Sixty Years On.

Hello Folks,

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Today began mysteriously.

I woke to a real fog.

There was nothing much to be seen outside at all, just the faintest outline of the big tree near the patio wall.

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When it is like that it is not hard to imagine the feel of London, during the time of  Jack The Ripper’s reign of savagery.

Imagine walking around the streets of Whitechapel, unable to see a thing until  someone was right upon you.

Very strange, and I suppose that the fog must have been stinking too, from all the chimneys smoking away merrily.

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Funny to think that the London Smog must have seemed quite unavoidable, and a forever fact of life back then, because how could life go on without smoke!

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They probably could not see any end to the horse shit in the streets either.

In fact, they no doubt expected to finally be smothered in the stuff, because there would be more and more people wanting a carriage and all the other kinds of delivery vehicles too.

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I expect that it is the same nowadays.

We fondly imagine that this IS modern life, yet in twenty or thirty years human invention  will have moved on, and what we think of as necessity today will seem just archaic and primitive.

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How could I, as a child just after the war, have foreseen the changes that would take place in my own life span.

Cars were rare, we travelled on trams around the local town centre.

Every Sunday afternoon we kids would gather in our street to watch the Salvation Army Band.

They would go around the area all day and stop every now and again to gather into a circle, play their brass instruments, and sing hymns.

They wore navy uniforms and hats.  Military caps for the men and quaint old fashioned bonnets for the women, all tied in a rather pretty bow under their chins, (only the womens’ hats of course…none of that other stuff then)

At some point one of them would preach for a short time, before they knocked on the doors, to shake their tins and ask for a donation of money.

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We would follow them around for a while until they got too far away from home, or we got bored with it all.

You must remember that, tame as it seems, it created a bit of excitement, as we had no televisions or telephones then, and nothing much happened at all.

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There also used to be a ‘rag and bone’ man who came around with a horse and cart regularly.

Our mothers would give him bits and pieces, sometimes getting a few pennies from him, and sometimes he would give you a bag with a goldfish in it instead.

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There might even be a bit more excitement as we watched men who had a small bit of front garden, rush out with a coal shovel to gather up any horse poo that had been deposited upon the road.

The one who was first would smirk triumphantly at the slower males, and then stalk away with his treasure.

Waste not want not!!

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Talking about that, there is one Warburton’s Potato Pancake left this morning, and I have decided not to waste it.

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And another nice cup of tea would not go amiss either.

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You should be so lucky,

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Have a good one.

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Jaksie

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