Top Picture: The pub sign for The Portsbridge
Bottom Picture: A typical 1950’s kitchen
THE DUSTBIN MEN AND THE WINTER.
When we were kids the old refuse or bin wagons used to come around and collect our rubbish every week. This was well before the days of wheelie bins and different collections on alternate weeks as an economy measure. The dustbin men would lift the metal bins, made heavy with the daily ashes from the grates of all the coal fires, onto their shoulders, carry them down to the lorry and then empty them into the wagon through a hatch which had a sliding top. These men must have had a lot of upper body strength.
If Mum or Dad wanted anything got rid of it only cost them a shilling into the dustman’s palm and provided that the item would fit into the lorry, they would take it.
I also remember that we had a separate small bin outside the back door for pig swill, this was a galvanised bucket with a lid attached. I do not remember who collected it or even when it stopped but I think this was a post war measure to provide the population with pork from cheaply fed pigs.
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 into ice on the pavements, council workmen would break up the ice with shovels and throw it into lorries to be taken away. Kids would often make snowmen with lumps of coal for eyes and mouth and create giant snowballs by rolling an ordinary size snowball downhill in the snow until it got bigger and bigger. Snowball fights were common, specially in the mornings while waiting for school to start and when the overnight fall of snow 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 long. But one of the best things was to make ice slides along the pavement or in the playground. These were far from popular with the teaching staff or our parents who 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 painstakingly made
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 on a trolley and he carried a selection of brooms and shovels for 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 tanker lorry with the long snorkel attachment that was used to suck the muck up out of drains and keep them clear. Long gone now, but I suppose that is why we see so many blocked drains in the autumn now!
All these are now things of the past as are Police cars, ambulances and fire engines with bells, fire engines with extension ladders with large wheels attached, rag and bone men, police boxes and the Corona man. I really must be getting old !!!!!!
Take Care and keep in touch
Peter mentioned on the School Blog that I was researching behind the scenes to see what I can uncover by way of newspaper reports and photographs about the building of Manor Court School in 1959/60. Well, your News Hound Hack has uncovered a a few details which will come to light over the next few months and as Peter has mentioned it is a slow process.
My first point of contact was the Portsmouth Evening News offices at Hilsea and I have to say they were very prompt and helpful but unfortunately their records prior to 1970 are virtually non exist ant and I was passed to the Portsmouth Central Library where I was informed that microfiche records do exist of Manor Court. So armed with this information I contacted the Central Library and requested any information they may have on record.
Needless to say there was a long wait for a reply but reply they did about 6 weeks after contacting them and I have struck up a good relationship with my contact person in the library. It is now a question of actually getting there and seeing what is on record which, for me, is going to be difficult as I no longer live in the Portsmouth area so it is going to have to be when I am visiting Portsmouth again to obtain this information. The good news is there are articles on the building of the school and some photographs on the microfiche which can be printed off.
I will of course update everyone as and when I get any news and progress on this research.
If anyone has any suitable school type photo's at all could they please get in touch with Peter.
Regards to Everyone.... Griff.
News and Views:
A fire last month caused extensive damage to the Philadelphia studios used by Parkway Records to record Chubby Checker's "The Twist" as well as Cameo Records artists like Bobby Rydel.
On this day 27th March 1960-1965
On 27/03/1960 the number one single was Running Bear - Johnny Preston and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/03/1961 the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was The Dickie Henderson Show (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 27/03/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows 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 27/03/1963 the number one single was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) 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 27/03/1964 the number one single was Little Children - Billy J Kramer and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) 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. The big news story of the day was Earthquake hits Alaska.
On 27/03/1965 the number one single was The Last Time - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. 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.