Times forgotten (1)

Often, when I’m musing about the way things are, I wonder what my grandmother, born in 1899, would have thought about….. whatever!
I am lucky, she left quiet a lot of musings and thoughts and memories, in diaries and an exercise book of remembrances where she begins, ‘I was born at a very early age.’ She goes on to tell of the young men marching off to war through the middle of Liverpool in 1914 and to tell of her first experiences of being a telephonist in George Henry Lee’s shop in Liverpool. It was all new technology back then.
I don’t feel old ……yet……but I think about things that I’ve seen and done. I think that all these little events, mundane at the time, will become a forgotten thing, designated to the recycle bin of our lives, fragments of social history, the fun of events passed.
Here’s a remembered fragment, a sunny moment in time, innocent, before Health and Safety and fear of grown-ups became a part of the collective consciousness.
We had a milkman, Mr Chaffer, who used to deliver milk in the Yorkshire of the ’50s. At the end of his round he used to call us all from where we were playing out, unsupervised, on the crescent where we lived. Any of us children who were playing out at the time (we were always playing out, if the weather allowed) would climb up on his cart and have a ride around to the bottom of the crescent where he would tell us to get off home. We’d run up the hill, giggling and laughing, safe as houses and go to outside the watchful windows, where we continued playing. There weren’t many cars in those days. It was about 1955 I think, our Mums were mostly at home, keeping an eye on us all from time to time. I’m on the left of the photo, my brother is on the right, I still remember the names and the characters of those friends, although we left that area in 1958.
We learned how to get along together, how to plan adventures, how to get up and play on when we fell and how to imagine games, imagine situations, imagine stories. We developed independence, imagination and resilience.
I know many of us remember childhoods through rose-tinted memories. It did rain, one boy in the road wore callipers because of polio and had a bad limping walk, we didn’t have a lot of pocket money and had to walk to school. We did have fun though.



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