Author Topic: Nostalgia, aint what it used to be  (Read 2785 times)

Langstraat

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Nostalgia, aint what it used to be
« on: August 28, 2006, 09:01:36 PM »
Carrying on with the nautical theme (eventually). I lived in Great Barr but went to school in West Bromwich (Yam yam land) I loved my period at Churchfields School it was one of the countries first comprehensives. I enjoyed cycling and once rode with Tommy Simpson at the Bromford Lane track. He gave everyone a half lap lead and still beat us comfortably. During my churchfield period I was a member of the Stonehouse gang (I think Frankie Vaughn had a connection) I can't remember what the purpose or aim was but I joined like others in my class because our school tutor told us about the exciting events which took place; now this was at a time when the choices for young adolescence was quite limited. You could progress from the cubs to the scouts but you still had to wear shorts, which defined you as a kid as indeed we were. The other option was to join the BB?s The Boys Brigade but you would probably end up with a trumpet and we all knew that would blow your cheeks out like a glass blower and that would never do. My housemaster Mr. Phelps lived in a big posh house and about a dozen of us would go on a Wednesday night. It wouldn't be allowed now but then it was fine. The mass hysteria, which we live with, hadn't been blown out of proportions then. Mr. Phelps took us camping to the Clent Hills we cooked on an open fire and had great fun doing things that lads liked to do, we had catapults which we tried to harvest rabbits with but after the outbreak of myxomatosis they were in short supply and seldom seen. We went bird nesting and laid grass snares. We weren?t very successfully at foraging but the farmer whose field we used supplied us with a chicken in exchange for some hedge maintenance. Ever tasted a fresh chicken cooked on an open fire? Hmmm nice.
The best event was when we went on the training ship Foudrouant. It was moored in Portsmouth harbour, a huge wooden hulk which had been Nelson's Flag ship. We slept in hammocks and tied knots, learn the basis of navigation and other things which are a distant memory. I think most of the other lads were from London's East End; they were a rough lot even worse than the boys from Hamstead. ;D† The highlight was being split into two watches and sailing to the Isle of Wight. Half rowed in 12/16 men? boats and the other half sailed. The idea was that we would land at Ryde spend a few hours there then swap over for the trip back to Portsmouth. Our watch sailed out of the shelter of the harbour well in front of the 4 rowing boats, that was until the wind dropped and we were becalmed. The boats soon caught us up and jeered us as they sped by rowing in unison. A mist descended and the officer whose care we were in took on a concerned frown as a deep single note was heard through the fog. This bellow became louder, a ship was negotiating the Solent on its way out into the open channel and we were in its way. The fog horn became louder and the engine could be heard as it came to-wards us. We were all quiet at this stage frighteningly so when without warning the boat started to rise out of the water as H.M.S. Britannia slipped by its wake lifted and tossed us about like a cork, what with the fright and nervous anticipation some of us lent over the side and expelled our fried breakfasts, bits of egg whites, tomato skins and baked beans. As the ship passed it seemed to take the mist with it and shortly afterwards the sails fluttered into action we didn?t catch the rowing boats up but came in 15 minutes afterwards safe in the thought that at least we would row back with a higher degree of control and that the first ones back got the choice of toast or jam ?pieces? for tea.† I had a wonderfall childhood and loved every minute of school.† ;)


Never argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and try to beat you with experience.

john2000

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Re: Nostalgia, aint what it used to be
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2006, 09:51:52 PM »
Hi"Langstraat, I can image the deep fear of not knowing what was ahead, and a complete sence of loss, every thing was put out of your hands all you could do is wait and watch, (and the fear which seems to last forever ) I've been in one or two situations like that and I know what fear is, lets say I was very, very worried at the time.
My job took me around most of Africa, any way to cut a long story short, I was flying back from Tchad to Cameroon in a small red cross single engine plane, as we arrived over Cameroon there was low cloud, thick storm clouds, they were at 3.000feet, and just to the south of the širport"was a 3.500 foot mountain, which we could not see, we went round for a while hoping that there would be a hole in the cloud which we could go through, we looked and looked nothing, now thats was the problem as like you you could not see the danger, all the pilot was saying was, "I think its over there some where", and that made us feel much better , ha,  just then we found a hole in the clouds, and we just droped through, we could see the ground, it was a beutifull sight to see. as we came through the cloud we could see the mountain, it was about 10kms away. ok, but it could have been 10 metres away............John 2000 ;D

