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Questions for the seniors


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What's the biggest thing you can think of?

ONLY FRIGGIN' KIDDING!! HAR HAR.

No, I'm somewhat fascinated by life in the 60s and 70s at the minute.. it's from my old man and mom, who lived through the time.  But there's loads of things and questions I'm asking him about that time like;

What was it like before motorways?  The M5 was built outside my mom's mom's house, and she used to sit on the side waiting ages for a car to come past.. now look at the ****.

It seemed we went from Steam engines, to electric really quickly.. when did diesels fit in?  What did you think when they pulled up all the local train stations? 

As my parents were never from affluent families, it be interesting to know what life was like for people from the middle classes in those days.  Having cars when not many people did etc.

A lot happened and I'll think of more, feel free to ask more, but it would be cool to get the people in their 40/50/60s answers (if they don't mind!!)

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I'll need some time to think about this. 

Sometimes I think things are massively different now (compared to my childhood/teens in the 1960s). Then at other times I think they're mostly the same. 

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I'm not quite an oldie but I can say traffic has increased immeasurably since I started work in 1997. I used to be able to park in a car park (long since gone) around where the Eastside development now is. £2 a day and never full. Leaving work and driving home at 5pm/5:30pm it was busy but traffic flowed easily. I wouldn't even attempt to drive to work anymore. 

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4 hours ago, lapal_fan said:

What was it like before motorways?  The M5 was built outside my mom's mom's house, and she used to sit on the side waiting ages for a car to come past.. now look at the ****.

One of my earliest memories is watching the M5 being built from our living room window

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Trolley buses in Walsall

I've just remembered exactly why it was I remembered the trolley buses. The bloke that lived opposite (my mates dad) us was a big fan of nostalgia, he'd go around collecting all the old enamel signs off shops, had a garage full of them, old gramophone players, he had loads of those too, old Hornby Trains, bit of a transport buff but not in an "enthusiast" way. He used to drive cars like the Ford Zephyr, he'd always buy old old cars, he just liked old stuff. Anyway he took us to the last night of the trolley buses in Walsall because we wouldn't get another chance to see working trolley buses. 

He was right, I'm glad he took us on these mad adventures, he taught us loads about the past.

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The 'before motorways' thing never made much impression on me, as my parents never had a car.

Although I do remember holidays in Devon which involved interminable coach trips (usually having to change buses at Cheltenham). 

I think the thing that would most strike a twenty-something timetravelling back to the 60s would be telecomms - no mobile phones, no internet, two (later three) TV channels, that only broadcast in the evening, no recordable TV, only three (later four) radio channels (all BBC). 

And yet it still felt like an ultramodern, high tech world at the time. 

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I was born in the 70’s and can vaguely remember everyone sorta being on an equal footing , we were all poor , wore our brothers hand downs , holidays in Bognor , 1 old banger car family ( I say poor that may have made us fabulously wealthy by 70’s standards for all I know !! ) 

Then Freddie Laker came along and exotic  places like Benidorm opened up to us , my neighbour suddenly got a VCR , slowly we all followed suit ...  then came a Ford Sierra to replace dads Hillman Avenger , people just suddenly appeared to have more money as the 80’s progressed

the biggie for me was probably Concorde , it used to fly over our village every day , every day you stopped what you were doing to gaze up at it .... 

the M25 was another biggie for me ,  some of it ran right past our school playing field , they flattened a bloody great hill for it and we all cheered as walking /cycling home up that hill was a bloody nightmare  , we used to get chased off it when it was being built as we’d go cycling on it on our BMX’s .....I just take it for granted now but getting anywhere before it took bloody ages ... When it works the M25 is a godsend 

Edited by tonyh29
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2 hours ago, mjmooney said:

I think the thing that would most strike a twenty-something timetravelling back to the 60s would be telecomms - no mobile phones, no internet, 

People actually spoke to each other?! :o

I jest, I love the technology but its a sad sight to see groups of people at the pub or restaurant and all staring at their phones. Why is someone on facebook/whatsapp more important than the person you are sitting with? Makes me sad inside. 

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Going back to the motorways, although we weren't motorists, I do remember the M1 opening being news - my parents told me it was a London to Birmingham motorway. Not really true - and rather rubbed in when I went to University in Leeds in 1972, to find it proudly advertising itself as "Motorway City of the Seventies". 

And, going back to those coach trips, I recall being on one where somebody organised a quiz. One of the questions was "Where would you find a hard shoulder?" Nobody had a clue. 

Edited by mjmooney
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I'm not that old (I like to think) but I can remember stray dogs and being chased by them a lot. I know we are talking about technological advances but I used to live in fear of those dam dogs and this was in the 80s! 

Actually come to think of it some of them wernt even stray dogs. Owners would just let them out to roam!

Thank God that has changed. 

Edit: be interesting to know how bad the dog situation was in the earlier years if it was that bad in the 80s.

 

Edited by Vive_La_Villa
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I love these answers!

I'm nearly 31, so I remember no phones.. although when I was 16 I had my first mobile, with my home number and about 5 others.  So I don't know what it was like going out for a night without a mobile or anything.  I think we always had 2 cars. Dad had a van for the most part. Mom had the family car.  

My dad was telling me hardly anyone had to travel far for work because there were so many factories and stuff around the black country.  As a bricklayer, he, my grandad and their mate used to do quite a lot of travelling for work.. places like bristol and Manchester..  

Living on the edge of the green belt has been weird for my mom.  Houses have just kept creeping into the fields.. new estates etc.

I just think.. there has been no major infrastructure built since I was born around me. No train stations, no motorways.. a small ring road around Halesowen and blackheath is about as good as it's gotten.

Must have been so exciting growing up as it was going up. Proper futuristic stuff!

I say that, but I've got a phone in my pocket that has the internet and I never thought "wow that's incredible!!!".. it just sort of became there and i got one after a while.

I'd love to have a conversation with someone from the dark ages.. can you imagine just how different life would have been day to day?  But living after the war would have been really interesting too I imagine.

Born in 87, it just doesn't seem like much has moved on to be honest. Companies have gotten bigger, the internet is obviously the biggest invention to become available to all during my lifetime, people seem restricted in careers compared to the 80s and 90s from my point of view.  Uni for whoever wants it is probably a great thing to come from the past 30 years.. Not only the rich or incredibly talented like it used to be. 

Thanks for the answers.

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57 minutes ago, lapal_fan said:

Uni for whoever wants it is probably a great thing to come from the past 30 years.. Not only the rich or incredibly talented like it used to be. 

Where on earth did you imagine that happened in the last 30 years. I went to a bog standard comprehensive, finished school in 84 and went to Uni as did literally about 50% of the 6th Form, one even became an MP

Whats happened in the last 20 years or so is that people all go to something called a University, they are exactly the same places as before except you had Universities, Polytechnics, Teacher Training Colleges and FE Colleges. You got a degree at all of them. All that's changed is that they all call themselves Universities. 

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11 hours ago, Shropshire Lad said:

I can remember when all this used to be fields.

I actually got to use this line for real a few years ago when I took MrsVM on a detour round my childhood haunts, showed her the schools I went to and the house I grew up in and things like that (I know, she's so lucky!).

There used to be a field or 3 between the railway lines and our old house and there was a brook that ran through them. That's where the electricity pylons we weren't supposed to climb on were and someone had a donkey in there some of the time. It's more houses and a SPAR now.

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