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Is The Future Not Always Brighter?

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crustytv
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What happened, why is it the past to me is more attractive than the present or the potential dystopian future we face. Am I alone in this feeling? I certainly think and feel my parents lived through better years. I shudder to think what they would make of "Modern 21st century life". Though I miss them dearly at least they were spared growing old in "our time".

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Topic starter Posted : 07/10/2020 2:42 pm
Nuvistor
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Well the 70’s for me were very difficult, probably many others had the same feeling, the 80’s onwards were fine for myself but the 80’s for some were as bad as the 70’s.

We probably all have a favourite time, for me the 50’s were great but I was just a youngster with no worries apart from how long I could stay out playing.

At the moment even with Covid-19 I am content, roof over my head, food on the table and the house dry and warm, although I definitely don’t want to catch the virus, just try to keep myself safe without cutting myself off completely.

I will watch the video tonight, probably better than the TV, and then there is the link David posted, William Dawson symphony so that’s my entertainment for this evening.

Thinking about my parents my dad would have certainly enjoyed the latest technology, internet, DAB etc.

 

 

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Posted : 07/10/2020 3:08 pm
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @crustytv

why is it the past to me is more attractive than the present or the potential dystopian future we face.

Because by choosing the bits we like from the past, we can control that environment.

We have no control over the future. 

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Posted : 07/10/2020 5:28 pm
peterscott
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Like Frank I was just a child through the 1950s. I can't say I particularly liked that decade. I was rubbish at school and the school wrote me off as a bad job but latterly a form master belted me into working and I left with 10 "O" levels and did a couple of years as an engineering apprentice at Ferranti Ltd before going to university. After that life was a general mix of ups and downs but I certainly think that my generation had an easier time than kids starting out today and that even if you take Covid out of the equation. Why was it better? Well, jobs were much easier to get and wage inflation meant that taking out loans for house purchase or whatever was just wonderful because your debts just melted away. I got a good job as an electronic design engineer when I left university in 1971 and continued to work for the same company until I retired. I went through a number of stressful times and was tempted to accept a number of job offers that I got but each time this happened I would find that the period of stress had passed by the time my wife and I had investigated what were often far away moves some abroad. The first time I got stressed because aspects of my designs were preventing product shipment was at the time that Rolls Royce were trying to get the RB211 engine into production and I can remember thinking that my stresses were just so trivial by comparison. I was also fortunate that I lived through a period of high growth for the company I worked for and some of the products I worked on made good money and I did share in the benefits. I think I was very lucky to live through a period with no wars to fight and an amazing period of technological growth. I suspect my grandchildren will have much harder lives.

Peter

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Posted : 07/10/2020 5:30 pm
crustytv
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Hi Peter, you've succinctly summed up the point I failed to get across. ?

I was a mere boy in the 70's so insulated but aware our "poor man of Europe state" by the end. I started work in the 80's and prospered in IT for 30 years then left the rat race. I feel by the 90's the rot had crept in. Post 2000, a dramatic slide to the bottom, the pace of which gathers yearly with intensity. 

Just my slant, no doubt others may feel different.

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Topic starter Posted : 07/10/2020 6:18 pm
Katie Bush
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There is here I think, a very real danger of "Opticus Rosa Tintum". At a time when people worked in lethal occupations with scant regard for safety. Occupational health problems were rife, and medical science was nothing near as advanced as it is today - life expectancy was much shorter, and many diseases that were not treatable back then, are wholly survivable today.

As dystopian as the future may appear, the past wasn't always that good, and I still remember winters in our first two houses, no central heating, everyone crammed into the living room, to huddle around an open fire. A trip to the loo was like Scott crossing the Antarctic, and still can hear my dad shouting after me as I ran up the stairs to the bathroom . . . "Will you shut that bloody door after you?! . . ." (living room door). Then there was the judicious use of the old paraffin heater we used to "take the chill off the air" for a half hour before being bundled off to bed, hot water bottles already tucked up under the covers. There was a fireplace in my bedroom, but only ever had a fire in it when you were ill!

Not everyone had a modern, comfortable car, and we used rattle about and freeze in the back of my dad's old van, and the idea of helicopters and 'air taxis'? Pipe dreams of the folk who could afford them, and they were absolutely in the minority - How many thousands to buy and fly that helicopter? When most working class men earned less than £1k a year - Opticus Rosa Tintum on the patio of the West wing I'm afraid.

I'm afraid, it's a case of the human propensity to remember the best bits, and block out the parts we didn't enjoy.

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Posted : 07/10/2020 9:44 pm
sideband
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Posted by: @nuvistor

Thinking about my parents my dad would have certainly enjoyed the latest technology, internet, DAB etc.

Snap! My dad loved technology. He was a skilled mechanic but appreciated all types of technology. He would have loved mobile phones and as an avid news follower would have delighted in the fact that the smartphone could have carried the latest news in his pocket. 

