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Sunday, 2 January 2011

I feel so old.

How many do you remember of these?

Headlight  dip-switches on the floor of the  car.
Ignition  switches on the  dashboard.
Trouser  leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.  
Soldering  irons you heated on a gas burner.
Using  hand signals for cars without turn indicators.  
Older  Than Dirt Quiz:

Count  all the ones that you remember, not the ones you  were told about.
Ratings  at the bottom.

1. Sweet  cigarettes
2.  Coffee shops with juke   boxes
3. Home milk  delivery in glass bottles. (Istill get this item) 
4.  Party lines on the  telephone
5. Newsreels before  the movie
6.  TV test patterns that came on at night after the  last show and were there until TV shows started  again in the afternoon (There were only 2  channels [if you were  fortunate])
7.  Peashooters  
8. 33 rpm  records
9.  45 RPM records
10.78  RPM records
11.  Hi-fi's
12. Metal ice trays with  levers
13.  Blue flashbulb
14.  Cork popguns
15.  Wash  tub wringers

If  you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If  you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If  you remembered 7-11 = Don't tell your age
If  you remembered 12-15 = You're positively  ancient!

I  must be 'positively ancient' but those memories  are some of the best parts of my  life.


  1. I remember all of them (& I'm only 59)! I work in Tonbridge, so you can drop my prize off there. (There is a prize, isn't there?)

  2. I'm younger than Ed P, and I remember all 15 {SCARY}.

    Anyone remember doing homework by kerosene lanterns? When we obtained a Coleman lantern, we thought we were the stuff the stuff was made of!~lol!~

    Anyone remember when the only mode of travel was on horseback?

    Anyone recall those scary outhouses?

    Granted, I lived in South America, then the back-roads of no man's land in Smuteye AL, and then in Eden GA, but Texas born, reared, and partially ruined.

    At 14, we had air conditioning and thought we were rich "like living in a hotel."

    What was so great about "the good old days?"

  3. All 15 for me too but on a positive note at least you didn't have 'drinking a quarter pint of milk through a paper straw' on that list. That would have made me feel even older .... bugger!

  4. "What was so good about the 'Good Old Days'?

    No bloody cameras spying on your every movement, NO robocops and no EU!
    Penny bangers, and no bloody VOLVO's.
    Vauxhall Wyvern's, Standard Vanguards and Morris Eights. Proper buses with conductors and where the driver drove. Coal from the Coal yard back of the railway station, and we'd never heard of Islam! One TV channel which started at four o'clock and closed at nine and watched in black and white on a ten inch screen. Papers that had more news on the front page than todays have in all the pages. Railways that worked, ships that were built, apprenticeships worth a job for life, and if you didn't like it - get a different one next week.
    And even earning £3.12s 6d a week, was able to save and buy a motorbike (Fanny B. £30). Cap and goggles, and NO dayglo. University was for brainboxes only, the rest did proper jobs.

    And I scored all on that list. Do I feel ancient? NO I'm just fucking angry it's ALL GONE!

  5. Oh yes - "Air conditioning"?
    We opened the fucking window.

    Box Brownies, 127 film.
    A4's heading the Elizabethan out of K.X.
    Straining to listen to 'Your Station of The Stars - Radio Luxembourg - on fabulous 208' under the blankets so Dad didn't hear.

    And Nan's house, and Nan.

  6. Hi-fi? Radiogram surely?

  7. I know I'm not quite as old as the engineer but sadly I do remember each and every thing mentioned. Furthermore I can remember crank starting my dads car in the mornings, I can remember the clothes wringer as a mangle, which really stuck in my mind was one evening in the mid sixties my mother and a neighbour out in the back yard wringing out the washed clothes whilst chatting and our neighbour, who was a buxom woman getting a nasty nipple burn as her big tit nearly got wrung out. Some memories are priceless.

  8. Sadly I fall into the "Don't tell your age" category. So I shan't!

    Humphreys, B Movies, smoking on the top deck of buses, 7 inch singles with an A side and B side, wing tip collared shirts, jumble sales, 1/2p's (decimal ones), pound notes, Marathons, Opal Fruits, Pacers, betamax video with a wired remote .. .. .. ah memories .. .. ..

  9. "Radiogram" Yes sir! And it only played 78's. 'Milky' had a walk along electric truck, but Dusty still used a horse as did the Rag'n bone man and the coal man. Scammel Scarab 3 wheeled 'Mechanical Horses', Shelvoke & Dewry gulley suckers, they did the dustcarts after the horses went. Trolleybuses.

    This could go on and on, and I think we've been here before.

  10. I'm only 48, but remember everything but news reels at the pics.

  11. Pubs that sold Proper Beer - Mild & Biter - and no such thing as lager!

  12. One persistent survivor is the twin-tub washing machine. You can still buy them as they occupy a specialized domestic niche.

