Sunday, August 12, 2007

How times have changed

Looking back on the early 1970s, I found there was a wealth of difference between then and now. Then, there were no mobile phones, no PCs, DVDs, or CDs.
On the other hand, there were plenty of provincial cinemas, scores of Working Men’s and Social Clubs. There was plenty of late night public transport and beer was only 15 pence a pint!
There was no shame in having an eight or ten year old car; petrol was around 60 pence per gallon and cigarettes were about 40 pence per packet. When you went to a dance, you actually got hold of your partner and not merely danced round her handbag at some stupid disco!
Iris and I could go out for the whole evening and spend less than £10 on drinks, cigs, and a meal before we came home around midnight.
I remember buying a made-to-measure suit for around £40 and Iris could dress herself from top to toe for much less. You could buy a decent second-hand car for £500 and have change out of £250 for a week’s holiday! There were no Sat-Navs to guide you through some remote farmyard and life was lived at an easier pace in those days. Television wasn’t given over to chat-shows, ‘Big Bother’, ‘Castaway’, ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and other such tripe! You went to the cinema to see a film and it wasn’t trying to drive a message down your throat as you watched it.

There was no such thing as ‘Political Correctness.’ (I still don’t really know what that means!) Mosques were virtually unheard of in this country and Christmas was still Christmas and not referred to as Winterval or other extreme leftist rubbish! “Elf and Safety” had yet to come and your kids could play with conkers without having to wear eye shields. They could play Cowboys and Indians with toy guns without an Armed Response Unit turning up!
On the club scene, you could tell jokes about pakis, jews and Irishmen. Club singers would entertain you with popular ballads and you could understand the words of the songs.
Milkmen would deliver milk to your door and it wouldn’t get stolen before you got up to bring it in.
You could go into a city centre pub and sit down at a table instead of having to lean on one of those abominable misèricord seats. Local pubs had a dart-board and there was no mega-TV screen blasting out non-stop football matches. The pubs usually just had a choice of a couple of beers and you were not faced with a battery of a dozen different ‘Real Ale’ pumps. Some nights of the week, the landlord’s wife would come round with fresh bread-cake and black pudding or some similar little delicacy. There were no such things as Quiz Nights or Karaoke; people made their own entertainment. These days, life in the 70s would appear dull and mundane but we enjoyed every minute of it.

The very best thing of all about the 70s, however, was that Iris was there beside me!

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