was in pounds, shillings and pence. My dad earned about 15 pounds and the rent was 30 shillings. Imagine if your rent was only 10% of your income today; that was cheap housing. It was also modern, practical housing; the council built lots of houses. Yes, houses; not high rise flats.
I think that was the beginning of the rot, when they built high rise flats (apartments) in some towns. The Black Country has been going down hill ever since. Local government reorganisation in 1974 was when they started hammering the nails into the coffin. Thatcherism in the early 1980’s really finished off British Industry and that was the Black Country well and truly buggered. We do have the Merry Hill shopping centre, some shopping around junction 9 of the M6; the likes of Ikea and Curry’s. Ikea had a sale on Bank holiday Monday, they were queuing on the slip road of the motorway. We should really stop Ikea doing stupid things and attracting the stupid people from Staffordshire and Warwickshire. We have enough stupid people of our own, without advertising for more. I can’t stand how they all drive here from up in north Staffordshire and up from Warwickshire and take the best jobs on the council. It’s understandable though, everybody knows that people who speak with a Black Country accent and dialect are bloody stupid; why else would we put up with it. They come here, sit at computers all day sending jokes to their mates and updating their Facebook pages, clog up our roads at rush hour and for the school run; then it’s home to the bloody Tesco and their half a million quid box in the suburbs. Then they come back on Bank holidays to buy crap from Ikea.
There ain’t many pubs left, most of them have gone over the years. I can remember when the beer was one and six; that was one shilling and sixpence or seven and half pence in ‘new money’. If the price of beer has gone up 30X the price since I was at school; then imagine the price when the kids of today retire. There won’t be any pubs left then, but can you imagine them popping down to Starbuck-MacDonalds for a happy meal and a pint and hoping to get change from a hundred quid note? They will be turning their oxygen masks up and taking a deep breath.
Do you remember the old dustbins, we had one for rubbish and the ashes from the fires. Now I have one for rubbish, one for recycling, one for kitchen waste, one for garden waste and one to go in the kitchen… We had a ‘health department’ and they emptied the bins, now it’s a private company on a 30 years contract. I used to go up the clinic every week. We had children’s health clinics in those days. We had exotic diseases like measles, chickenpox and warts. People still get warts; but not on their hands! You don’t get some young nurse painting them every week either…
I remember when we only had BBC 1 on the television. It was quite exciting when we got 2 channels, it was more damn exciting than when Freeview came out; what an ante-climax… We have rubbish like Babestation and Gay Rabbit now, can you imagine some pensioner switching that on by mistake? Most of the decent programs the past few years like Last of the Summer Wine and New Tricks have featured pensioners. I watched New Tricks last night in bed; total crap on the other 50 odd channels.
Some things have improved of course. I have my own blog, websites and a car with power steering. We have Facebook and social networking. I can take photos of the cut with my digital camera. I had half a tin of salmon at lunchtime. When I was a kid you could feed the five thousand with a tin of salmon and a loaf from Hickinbottoms. If you took some photos years ago, you had to save up to get them developed at the chemist (pharmacy). I remember when they put the price of petrol up to 30p we puts signs on our cars in protest. These days there is a mad scramble to fill up at any bloody price.
If you want to read more pop over to my new website, a Zillion Ideas. I have a guest blog on there today. There are also more amazing blogs on the Home Page. Do you remember “Quatermass and the Pit”, that was television; it scared the crap out of me…
- Wednesbury History in brief (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- The Black Country – be proud of it (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- Sandwell or Solihull? (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- Busy junction near M6 could have lanes cut (expressandstar.com)
- The Wednesbury hoard (mike10613.wordpress.com)