Thursday, 8 March 2012

Gran, when you were young a long, long time ago...?

The question got me thinking and talking to friends.

Yes it was a long, long time ago, especially by 4 year old standards, though not to me....

But remember when:
  • the milk man at night, and baker by day, home delivered, with a horse and cart, the horse stopping and starting automatically on its rounds
  • before supermarkets, grocer's and their assistants served you, weighing up and measuring out, packaging in brown paper; and if you were lucky there would be half a pound of broken biscuits in a brown paper bag
  • you went to one of the city department stores (no Chadstones, Highpoints etc) and your goods were wrapped in brown paper, tied up with string, and could be home delivered that day or the next, at no extra cost
  • shopping was carried in string bags which could stretch greatly and often touched the ground by the time you got home
  • the butcher used to give away bones for the dog
  • the wonderful gizmo in shops with your money and the bill  in a cylinder was whizzed off to the cashier who whizzed back the change
  •  banks used passbooks and you could see your deposits growing, or fading
  •  banks issued metal money boxes which you put pennies, or if you were very lucky threepences in, and when they were full you took them back, the bottom was unlocked, money counted and added to the total in your passbook, then you got the money box back to start again
  • pounds, shillings and pence were the currency, but children never saw pounds, pennies were as big as 20 cent pieces, but we all knew our 12 times tables because 12 pennies made a shilling...
  • 12 inches made a foot, with our heights being measured and dated on the architrave around the kitchen door
  • the iceman delivered big blocks of ice for the icebox, carrying it in from the street wrapped in hessian on his shoulder, and if you were lucky you might get a sliver of ice chipped off on a hot day
  • you had a school uniform, a set of best clothes for church or visiting, and possibly a party dress but few other clothes.
  • jumpers and cardigans were usually hand knitted, from wool, and often there were handmedowns through the family
  • we walked or caught public transport because we didn't have a car
  • phone numbers were a mix of letters and numbers, but most houses didn't have a phone which meant there were public phones in the street which you always checked on passing in case the last user hadn't taken their money
I'm not sure that they were necessarily the good old days but they were simpler times, and the kids marvel at how deprived we were, but we didn't think so.

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