Growing old is mandatory..........Growing up is optional

john2000

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Re: Nostalgia, aint what it used to be
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2006, 09:53:19 PM »
Hi"Langstraat, you must live in my part of the world. A.U.B  John 2000 ???
Growing old is mandatory..........Growing up is optional

Langstraat

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Re: Nostalgia, aint what it used to be
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2006, 10:11:43 PM »
Hi John, Don't be mislead by the name. I have no connection with Holland. It's a long story.
 I was adopted and choose to use the name of a mother I never met.
I agree that the fear of being in someone else's hands is much greater than that of being in control of ones destiny.  I've always had a problem with being told what to do and how to do it. I wont listen and re invent the wheel over and over (always a little better) I like it in my world.
Never argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and try to beat you with experience.

john2000

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Re: Nostalgia, aint what it used to be
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2006, 10:45:06 PM »
Hi"Langstraat, I know just what you mean.  ;D
Growing old is mandatory..........Growing up is optional

john2000

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Re: Nostalgia, aint what it used to be
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2006, 10:47:50 PM »
Langstraat, some times I have to tell some one to do something, and when they pull a face, I just tell them, "my way or the highway"they get the message fast,
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Langstraat

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High Tea late 1950ís
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2006, 06:15:29 PM »
High Tea late 1950?s

If we were having visitors (a rare occurrence) My Mom would sometimes prepare a high Sunday tea which consisted of sandwiches cut in diagonal triangles.
She would use thin sliced white bread and spread Co-op butter from a shaped patted block. The fillings (pre fridge days) were usually from tins: - red salmon with a dash of vinegar salt 'n' pepper. (White pepper then) Tinned ham and a small tin of tongue sometimes even Pilchards that were mashed in their tomato juice.
She would prepare some cucumber in a shallow dish smothered in vinegar, a few tomatoes, some wilted lettuce, a few hard boiled eggs sliced using that egg slicer thing that every one had, some celery sticks with the string still attached and a few spring onions. There were side dishes of Gran?s home made pickled onions and red cabbage and a jar of that stuff that looked like cat sick (Piccalilli)
There was usually a block of cheddar which had had the rind cut off and was given to the dog and some Dairylea triangles for me. Heinz Salad cream was a luxury and strictly for grown ups. After the savory selection came the sweet selection, which you couldn't?t have unless you?d eaten what you?d been given before hand. You could have Fruitcake, scones or Malt loaf. There was tinned fruit salad or sliced peaches for those who weren?t concerned about what was going on in South African both were served with Plumrose tinned cream. Sometimes there was an individual jelly or a blancmange for me if we had enough milk, if all else failed instead of banana sandwiches I could have sliced banana and custard.
For special occasions Mom would make a Trifle; Moms trifle was why I loved Mom so much it was wonderful and would keep me quiet afterwards in a stupefied state especially after seconds or thirds. My sister still tries to make a trifle like Mom for me but fails miserably every time. My brother and I still eat it out of courtesy and leave the dish clean so that we don?t upset her.
Mom would open the china cabinet and place her favourite cups and saucers in readiness. The cups were so light they could have made of plastic, the porcelain was so fine you could see through it. Mom always kept the one with the crack for herself and would cup it in her hand instead of through the dainty little finger hole for some reason. The canteen of cutlery which had been a wedding anniversary gift and stood in the front room would have the tablecloth removed from it and with a deft movement my Dad would get the key, which was hidden from little prying hands in the Toby Jug on the top shelf; which was difficult for me to get to without climbing on the back of the settee.
Occasionally we would sometimes have a Crab or a few pints of mussels.† Mom would leave them overnight in the big cauldron filled with water and a handful of oats.
I liked our teas together on Sunday nights. The TV used to go off between 6 and 7;† I?m not sure now whether the TV service actually went off or whether Dad just turned it off for the duration of the Glory hour.
Never argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down to their level and try to beat you with experience.

