Web Page No 2218
9th December 2015
Top Picture: 1960’s postman emptying a post box
Second Picture: PC 49
Third Picture: Southdown Conductor in Summer Uniform
Whilst walking home the other day I was passed by the local postman and he got me thinking. It was a nice sunny autumn day and he was wearing a bright red Royal Mail polo shirt, navy shorts, trainers and a hi viz jacket, what a difference from the postmen when we were kids. I remember our postman at home who always appeared immaculately dressed whatever the weather. The uniform then was a blue serge suit with polished brass buttons, shiny black shoes, a collar and black tie plus the official peaked cap with a brass badge. I must be getting old because I still think that really looked smart.
Something else that comes to mind are those folks who are pounding the beat. When we were kids the policeman or woman had smart tailored uniforms with shiny buttons, a collar and tie, a chain with the whistle attached and a helmet for the men and hat for the ladies, plus, in bad weather the standard issue Mackintosh and of course police boots. We all knew that they carried handcuffs and a truncheon about their person but the cut of the clothes made these items almost impossible to spot. Today the Police look like a cross between the Michelin man and Storm Troopers. They seem to carry everything under the sun on their belts and around their bodies, plus the stab jacket, the items they carry I am sure are all vitally important but I am afraid that it seems to detract away from the traditional friendly Bobby on the beat image, like PC 49, but I think that this is something that has long gone.
Going into hospital always involved being cared for by member of the nursing profession normally female. A female nurse in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s could always be found dressed smartly in a starched cap and apron, sometimes with cuffs and collars too. You could always tell the grade of a nurse by the colour and style of the uniform, I soon learnt who was who when I worked for the NHS. But today gone are the aprons, the hats and the cuffs and in has come the ‘trainer’ more relaxed look, they might be more comfortable but they certainly do not look so smart, just take a look at the Armed Forces nurses, they still maintain the standard.
Mind you children do not escape this evil eye. When we started school we were all neatly dressed in the school uniform, all bought from the same shop so that we all looked like clones of each other. A white shirt or blouse and tie, grey trousers for the boys and always skirts for the girls, grey socks and black shoes. The headgear did vary from school to school but that was mainly in girls’ schools. Most boys wore the traditional school cap and girls a beret but some girl’s schools insisted on felt or straw hats. Thank heavens we never had to wear them. Pam tells me that at the Southern Grammar School for Girls there was also a Deportment Girdle awarded to the girls who walked, sat and held themselves correctly. All gone now, trousers, trainers and sports shirts seem to be the norm for the day now and hats have become a thing of the past except for a few prestige schools!
I really must be getting old because I miss the Betterware or Kleeneeze man coming to the front door with his suitcase full of his wares and also a limited number of free samples and with his spare hand full of brushes and brooms of all sorts. But looking around the independent shops butchers still wear striped aprons, but you very rarely see a grocer in a long brown storekeepers coat these days. Even today most waiters or waitresses still wear a black and white uniform and choristers still wear cassock and surplice, so maybe there is hope.
What else? The AA or RAC man in his serge uniform with shiny buttons. Remember bus drivers with uniform jackets with white warning bands round the right hand sleeve at wrist height so their hand signals could be seen. Both the drivers and conductors had a winter serge uniform jacket and a summer linen one and in the summer the uniform included white tops to the uniform cap.
But then I see a priest walking past me in the street wearing a pink striped clerical shirt I begin to wonder all over again.
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News and Views:
On this day 9th December 1960-1965
On 09/12/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley 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 Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
09/12/1961 the number one single was Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmatians. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Sunday Night at the London Palladium.
09/12/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was On Stage with the Black & White Minstrels - George Mitchell Minstrels. 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 Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/12/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles 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 The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/12/1964 the number one single was Little Red Rooster - Rolling Stones and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - 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 Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Poet Edith Sitwell dies
On 09/12/1965 the number one single was The Carnival is Over - Seekers and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.