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Old November 16th, 2005, 08:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 40
Default Your Childhood (Also long winded)

Funny that TexasFyre should have posted on a subject close to this. It was only a few days ago that I was thinking along similar lines. I had an email from somebody I hadn’t seen or heard from for close to 42 years. I have, over the past year, made contact with a few old friends now many thousands of miles away but this was a special person.
We went to the same primary school and later to boarding schools that were only a mile or so apart, so there was a lot of scaling walls and crawling in windows around midnight.

In her email she mentions the village cinema (this was in Surrey, England) and what then passed for a takeaway – it was really a weird Scotsman who sold buns with fried sausages in them, literally soaked in brown sauce. All this was done from a little hut under the railway viaduct.

She talked of the hissing gaslight on the small railway station platforms and the waiting room that had a real coal fire - and of the steam trains that passed through. Some being grand expresses were too important to stop at our little part of the world, they thundered through with whistles shrieking; other, lesser engines that took us the 4 miles into the town (really just a bigger village). Of the one village phone box that took 4 pennies and had a shovel attached to it in winter so that you could clear snow from the door to use it.

Of Bert Bonnel the village bobby who rode around on his pushbike and played cricket in the village team on Sundays. His house was the police station and his wife fed and watered anybody detained overnight; usually the same two drunks who many thought only did it because of Mrs Bonnels fine food. We had many a clip over the ear and boot up the rear from Bert when growing up, usually for scrumping. We all liked Bert he was part of the scene.

The television had two channels BBC and ITV and both, when viewed today, were pretty shocking but we enjoyed them. Ham radio seemed like something out of science fiction and comics were delivered with the morning paper. The postman called twice a day and actually put mail through the letter box on the front door.

We grew up alongside old bombed out buildings and many signs of the war that had not long ended. Because it was between France and London the village itself was bombed many times and we often found bits of planes in the surrounding woodlands. There were no toys in the shops as the country was still partly on rationing and other things had to get produced before toys. However, we made swords and guns out of old bits of timber and they were as precious to us as video games are to the present generation.

The last time I saw this particular person was a drizzly November night in (I think) 1963.
We had a night at the cinema watching a bad ‘C’ film – 2 shillings and sixpence (25cents) each for the good seats. Then went to one of the village pups (yes we were under age but it didn’t seem to matter much) and Sarah has a shandy and I had a half of beer, (this was big time stuff). I think we then went to the Scotsman for buns and then on to the village green for a while. Then I took her back to school (via a window).

Many things happened the next day and suddenly I was far away.

I guess it was all very mundane and small village stuff but there was a great sense of security about the place. Nobody was ever alone if they didn’t want to be.

I’m not saying that those were better times than today – we each have our own segment in time that is ours and then it’s gone – but, strangely, I think people were happier then, less stressful and with strong family bonds. We had little in the way of material possessions but guess what – we didn’t yearn for them or need them.

Still I do wish hamburgers had been around then and hot dogs and video games and cable TV and DVDs and home deliverd pizza (or any pizza) and ………

People who complain about getting old should remember all those that never had the opportunity
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Old November 16th, 2005, 11:46 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Caribou River, Nova Scotia
Posts: 17,569

Fab2, your little story sounds very much like my husband's upbringing in a little village in Wales, and later, his sojourns into the "big city" of Chester. I will have to tell him to read your post when he gets a chance.

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Old November 16th, 2005, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 40

Yes please do, I ended up South Pacific, Asia and Australasia. For some reason I never went back for a visit. Too late now, it would be changed out of sight and I would be the stranger walking down the street.

People who complain about getting old should remember all those that never had the opportunity
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Old November 17th, 2005, 09:25 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Haverhill, Ma.
Posts: 779
Default Your childhood

Enjoyed your post Fab2...entries from "back then" do jog the memory that you thought was long buried. We had "The Shadow" and "The FBI in Peace and War" on the radio, also "The Lone Ranger". Comic books stacked to the ceiling, mostly Roy Rogers and various other western characters. We would play stagecoach with a wagon and cardboard boxes for hours. Boys gave us equal rights if we had western roles. Comic books were a dime, stamps, three cents, movies twelve cents and gas nineteen cents. OMG I must be sixty something!
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