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Was Life Better in the 50's?

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Was Life Better in the 50's?

Old 3rd Mar 2011, 14:17
  #21 (permalink)  
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some factory worker doing 6 days a week
Luxury. Me Dad and Grandad worked Sundays for the overtime. To pay cash for a house you see. One where the roof didn't leak and the bath stayed put in its own special room and hot water came out of the bathroom tap and the missus could cook on a stove instead of the kitchen fire and she had a washing machine and...

The trouble with rose tinted glasses is that you can't see through them too clearly. I'm a working tradesman, on a 37.5 hour week - Mondays to Fridays. We have our grown-up children within ten minutes travel - in a luxurious motor car with heated seats and a video system in the back to keep the children amused on long journies. We eat high quality food, drink good quality wine and spirits and have every modern convenience at our finger tips to save time for enjoying one another's company - big, riotous family gatherings. I wouldn't go back to the fifties and my grandmother who was born in the 1890s and worked in service as a maid for 15 guineas a year with two days off - Xmas Day and Easter Monday - would have thought you mad if you suggested that life was better in the 1950s. Better than the 1920s certainly, but not better than the 2010s. I'll vote for progress every time.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 16:01
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Rickets, polio, diptheria, over crowded slums. Life couldn't have been great for everyone.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 16:38
  #23 (permalink)  
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As a kid growing up in the country it was fun, up in the woods with airguns all day most week ends, long school holidays spent in the fields, if you needed a bit of money you went pea picking, Brilliant.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 17:56
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Born in 1952 so only just able to comment (my comments also run into mid 60's)

Better back then.

You could nip round to the shop without locking the house - no one had burglar alarms back then.
Most people worked, and worked locally. Jobs seemed freely availiable.
Neighbours were real neighbours, and friends.
Holidays meant a trip to some nice part of England / Wales - for us usually Herefordshire / Forest of Dean area - we still go there occasionally.
Schools taught discipline, manners, reading, writing, maths & science.

Better now

Health (provided YOU look after yourself)
Better food (selection & availiability)
Better housing
Better education facilities
Better selection of goods availiable, and pro-rata cheaper also - though NOT made in UK is a downer.

So, would I like to live again in a large terraced house just outside grimy, industrial (back then) Wigan, with one coal fire to heat the whole place, no fridge, etc etc, NO THANKS (though we did have an inside loo, black & white 405 line TV, and dad, who allways had a decent car, bought a Mk7 Jag back in 1960 for a few hundred quid !!!)

Fear not, for the austerity measures now being inflicted upon us, solely to keep the bankers rich, will soon have us back to those days (without the Jag, security, good neigbours, local jobs, etc, etc).

Lid
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 18:14
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Most of the above: outside kloodgy, newspaper, bath from the copper-water after washday, no electrickery, up to the cycle shop to get the battery charged for the wireless, pennorth of scraps for the urchins at the chippy & so on. BUT

1. Freedom for the kids, and trust from the adults that we wouldn't come to harm (even on what would now be a sink estate.)
2. Oddly enough, we kids didn't feel poor! Nothing to compare with I suppose, except what we saw at the Saturday cinema - when we could get in. And we sort-of knew the flicks were make-believe anyway.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 18:21
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Life couldn't have been great for everyone.
Very true, Metro Man, but compared to the post-war years the incidence of the clap plummeted so it wasn't all bad!

Green Granite

As a kid growing up in the country it was fun, up in the woods with airguns all day most week ends, long school holidays spent in the fields, if you needed a bit of money you went pea picking, Brilliant.
That was my childhood, in a small town in Jockistan in the 70's/80's, except there was also picking raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and spuds (later in the year. Is why there's still a school holiday in Autumn in the area I come from). It's still an area where, I think, kids can still jump on their bike and be out of town and into the countryside in under 30 mins, and I don't mean on country roads but on proper dirt tracks, into things like the pic below..........


