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trastrick

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  1. Sorted as usual, by our resident antiquarian! Thanks Hillbro.
  2. I think they were called "bottlies" because I believe they originated as some kind of bottle stoppers on some old bottles. But that was even before my time!
  3. Spring was a wonderful time for kids. On some kind of unwritten schedule, whips and tops appeared, hopscotch squares were drawn ont' causey, mabs came out, touch burners were made, plastic wire bracelets, kick the can (an early mating ritual), blue bell picking, and there was pancake day and hot cross buns. Rinse and repeat.
  4. I don't think anybody has mentioned that the big mabs were called "bottlies" or "glassies" and were banned from games where precious blood allys were used. No stonks, no bottlies, no ballbarians.
  5. In many sports there is a key player who's performance dictates the outcome. In the NFL it's the quarterback, in baseball the pitcher, in cricket the bowler, in soccer the goalkeeper. Regardles of how the team play, he can win or lose the game. I'm surprised that nobody mentions the only difference betweeen last year and this year's record can be put down to one player - Henderson! The rest of the gnashing of teeth and attempted "analysis" is all just noise.
  6. I have the same memories from Heeley. We were 'poor' but never allowed to complain. We were told that people were starving all over the world, and they were. We saw it in the magazines and National Geographic, from Africa (hottentots and pygmies) Russia (sod houses) Even Holland had rural sod houses, and of course China, when the monsoon failed. Se we grew up thinking we were lucky to be Brits, instead of feeling sorry for ourselves. But kids today have lost touch with reality.
  7. Touch burners have an ancient origin. They also had an important function for early man. Before we had matches, they were the containers used to carry fire from place to place, as tribes wandered and hunted and gathered. They were containers designed to carry important essential commodity, fire! And like water, oil and and food containers, were both artfully and functionally designed. The lore of making them was passed down through generations, to us kids, like bows and arrows, fishing poles, staffs, whips, clubs, cudgels, and spears. We made all these as kids from river banks and local woods, and we are probably the last generation to do so in the civilized world.
  8. A liitle trivia. On afternoon, I'm in a hotel bar in Toronto, and the old guy on the next stool is Johnny Dankworth. The bartender introduces us. A very friendly guy. We had a great conversation about 50's bands, and all his friends in the business. It was like our old wireless had come alive. Then in comes his wife. She's anxious to get him away, and not at all interested in our trip down memory lane. He tells her to relax, there's plenty of time to kill. But she's not used to being ignored, she is a Diva, and the conversation was not about her. She comes back again and glares at me, and finally drags him away. Dame Cleo Lane. I felt a little sorry for him, a great guy! RIP Sir Johnny!
  9. In the 40's and 50s we learned a lot of life skills, from our elders. Shoe repairing, dying, woodworking, metal working, soldering, plumbing, darning, sewing, patching, knitting, gardening, cooking, baking, ginger beer making, wallpapering, painting, cement mixing, plastering, garden wall and fence building. Most of our toys were home made. Sledges, 4 wheelers, bagatelle boards, crib boards, kaleidascopes and many more. With a few tools, glues, sealants and stuff I can still do a lot of minor repairs around the house.
  10. I had a put together bike that only had one high gear cog on the back wheel. Hard work pedaling on the flat, and impossible to ride up even a small slope. Often wondered where and why it came from. Possibly a racing bike? We went through two stages "doing a bike up". First we loaded it up with fancy shiny new accessories from the bike shop, dynamoes, lucas lamps, a bell, mudguards, a carrier, pump, saddle bag, even a rear view mirror. And those cool transfers. Then, at some point we tried to lighten it, stripping it down to bare necessities. even taking off the front breaks. There was the little finger test, all our neighborhood bikes were subjected to. If you couldn't lift it off the ground with your little finger, it was too heavy! Kept us busy, I suppose!
  11. How about the infamous Wiggy's Royal? Not a cool bike at the time. We all wanted a Raleigh!
  12. Not much money around after the war, so we collected stuff that was free. Cigarette cards, bird's eggs (illegal now), shiny objects from magpie's nests, train spotting, and we all had a scrapbook. where we pasted newspaper and magazine photos that we thought would be gone forever, if we didn't save them to look back on. Lol And, of course the autograph book, where my aunt wrote on the first page, "By hook or by crook, I'll be first in this book!" My love was cigarette packages, and the search for them took us far and wide. A great source for the rare ones were the train stations where visitors up from London and far off places would drop them in the litter boxes. A platform ticket was a great investment, for train spotting too. A whole day of fun. Now it's so easy to collect digital images off the internet. I have all the main brands smoked in the 1940's. Each brand, like Players and Woodbines had many versions of their packets, all with slight and not easily spotted differences. I've managed to collect them all, except for the elusive Joy Stick, which has totally disappeared, apparently. My grandfather had a half dozen well worn books on his dresser that I read and reread as a kid. I managed to pick up the originals from boot sales, antique shops, and E Bay. I also have an almost complete collection of all the movies I saw at the Heeley Green, Palace, Coliseum and Carlton, from 10 years of cinema going twice a week. Including the shorts. My childhood memories still live!
  13. In polite company the were called "french letters". We called them the generic durex. But getting your first made to measure suit was a rite of passage for a young working lad. Got mine at 16 from Maclin's, top of the Wicker. First selecting the material, crumpled it up in your hand to see if it easily creased. Only ever having one suit, I chose charcoal grey. Took it outside to see how it looked in the sun, looked like medium grey, good enough for a day in Blackpool, then in the dark it looked black, good for the Locarno and City Hall. Then the measuring, then the 2 or three meticulous fittings, and in 3 or 4 weeks, bingo. Ordered extra pants, and glad I did, because that suit took me through some great teenage times!
  14. Among others, those who do not have to take personal responsibility if things **** up?
  15. Imagine a new campus. The buildings are laid out. The spaces are filled with grass and trees, and flower beds. The walkways between them are geometrically paved, according to the approved plan. It is found that people will not restrict themselves to the walkways, and even ignore the ever present ominous "Do Not" signs, especially when it's raining. so muddy shortcuts are routinely made. The maintenance staff are permanently employed in replacing worn grass, flower beds and dying trees. Then imagine the same scenario, leaving out the walkways, just the grass. Eventually the worn walking routes become clear, and that's where they put the walkways, then the flower beds and trees, once and done. An example of top down planning by committee vs bottom up, common sense planning, by any experienced gardener.
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