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Posted : 07/10/2020 11:05 pm
sideband
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Posted by: @katie-bush

Then there was the judicious use of the old paraffin heater we used to "take the chill off the air" for a half hour before being bundled off to bed, hot water bottles already tucked up under the covers. There was a fireplace in my bedroom, but only ever had a fire in it when you were ill!

I'm afraid, it's a case of the human propensity to remember the best bits, and block out the parts we didn't enjoy.

Yes .....the old Alladin heater...and being sent to the local garage to get a (not quite) gallon of paraffin from the machine when it was suddenly realised that we were down to our last half-gallon after the ironmongers had shut. Garages weren't 24 hours then so no alternative but the machine. I think a full gallon was 3 shillings but the machine only took half-crowns so not quite a gallon was delivered...and if the nearest machine was empty (which happened during very cold spells), the next one was across the common to the Esso garage, not so bad since the can was empty and you could run and slide on the ice as you went...then the trudge back across the common with a heavy can this time so no sliding or running. No I don't think I'd want to repeat that.....! 

The heater used to be put in the bedroom before we went and I used to put it roughly in the middle of the room and jokingly call it 'central' heating!

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Posted : 07/10/2020 11:18 pm
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Alex728
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My parents worked hard but were always fairly short of money until the early 1990s (I remember as a lad in the late 70s we had the paraffin heater, I'd help Dad haul the paraffin and felt like a Big Strong Man but its probably classed as child labour today..).

Dad's first car in 1978 was a blue Mini van, I sat in the back on the spare wheel when my mum was in the front, probably not advisable nor 100% legal even then and definitely not today (he replaced it with some Japanese supermini when my sister was born in 1980)

High school in the 80s wasn't that bad (other than academic pressures and usual conflicts with parents over ambitions/lifestyle choices), 90s weren't a bad decade for me, although I was quite a party animal then and quite narrowly avoided overdoing it!

I do agree it was easier to find work (everything from office admin to entry level tech/engineering jobs) although never quite achieved my ambition to move closer to the production/creative side of the broadcast industry as a paid career as that all got "disrupted" by intense competition and the Internet by the early 2000s (did manage to spend a few years as a DJ on the rave scene, and do a bit of pirate and community radio work..)

In mid 2000s I managed to land a fairly stable career in IT (been working for the same employers 15 years now), can afford a house and a car but a lot of this is good luck and having a supportive family - and everyone from work colleagues to shop workers refuse to believe I am well into my 40s (I even got asked for ID buying booze this year) but I suspect never getting married or having kids is a factor (life would be a lot more stressful if I had!)

There's bits of the past I kind of miss but others I definitely do not (and my lifestyle in the 90s/00s probably wasn't sustainable long term anyway..)

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Posted : 07/10/2020 11:35 pm
irob2345
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Well I grew up in the '50s in Cabramatta, a south-western suburb of Sydney. Our house like most then was not insulated, had polished timber floors with cold winds blowing through the cracks when the southerlies blew. Heating consisted of a 2 bar electric heater. Winter would get below zero (celsius) overnight.

The 10 pound poms (google it) who lived in the nearby migrant hostel in WW2 vintage Nissen huts would complain bitterly about the cold and use those stinky, choking, dangerous kerosene (paraffin) heaters. There would be the occasional newspaper story about a family found dead in their beds from the carbon monoxide fumes.

Unflued heaters became illegal, eventually.

The first time I went to the UK I discovered that it was the practice there to heat houses to what, for us, were ridiculous temperatures in the winter months. So THAT'S why they complained so much!

The Maxwell House instant coffee factory about 5km south of us would waft coffee smells over us. It really was "wake up and smell the coffee"!

We kept chickens and grew our own vegetables and fruit in our large backyard, irrigated by grey water from the house.

Our toilet was outside and was strictly "pan service" until the sewer eventually arrived in the early 60s. Pan service meant a guy would come weekly and replace the tar-covered bin under the toilet seat. Our parents told us that if we didn't study hard at school we'd end up doing that job. Strong motivation!

Still, everyone had a job.

Cabramatta became a Vietnamese enclave in the 70s and 80s when the boat people replaced the 10 pound poms. It's now somewhat of a tourist attraction, having become a little Saigon.

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Posted : 08/10/2020 12:13 am
Cathovisor
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And now it's the Americans who think Europeans live in refrigerators and apparently, don't have ice cubes... 

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Posted : 08/10/2020 10:02 am
RichardFromMarple
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I was a little lucky to be at secondary school during the early 1990s recession, which was used by many of my teachers as motivation.  By the time I finished my education in 1998 the economy was a lot better shape & I found a job after a few months looking, not helped by having learning difficulties limiting the sort of work I could do.