    It was the spin dryer which saw off the wringer, although there are still arguments for using one and hence it is still possible to buy them. A car wash I know has them for wringing out the chamois leathers.

    An interesting mid-way evolution is the Home Queen Washer with Wringer which can run off a generator and is engineered for tank-like unstoppable operation. It is built in, of all places, Saudi Arabia, and is sold through an unusual store in the US which is angled towards remote and country living.

    The argument - I don't know how valid it is - is that substituting a certain amount of labour back in to the laundry proces makes efficient use of water, electricity, and allows simpler more robust machines to be built.

  13. Never had an ice tray with levers because I never had a fridge until I was over 30. Same with a washing machine. It didn't seem to matter and when I did get the machine I was scared to use it because of the electricity I was told it consumed.

    My first car had the dip on the floor.

    Aye, sometimes progress isn't all it's made out to be.

    PS My first fridge was second hand and lasted me 15 years.

  14. Ah! Subrosa - pre fridge life eh? A larder of sorts with a galvy mesh to the outside in place of glass, and maybe a marble shelf?

    Talk about long life fridges: There's a Cafe in Farringdon Road London called 'The Quality Chop House', it's been used in several films set in the fifties. I don't know what the food is like, but it's like walking back sixty years in time through the door. Last time I went in, there was a huge Kelvinator with a stonking great compressor on top pumping away, all it's working in full view. Doors look like they would do service as watertight on a submarine.

    Slightly different is the Bar that sells food in the Black Country Museum at Dudley. You can buy Mild, Bitter, or Stout, and the food is Rolls; cheese or ham. That's it.

  15. You missed out 2 channel black and white telly - which on the whole had better programming than you get today.

    That Was The Week That Was? We should bring it back but without the political correctness and censorship of course!

  16. Car horn buttons in the center of the steering wheel?

    Gas powered fridges?

    TWO films when you went to the local "Classic" cinema?

  17. Mmmm. Glad to see that there are people as old as me around. (Or older even).

  18. A Sunbeam Talbot like the one Cary Grant used in “To catch a thief”.
    Collecting shrapnel.
    In-garden air raid shelters.
    Steam lorries, on the dock road.
    Scammel 3-wheeler lorry tractors.
    A fridge that lasted 40 years.
    Hot bulb engines (paraffin blowlamp).
    Buttons A & B.
    12 sided thrippenny bits.
    PS my present car has a horn operated by an in-wheel button.

    Peter Melia

  19. Rationing.
    Ice cream blocks that froze your teeth (postwar) .
    Rationing books AND identity cards.
    Walking (even marching).
    Polite shop keepers , police and bus conductors.
    Guns everywhere and no trouble. We had a huge Webley revolver . I don't know why.
    Aniseed root.
    Bonfires in the streets ( VJ night etc).

  20. 14/15 - like Rosie, we didn't have a fridge when I was small, so no ice-trays. Otherwise, the list is all very familiar.

    Proper liquorice?
    Sherbert dib-dabs?
    Shoes that lasted longer than 6 months?
    Air Bomb Repeaters?

  21. Had all these things not have passed, and if they were still with us today, what would we be remembering? Would we not be complaining that nothing ever changes, nothing is ever 'new'? Would we not seek change?

    These things that were take us back to times when we were young, naive, less knowledgeable, and in some sense able to see the world as a great adventure. Been there done that, and what now transpires is the thought that there really is nothing new - even deceit and corruption were there all along, It's just that we couldn't see it. Hence the origins of 'ignorance is bliss'?

  22. I have owned or regularly used all of them except an ice tray with a lever.
    Indeed I still have the Morris 1000 with floor dip button, centre horn, dash mounted ignition switch AND separate starter pull. I also found an old heat up soldering iron in the garage a few days ago, it was with the wooden shaped-blade rebating planes. Bike clips are hanging on the utility room hook - no idea why as I no longer have a bike. As for party phone lines we have one again don't we, that's why the Internet stalls when too many neighbours watch TV over it!
    No doubt our children will be remembering light bulbs that gave off light!

  23. I rember my first ship. Powered by 100v DC electrics. And whow. What a switchboard!

  24. My first ship had a B&W double acting diesel engine. Stick the following into the YouTube search [HCOrsted diesel engine] for film of a land based one. But it was 220V DC; with slate switchboard and huge copper wafer breakers. Possible to try and put a none running engine onto the switch by mistake, not a very good idea.
    My 1961 Ford Anglia had the quick wipe switch for the wipers on the floor in the foot well.

  25. My first engine was a J type Doxford.

    My first car was a Morris Oxford. It's cornering ability was so bad that you had to turn tne wheel about a quarter of a mile before you got to a bend.


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