They're gone but not yet forgotten
Our top columnist Geoffrey Shryhane takes a look back at things that were but no longer are...
Gone but not forgotten. It won’t take “My World” readers long to realise that we are aboard the ever busy nostalgia train.
Here’s remembering the once familiar things which were familiar parts of our lives, but we didn’t miss their absence until they had been well and truly consigned to history.
Whatever happened to:
BOBBIES ON THE BEAT: The youngsters of today will find it difficult to imagine coppers parading their authority up and down our main and side streets.
These were the days when a common ditty was, “When you want to know the time, ask a policemen.”
There sauntering presence reassured people that all was well. They were there to give advice and to warn of danger.
One story goes that during one bone-chillingly bitter winter, the on-duty officers were given mugs of hot chocolate, dispensed by colleagues in police cars.
BUS CONDUCTORS: No car? Well the only option was to travel by bus and whatever folks say, our bus services are second to none.
But gone are the days when buses had both a driver and a conductor. The conductor was the chap with the little ticket machine and money bag who took the fares whilst the driver got on with his vital driving job.
But come the day, the bus big wigs decided that the driver could do both jobs and vast numbers of “clippies” as they were called were made redundant. The one person operation became the norm and the last conductors took fares almost 30 years ago.
FREE SCHOOL MILK: That little bottle of milk was part of school children’s lives for decades.
It was too warm in summer and frozen solid in winter. And kids either loved or hated it. But Margaret Thatcher “the milk snatcher” decided, well her government did, that it was no longer necessary.
MRS DALE’S DIARY: This popular radio programme about the life of a doctor’s wife captivated millions on the radio each and every day.
It ran from 1948 until 1969, finally being taken off the air as “too old fashioned”.
POLICE WHISTLES: We all remember the image of policemen chasing criminals and furiously blowing on their whistles.
In fact, every bobby had to have a whistle by law. But the increasing amount of traffic in urban areas made them all but inaudible.
NATIONAL SERVICE: In the year of the Queen’s coronation, the thought of “doing national service” was on every young man’s mind.
Some looked forward to it while others saw it as like getting a death sentence.
At the time every young fella between the ages of 18 and 21 was expected to serve in the armed forces for two years and they remain on the reserve list for three years.
For more memories and musings from Geoffrey Shryhane, buy the Wigan Observer, out every Tuesday.