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soft ayperth

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  1. Remember the TV ads for Mackeson's stout? A bunch of footballers playing like \they're sleep walking. Someone shouts "Mackeson" and they spring to life. We used to shout "Mackeson " from the Kop to wake the Owls up. Maybe they should try it with the present crew.
  2. Mackeson was a popular milk stout in those days. I visited (I live in Canada) Sheffield several years ago, walked into a bar and asked for a Mackeson. He looked at me like I was barmy. "Blimey. Where have you been all these years?" he asked, as though I'd just been released from prison. How was I to know it is either not made at all anymore or hardly ever drunk?
  3. I attended S Uni from 1961-8. I visited the Student Union Building several years ago and didn't recognize any of it. I played trumpet for a jazz band called the Addy Street Five. I remember us playing as the opening act for the Dutch Swing College Band. Bands played in a part of the S Union complex called University House. It contained a large ground floor space overlooked by a balcony. Railings on two sides, so spectators could look down. Maybe it was the refectory, but I don't remember that. Rolf Harris also performed there while I was a student.
  4. Aren't leeches coming back into usage for certain medical conditions nowadays?
  5. In the early '60s the premises of the old CGS on Leopold St, which were vacant as the school had moved to Stradbroke Rd, were used by Sheffield university students to store copies of the Twikker, the off-colour rag week magazine. I used to pick them up from there and then stand outside Walsh's shouting "Come buy your Twikker."
  6. I also learned through Bert Fell's school. Instructor was a guy called George. I passed on my 3rd attempt in a Morris Minor.
  7. I remember my first visit to a dentist was under the NHS at a clinic at Manor Top--early '50s. A woman used a foot pedal driven machine to drill one of my teeth. It was a slow grind and so painful I said to my mum afterwards that I'd never go to a dentist again. I did, because I found one working outside the NHS system. Btw did you know that in those days they used cocaine as a local anesthetic?
  8. And "please may I leave the table" at our house. Not a bad thing, considering the way kids nowadays roam around the table while everyone else is eating as though it were irrelevant.
  9. I wonder whether in the early days it ever was referred to as a "charabanc?" Like a "bus" used to be called an "omnibus?"
  10. By coincidence I was invited to speak at a book reading event in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, where I live. With the theme of mental illness in mind, I chose a passage from my book about my experience in the 1960s as a patient in the Middlewood Hospital. A short excerpt: "Known as the lunatic asylum, its fortress-like complex of Victorian-era brick buildings looked more like a prison than a hospital. Patients were known to have entered Middlewood and never come out again...It didn’t take me long after entering the ward to which I was assigned to realize that I was about to be incarcerated, not healed. A cavernous, rectangular shaped room containing three long rows of beds, all neatly made like one might find in a military camp. I was shown to my bed, but immediately told that I must not sit on it. “No sittin on t'beds allowed,” growled the male orderly, who was decked out in his white tunic and slacks. “Ey you, gerroff that bed,” he barks to someone who has caught his eye resting his arse on that which is forbidden. So, among the beds, bedraggled specimens of humanity drag themselves around, their faces downcast to the floor, killing time. At the end of this dormitory, there is a small room with a few scattered, dilapidated old chairs that were losing stuffing from their cushioning. There is a snooker table in the middle of the room, but nobody is bothering to use it. The daily drill starts at 6 a.m. as the fluorescent overhead lighting is turned on and one of the orderlies screams “Gerrup. Line up for pills.” I have not been prescribed any pills because the medics are afraid that I might prove to be allergic to them. So, I am a patient under detention in the most horrible of surroundings without any drugs to numb the senses or heal the neurones. But I still have to get out of bed. Then make it, stand beside it, and have it checked over by the men in white to make sure every crease is in its proper place. “Tha can do a better job er foldin that top bedsheet. Do it o’er again.” And Good Morning to you, too, I think. .." After a few days of this torturous environment, I had had enough... I asked to see the psychiatrist who was supposed to be caring for me. It was the one and only time I was to see the guy. “I'm feelin much better now. Think I can go ome now,” I say to him. “Are you sure?” “Oh yes. This place has really helped me appreciate what I have out there,” I say to him, tongue planted firmly in cheek. “Well, if you need any further help, don't hesitate to contact us, will you?”
  11. We had a TV with a shilling in the slot mode. Half way through a program, it would cut out and everybody would have to search their pockets for another shilling.
  12. As a young kid used to live almost next door to them on Talbot Place. Used to visit an old man in there who kept a big parrot. That would be in the late '40s.
  13. It's of French origin. Literally means a carriage with benches. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/charabanc
  14. Here's an extract from my book (memoir): "As was customary, the opening to the university year started in October with the Rag Parade—a Mardi Gras-style procession of floats and marchers, carried out by students dressed up in bizarre costumes. The parade, along with the events and pranks that the students carried out around the city in the week preceding it, were done to raise money for charities. One highlight of Rag Week was a beer race, in which the course consisted of a circuit of pubs, each a pit stop where a pint of ale had to be consumed. Then, there was a balloon race, in which members of the public paid to have gas-filled balloons launched, the one that travelled the farthest winning a prize for the purchaser. The Beatnik Ball, held at the City Hall, was for genuine beatniks as well as those who wanted to imitate the genre. Just before the 1961 parade, the students pushed the envelope a little far when they kidnapped two Sheffield United football players, Joe and Graham Shaw, and held them overnight at one of the students' residences. The police were briefly involved in enabling the players to be released without charges being pressed. The parade began on Western Bank at the university and wound its way downtown to the Town Hall, where the Lord Mayor stood proudly to greet it. People lined the streets and threw coins at the floats, all the monies going to charity. One float was fashioned as a Trojan Horse, another a Mississippi river steamer; one carried a mediaeval catapult, yet another offered a variety of goods, including a “do-it-yourself slave girl kit.” People were dressed up as doctors, nurses, ballet dancers, hockey players, Arab sheiks, and naturally, as beatniks... I stood outside Walsh’s store, went around the pubs, selling copies of the Twikker, a racy magazine put out by the students."
  15. I may already have posted this on here. I didn't go through all 46 pages. I played trumpet/ cornet in a trad jazz band called the Addy Street Five back in the '60s. It was a university jazz band. We did well in the national competition of university jazz bands. Played around some of the pubs, mostly at dances ('hops') organized by various sections of the university. We made an LP and an EP and someone from the Alumni Office of Sheff Univ contacted me a couple of years or so back as they were going to use one of our old records for a fundraising campaign. Don't know what happened to that idea. Lost track of all my mates in the band after I emigrated to Canada a zillion years ago.
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