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No Comparison

It seems to me that  the limited social networking opportunities available to most youngsters in the 1950s compare very unfavourably with the present situation. To be fair we did have the church youth club and its table tennis and soft drink facility, not to mention the opportunity to talk to that strange species called ‘girls’. Youth club girls were non threatening and gentle as they gazed at the little white ball that pinged and ponged. Furthermore a certain kind of boy, together with mates of the same ilk, would chase a leather ball up and down the Bracken Court pitch and pretend to be Len Shackleton or Jackie Milburn. Me? I was tough tackling Glynn Davies, a then notable Derby defender.We might also have played snooker in Durham City and I believe Alan Burn enjoyed doing that.

Men had it better: dogs, pigeons and working club pints were some of their well established hobbies, but we had not yet crossed the line into family responsibility and taken the too often stultifying jobs, many of which were  dangerous if you lived in a mining community.

In 2011 there is the expectation of being in secondary education until the age of 18, or its equivalent, and quite often that is extended into ‘Uni’; it brings huge opportunities for social interaction and friendship with fellow students. Texting, Facebook and twittering give the opportunity to cement that freshly created network of friends and it  can enable youngsters [if not seriously sidetracked] to work through the complexities that often accompany adolescence. The prize at the end of the process was, and still is, a  mature outlook, true friends and an all round personality that can lead to greater things – if the desire is there.

But many of us – of 50s vintage –  got through despite the ridiculous educational system that labelled 75% of us as factory fodder. We were able to laugh, twist like we did last summer, snog, pick blackberries for pie and enjoy Pepsi Cola accompanied by Cliff Richard or Elvis. I was a Cliff man but I reckon Neil Davies was right to plump for Elvis.


Categories: Memories
  1. harry
    February 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    i know which era i would rather be brought up in wilf,having a walk round the college on a sunday morning with my father looking for golf balls and going back home to my sundays dinner which my mother had ready for us,going up the quarry picking blackberries which i used to sell sometimes to joe lowery for 5 bob a can,or going down the beck fishing for minnos by the old pump house or if we were realy lucky cat fish,then when i left school in 64 getting a job at neashams and sometimes before going to work going up the quarry or the colliery yard with my gun to try and bag a rabbit which i used to sell at work for another 5 bob.i dont think many kids of today know how to enjoy themselves through no fault of there own,i just think they are battery bred, computers, televisions, and mobil phones in there bedrooms.dont know how we managed without them.

  2. wilfb
    February 3, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Thanks for your colourful and interesting response Harry. Yes the young can get too hung up on their gadgets and by doing so miss out on the simple, yet pleasurable, sides to life.

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