I had a had a couple of periods unemployment in the early 2000s due to jobs not working out, but I managed to find my most recent job at the end of 2005 and only the pandemic could end it.  It was just right for me, being a not too demanding office job that paid enough to live comfortably.

I'm currently looking for something similar, and my wife recently started a job that pays well so I'm not worrying about money, especially as I got a decent golden handshake as I had been in the same job for 14 years.

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Posted : 08/10/2020 12:01 pm
Katie Bush
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Posted by: @sideband

The heater used to be put in the bedroom before we went and I used to put it roughly in the middle of the room and jokingly call it 'central' heating!

So did I, and the fun part was that it was also directly under the light fitting, which would dance a merry gig in the turbulence of the rising warm air (I had a huge and very lightweight lamp shade - it was the '70s after all). All jolly fun until after a couple of winters of that pummelling, the lamp cord broke and sent the bulb holder, bulb and shade "whirling to destruction" (who knows where that quote comes from?).

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Posted : 08/10/2020 9:10 pm
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sideband
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Ha ha you just reminded me about the lamp cord.....! I do remember in my parents bedroom they had the electric blanket plugged into the light socket with one of those bayonet two-way adaptors with a pull cord. The lightbulb in one socket and the blanket in the other. They left the light switch on and turned the bulb off with the pull cord......hideously dangerous when you think about but it left the electric blanket with a permanent mains supply so it could be turned on and off by it's controller...unless someone turned the light switch off and then they might get into a cold bed......! (yes I did turn it off on occasions....)!!

I think the arrangement worked OK until the poor old ceiling cord (cloth covered!) had had enough of the pulling and strain and one day it snapped with a pop and plunged the house into darkness!

The other thing I remember about this hideous arrangement was that because the bayonet adaptor was a Y shape, it meant that both outlets were at about 30 degrees so the bulb was at an angle and even with a wide shade fitted, the bulb stuck out at an angle below the shade.....!

 

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Posted : 09/10/2020 8:48 am
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mfd70
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Posted by: @sideband

..the bayonet adaptor was a Y shape, it meant that both outlets were at about 30 degrees so the bulb was at an angle...

OT a bit but are those type of BC adaptors still available ? I remember one at my grandmothers house, it would be used for the iron and the kitchen light.

I could use one in my garage to power the workbench lights and the angled bulb would provide enough light to the rear of the garage without altering the fixed wiring, I've looked in the usual places on line and a few market stalls but not found one yet.

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Posted : 09/10/2020 1:35 pm
sideband
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Posted by: @mfd70
Posted by: @sideband

..the bayonet adaptor was a Y shape, it meant that both outlets were at about 30 degrees so the bulb was at an angle...

I remember one at my grandmothers house, it would be used for the iron and the kitchen light.

 

? Good grief!! What size fuse did she have in the lighting circuit? Assuming there was a fuse of course....or didn't it matter in those days ? 

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Posted : 09/10/2020 2:27 pm
sideband
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Posted by: @mfd70
Posted by: @sideband

..the bayonet adaptor was a Y shape, it meant that both outlets were at about 30 degrees so the bulb was at an angle...

OT a bit but are those type of BC adaptors still available ?

I would hope that those hideous things with a pull-cord are all scrapped by now. However I found this on eBay but it doesn't have a switch. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CE-CERTIFIED-BC-B22-to-2-B22-Bayonet-Adaptor-Splitter-Extender-Holder-UK-SELLER-/222658818384

No discussions on the eBay listing though, the link is provided for information only.

 

 

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Posted : 09/10/2020 2:41 pm
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @sideband
Posted by: @mfd70
Posted by: @sideband

..the bayonet adaptor was a Y shape, it meant that both outlets were at about 30 degrees so the bulb was at an angle...

I remember one at my grandmothers house, it would be used for the iron and the kitchen light.

 

? Good grief!! What size fuse did she have in the lighting circuit? Assuming there was a fuse of course....or didn't it matter in those days ? 

Smoothing irons aren't particularly high-powered - a typical iron in my 1938/39 East London Rubber Company catalogue was 500W. So well within the rated 1200W for a lighting circuit.

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Posted : 09/10/2020 5:12 pm
turretslug
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I recall that there was a widespread type of 1-to-2 bayonet light-fitting adapter that had a straight-ahead end with a switch and a 45 degree branch that was unswitched, a frequent use being to supply Christmas lights in the days before the regs said that every room ought to have 400 wall socket outlets.

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Posted : 09/10/2020 5:27 pm
sideband
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You could be right about the straight-through and the switched. Seems logical as the bulb would normally be straight down with the switched one at the 45 degree angle. My parents obviously used it the other way round so that the light switch could be left on and the light switched off from the pull cord. I remember that 60W lamp at the odd angle.....

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Posted : 09/10/2020 6:37 pm
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