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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 18:53
  #27 (permalink)  

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I meant t'hole in ground behind yon bush at the end of the yard.
Yard, yard!! we didn't even have a foot.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 19:27
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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If you were black, hispanic, asian, or jewish; if you were liberal leaning; if you were poor; if you were homosexual or bisexual; if you were openly not-religious the 1950's would be a really bad time to live in.

If you were a heterosexual conservative white married christian man with above average income, then yes things couldn't get much better.

Last edited by Jane-DoH; 3rd Mar 2011 at 20:17.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 19:32
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Oh, come on it wasn't so bad. Remember these:

Nostalgia - It aint what it used to be!!

Well, some of it was okay.

On the beach
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 21:07
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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"Nip to the shops without locking the door".
Well yes I suppose all we had to nick then was the mangle. Even the wireless was a piece of furniture and would have to be carried from the house by two men for a fast getaway in a handcart!
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 21:08
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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The only thing I remember about the 50's was going to a Hotel with my Dad and coming home with my Mom.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 21:22
  #32 (permalink)  
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The Hairyplanes were nicer where I was anyway

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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 21:28
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Ah.. the 1950's

Virtually every day was sunny & hot. The few occasions I remember rain it was warm and pleasant & very much appreciated.

Sunday afternoons were for a drive out into the country in a big green ford station wagon. If it was too hot just drop the tailgate & raise the rear screen & open all the windows.

but this was 1950's Maracaibo........
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 21:53
  #34 (permalink)  

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The 50s huh. Lets see. In 58 we left Austin, Texas and moved to London. Then in 1960 we moved to Woodbridge/Bentwaters RAF Station. Then in 62 we moved to Oklahoma City, actually a little town called Del City. Talk about culture shock.

So, in some of the summers in the 50s I was hot and swam a lot, then the summers were colder and I didn't swim at all. Well I take that back, I did swim in the North Sea near Flexistow (sp?) and that was cold, even in the summer. I also remember climbing all over some old stone towers that were spaced along the coast line, later I found out they had been built as watch towers for Viking raiders. Great fun.

After moving to Woodbridge/Bentwaters I did go back to London by myself after I was 12 on the train on weekends and during the summer school breaks. I don't think it would be such a good idea for a 12 year old to do that now. Back then I don't think anybody thought much about it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 22:43
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Cigarettes were good for you in the 50's........
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 22:44
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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if I were a parent which thank the lord I'm not, and it was possible, I would not hesitate to send my sprogs back to the fifties to spend their formative years,I have not a shadow of doubt that they turned out better more balanced people then.
I definitely think as a society we have lost something since the fifties, we have become a sullen shallow angry people,loud, foul mouthed, lacking discipline,devoid of any kind of respect for any one or anything, gluttonous, overstimulated and jaded at the same time,sensation seeking and voyeuristic, belligerent and afraid of our own shadows.
Apart from that we are ok.

Last edited by tony draper; 3rd Mar 2011 at 22:59.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 22:55
  #37 (permalink)  
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Those who grew up in the 1950s were probably never exposed to 'drugs' (well, not the recreational ones that seem to be popular today).
I did come into contact with these in the mid 1960s, but by then I was wise enough not to partake.
At least that's what I like to think . . .

My nephew and nieces grew up in the 1980s in a southern town that I know was where 'drugs' were commonplace.
I don't know whether they partook.
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 22:55
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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I also remember climbing all over some old stone towers that were spaced along the coast line, later I found out they had been built as watch towers for Viking raiders.
Think you might mean Martello towers built in Napoleonic era in early 19th century...
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 22:58
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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If you were black, hispanic, asian, or jewish;
Or Irish in the UK with its No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs.........................
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Old 3rd Mar 2011, 23:17
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Beat me to it Derg! I don't put a ribbon in my hair for my poor hard-working Mrs but the rest of Slasher's Housekeeping Monthly piece is fair advice.

Old days better? I wonder, but having less, people appreciated what they did have more perhaps.
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