Geoffrey Shryhane’s Wigan World

Geoffrey Shryhane
Geoffrey Shryhane

IT’S not often I jump for joy. Well, the old legs aren’t quite what they were. Shuffle, perhaps.

But I was pleased, chuffed, delighted when I heard that the government is to take a sledge hammer and ban those life-draining cold callers.

These have been the bane of all our lives for too many years. And as my old editor would have said: “There faces would stand clogging.”

OK, it’s a pity that many cold callers will lose their jobs. But that’s life.

You can bet your bottom dollar that when you’re having a nap, eating your dinner, sorting out the washing, putting the shopping away, or in the smallest room ...

The phone rings. There’s that inevitable three second delay then a voice you can hardly understand starts its spiel.

There must be some nice folks who listen to all this guff and then sign up for new gas central heating, cavity wall insulation or a spiffing new conservatory. And maybe they get great deals filled with sunny satisfaction.

But most folks suffering cold callers are not in that particular camp. Most are annoyed or infuriated.

Some just put down the phone, others retort with language which would never appear on the Wigan World page.

But hang on. **** *** *** *******. There I’ve said it!

By putting strict controls on cold calling, the government is obviously responding to millions of complaints. Excellent. .. it’ll probably win them the election.

But there are some great excuses which stop the cold callers in their tracks...

Sorry, my dog’s just collapsed and died; I’m leaving this house next week; I’m only t’cleaner; and last but not least tell the caller you’ve just been declared bankrupt.

THERE can be little doubt ... kids love chips.

For many nippers, the favourite weekday tea-time menu used to be egg and chips; and sausage and chips; fish fingers and chips; beans and chips and on Friday, chips and chips. All cooked in lard.

Today the black-bottomed chip pan of old doesn’t enjoy the healthiest of reputations, and anyway there are loads of “healthy” ready-made chips in the supermarkets.

Only semi yummy in my view.

It’s true our food views have altered over the years, and to prove the point, here’s a list of 1960s food for your delectation.

Curry was a surname; rice was only eaten in pudding; a big mac was something we wore in the rain; brown bread was only eaten by poor people; oil was for lubrication, fat for cooking.

Sugar enjoyed a good press and brown sugar was viewed with suspicion; cubed sugar was posh; prunes were medicinal; cooking outside was called camping; muesli was readily available and was called cattle feed.

People who bought bottled water were a laughing stock and Indian restaurants were in India.

ONCE upon a time Wigan’s King Street was a fine and respectable thoroughfare.

Walking from the top of the street towards the old town hall, it had a unique atmosphere, with its two cinemas – The Court and the County Playhouse – solicitors’ offices, quiet shops and, of course, the offices of the good old Wigan Examiner.

Further down, the magnificent Hippodrome, the Shakespeare pub and the superb facade of the now gone Town Hall. For years, all was well on King Street.

I don’t have to tell you, dear reader, that all has changed for the worse.

Today some folks think of it as a weekend war zone. It’s knee deep in night clubs. And it’s not the clubs that cause the problems but some of the drunken revellers.

“Violent King Street” ran a heading in last week’s paper and the story told how there are various schemes to bring the brawling under control.

It won’t be an easy job. Some might believe it’s impossible.

The question to be asked is a simple one – why were so many clubs allowed to open on King Street in the first place?

Follow Geoff on Twitter @WiganWorldGeoff