Scipio

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Re: Nostalgia, aint what it used to be
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 10:03:13 PM »

Carrying on with the nautical theme (eventually). I lived in Great Barr but went to school in West Bromwich (Yam yam land) I loved my period at Churchfields School it was one of the countries first comprehensives. I enjoyed cycling and once rode with Tommy Simpson at the Bromford Lane track. He gave everyone a half lap lead and still beat us comfortably. During my churchfield period I was a member of the Stonehouse gang (I think Frankie Vaughn had a connection) I can't remember what the purpose or aim was but I joined like others in my class because our school tutor told us about the exciting events which took place; now this was at a time when the choices for young adolescence was quite limited. You could progress from the cubs to the scouts but you still had to wear shorts, which defined you as a kid as indeed we were. The other option was to join the BB?s The Boys Brigade but you would probably end up with a trumpet and we all knew that would blow your cheeks out like a glass blower and that would never do. My housemaster Mr. Phelps lived in a big posh house and about a dozen of us would go on a Wednesday night. It wouldn't be allowed now but then it was fine. The mass hysteria, which we live with, hadn't been blown out of proportions then. Mr. Phelps took us camping to the Clent Hills we cooked on an open fire and had great fun doing things that lads liked to do, we had catapults which we tried to harvest rabbits with but after the outbreak of myxomatosis they were in short supply and seldom seen. We went bird nesting and laid grass snares. We weren?t very successfully at foraging but the farmer whose field we used supplied us with a chicken in exchange for some hedge maintenance. Ever tasted a fresh chicken cooked on an open fire? Hmmm nice.
The best event was when we went on the training ship Foudrouant. It was moored in Portsmouth harbour, a huge wooden hulk which had been Nelson's Flag ship. We slept in hammocks and tied knots, learn the basis of navigation and other things which are a distant memory. I think most of the other lads were from London's East End; they were a rough lot even worse than the boys from Hamstead. ;D   The highlight was being split into two watches and sailing to the Isle of Wight. Half rowed in 12/16 men? boats and the other half sailed. The idea was that we would land at Ryde spend a few hours there then swap over for the trip back to Portsmouth. Our watch sailed out of the shelter of the harbour well in front of the 4 rowing boats, that was until the wind dropped and we were becalmed. The boats soon caught us up and jeered us as they sped by rowing in unison. A mist descended and the officer whose care we were in took on a concerned frown as a deep single note was heard through the fog. This bellow became louder, a ship was negotiating the Solent on its way out into the open channel and we were in its way. The fog horn became louder and the engine could be heard as it came to-wards us. We were all quiet at this stage frighteningly so when without warning the boat started to rise out of the water as H.M.S. Britannia slipped by its wake lifted and tossed us about like a cork, what with the fright and nervous anticipation some of us lent over the side and expelled our fried breakfasts, bits of egg whites, tomato skins and baked beans. As the ship passed it seemed to take the mist with it and shortly afterwards the sails fluttered into action we didn?t catch the rowing boats up but came in 15 minutes afterwards safe in the thought that at least we would row back with a higher degree of control and that the first ones back got the choice of toast or jam ?pieces? for tea.  I had a wonderfall childhood and loved every minute of school.  ;)


I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments and envy your experience, great times indeed

countrylad

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Re: Nostalgia, aint what it used to be
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 11:19:36 PM »
This does ring a bell with me too. I rescued the China cabinet in he early 80's, it was about to be thrown out by my aunt. It takes pride and place in a room I have in my place for times that are special like Sunday high tea ( but we never have high tea).


Nan had a bottle of McEnzies Smelling salts in the china cabinet along with a bottle of 4711. 


One thing that really stands out is the table cloth. It was almost velvet to the touch, nan had a dark red and a brown one they had gold pin striping in squares. The tea service was 'Moss Rose' I still have this. It came out at funerals!   


I almost forgot the tin of salmon, mixed with vingar, yeuk, those crunchy bones.....