Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Web Page No 814
Top Picture: Home Sweet Home in the early 1960’s. Remember those coffee tables???
Bottom Picture: A Corporation dust cart
THE DUSTBIN MEN AND THE WINTER.
When we were kids the old refuse or bin wagons would visit every single week. This was well before the days of wheelie bins and different collections on alternate weeks. The dustbin men would lift the metal bins by their handles, made heavy with the daily ashes from the grates of all the coal fires, onto their leather clad shoulders, carry them from inside the back garden down to the lorry and then empty them into the wagon through a hatch which had a sliding top. I also remember that we had a separate bin outside the back door for pigswill, I do not remember who collected it or when it stopped. Those were the days when the dustman would take anything providing it could be broken up and put into the lorry, mind you it would probably cost you a couple of bob orso!
On snowy or icy days the householders would scatter the ashes onto the paths, drives and pavements to give a good foothold, After a period of snow which had turned to ice on the pavements, council workmen would then come along and break up the ice with shovels and throw it into lorries to be taken away and dumped into the sea, normally on the shores of Portsmouth Harbour.
Us kids would often make snowmen with lumps of coal for eyes and mouth and create giant snowballs by rolling an ordinary size snowball downhill or across the lawn in the snow until it got bigger and bigger. Once the snowball was big enough the tricky part of hollowing it out and making an igloo began. Snowball fights were common, especially in the mornings while waiting for school to start, and when the overnight fall was still fresh. Sledging took place and lying face down on the sledge and steering with your feet was known as going belly-flappers. With all the dirt of industry, smoky chimneys, steam locomotives etc. the snow did not stay pure and white for very long, it soon turned a soggy grey colour. But one of the best things was to make ice slides along the pavement or in the school playground. These were far from popular with the teaching staff and they would instruct the caretaker to go out before school and after playtime to sprinkle, ashes, salt or sand around so as to ruin the slides we had so painstakingly made.
These are all memories from the 1950’s and early 1960’s so moving on something else that we do not see very often these days is a street cleaner. When we were kids there always seemed to be a guy with a two wheeled bin trolley and a selection of brooms and shovels keeping the gutters clean and free from litter and leaves and the pavements clear of papers and dog mess. In fact all these cleaners seemed to have a regular route for which they were responsible. Today all we see is a large, left handed driven mechanical vehicle that sprays a minimal amount of water around and slowly moves down our streets with fast rotating round brushes on the front and a vacuum tube behind. These might be modern but they do not sweep under parked cars or other obstacles like the old road sweeper used to and so today we tend to get only partly swept streets. Another thing that seems to have disappeared from the road scene completely is the vacuum tanker lorry with the long snorkel attached that was used to suck the muck up out of drains. Long gone but I suppose that is why we see so many blocked drains in the autumn now!
All these things are now things of the past as are police cars, ambulances and fire engines with bells not sirens and bull horns, fire engines with extension ladders with large wheels attached not Fire and Rescue Support Units, rag and bone men ringing their bells (we actually still get one of these come round occasionally), police boxes and the weekly visit by the Corona man and the Pink Paraffin or Esso Blue man. Policemen on point duty, silence in Public Library’s, rattling sash windows, shrimps for tea on Sunday and home made ginger beer.
Ah !!!!!!!!!!!!!I really must be getting old !!!!!!
Take Care and keep in touch
Great blog and I learnt something new. I knew that the reclaimed land for IBM was made by expanding the chalk pit, but always assumed it was carried there in fleets of chalk lorries. I never realised that they carried it by a conveyor across the houses and Allaway Ave, and the A 27. Must have been some conveyor, of course I was away in the RAF at that time, if I did come home to Purbrook I probably didn't go down that end of Portsmouth. After the war, when Dad returned from India, we lived for a time in Paulsgrove, and I played in and around the chalk pit, and down on Farlington Marshes, and yes I can remember the old u-boat moored outside John Pounds
News and Views:
Pernell Roberts dies.
Pernell Roberts was the last of the original stars from Bonanza. It was one of the most successful television series ever, it originally ran from 1959 to 1973 in the US, opened in the UK on ITV in 1960.
Pernell Roberts played Adam Cartwright, the eldest son of a rancher, Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene). Ben had been married and widowed three times, which explained why he had produced three such different sons. But Roberts grew dissatisfied with the series. and quit in 1965, but failed to build on the success of Bonanza before effectively re-emerging as the star of the MASH spin-off Trapper John MD (1979-86).
On this day 27th February 1960-1965 (Heavens I’ll be 64 tomorrow!)
On 27/02/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was Some Like It Hot. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was BBC asks for second TV channel.
27/02/1961 the number one single was Sailor - Petula Clark and the number one album was Tottenham Hotspur. The top rated TV show was The Army Game (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £not very interesting and 13.25 were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada).
On 27/02/1962 the number one single was Rock-a-Hula Baby/Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/02/1963 the number one single was The Wayward Wind - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/02/1964 the number one single was Anyone Who Had a Heart -Cilla Black and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/02/1965 the number one single was I'll Never Find Another You - Seekers and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.