Thursday, 22 April 2010
Web Page 830
21st April 2010
Top Picture: One of the Hilsea Gas Works Saddle Tank locomotives in store in 1973
Bottom Picture: The Sunshine Inn with Max’s transport Café behind
THE DUSTBIN MEN AND CHILDHOOD WINTERS.
When we were kids the old refuse or bin wagons used to come around regularly every week. This was well before the days of wheelie bins and different collections on alternate weeks. In those days the dustbin men would walk up the garden path to where your family normally kept the bin, lift the heavy metal bins, made even more weighty 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. He then would return to bin to its rightful place in the garden, no putting the bin out in front of the house in those days. Those were also the days when a half crown pressed into the dustman’s hand ensured that any old household rubbish or awkward size or shape, providing that it could be fitted into the dust cart was willingly taken by those men with the leather pads on their shoulders and funny lop sided caps. I also remember that we had a separate galvanised bucket with an attached lid outside the back door for pigswill, I do not remember who collected it (I know it was not the dustmen), where it went or when this collection stopped.
Looking back at the winters of our youth, on snowy or icy days the householders would scatter the ashes from the living room fire onto the paths, drives and pavements just to give a good foothold. After a period of snow, which had turned to ice on the pavements, council workmen would come along and break up the ice with shovels and throw it into lorries to be taken away and dumped in the sea. 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, especially in the mornings while waiting for school to start, and when the overnight fall was still fresh. How well I remember the pain of freezing cold woollen gloves after one of these fights! 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 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 rubber tyred bin trolley which held 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 and an area 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 round other obstacles like the old road sweeper did and so today we tend to get only partly swept streets. Another thing that seems to have completely disappeared from the road scene is the council tanker lorry with the long snorkel attachment at the back 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! This must be nature’s revenge!
All these things 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 so they could be manhandled, rag and bone men, police boxes, two postal deliveries on a Sunday and three a day during the week, the Corona man and other door to door traders.
I (we) really must be getting old !!!!!!
Take Care and keep in touch
Your article on Izal Bog Paper was both memorable and funny.......yes we all hated the stuff and as you said the adjustment in finger pressure with the advent of tissue took a few times to master!!!!!!!!! ;-)
The other thought provoking subject was remembering the free school milk we got which was great in winter....cold and creamy ......but in summer after standing in the sun all morning awaiting first break could often be a bit yeukky in the after taste department.
Remember who took it away from us????? Margaret Thatcher, erstwhile Minister of Education......remember how we used to chant Thatcher Thatcher Milk Snatcher.
News and Views:
I understand that the Scots singer Kenneth McKeller died a few days ago.
For those of you that did not know one of our comedy icons, Sir Norman Wisdom (now proudly 933/4) has had to give up his home on the Isle of Man and move into a care home. With the agreement of his son and daughter his dream home on the island is being sold to help pay for his care.
On this day 21st April 1960-1965
On 21/04/1960 the number one single was My Old Man's a Dustman - Lonnie Donegan and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Armchair Theatre (ABC) 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. The big news story of the day was Brasilia becomes Brazil's new capital.
On 21/04/1961 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 Budget (All Channels) 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 21/04/1962 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 21/04/1963 the number one single was How Do You Do It? - Gerry & the Pacemakers 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 21/04/1964 the number one single was Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Liberal 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. The big news story of the day was BBC2 goes on air but is soon blacked out.
On 21/04/1965 the number one single was The Minute You're Gone - Cliff Richard and the number one album was Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street 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.