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Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Baby Boomers of the post war years

I’m one of them.

Much is being said in the MSM, about  how we had it all.

I beg to differ. I was brought up as a child under rationing. Central heating didn’t exist. It was usual to have ice forming on the inside of our bedroom windows.

Mortgages were just as strict as they are today.

The main difference in my mind, is that my generation eschewed the fripperies of life that the modern generation seem to think is their right.

My first house:

No TV until we could afford to buy an old second hand black and white set. That took five years.

No fridge, and certainly no American fridge freezer, complete with Icemaker.

Second hand furniture, as an when we could afford to buy it.

No phone until we could afford it. Let alone mobile phones which seem to be an essential item these days.

Washing machine. Don’t make me laugh. We did it in the kitchen sink, by hand.

Children. We waited until we could afford to raise them. Eminently sensible to me.

Car. The cheapest banger I could afford.

Driven to school. Petrol rationing was in force. You either cycled or walked. (Dodging the predatory packs of paedophiles – not)

Kitchen. No bespoke kitchen. Just a second hand freestanding cooker that fulfilled the basic needs. Dish washer. The thing  of dreams.

Hi Fi, Video recorder, toaster, computer, food processor, a shower. Nope.

40 hour week. For the first twenty years of my career, 70 hours was the norm.

Paternity leave. My boss would have laughed his head off if I’d dared to ask

Holidays. Apart from our honeymoon, these didn’t exist. (If you can believe that a week in Benidorm is a holiday).

Help from my parents. They couldn’t possibly afford it. they were living on the breadline at that time.

This leads me to the purpose of this post.

Mrs FE and myself have spent a considerable amount of money in assisting our three kids to becoming home owners. Now we could have spent it on exotic holidays or flashy cars. But no. We both came to the same decision without any discussion that it was the right thing to do. (OMG. I’m starting to sound like David Cameron.*)

My parents couldn’t afford to do this but I’m sure they would have if they could.

So my philosophy is adapt to the times  you live in. Complaining about others having it better is just admitting to yourself that you’re a failure.

If you want something hard enough, then just go and get it. If not. Stop whingeing.

*washes mouth out with soap and water


  1. Those memorable Monty Python sketchs spring to mind:-

  2. I nearly added that we lived in a shoe box. But thought better of it.

  3. Having been an engineer at sea (the real merch not that wooly RFA stuff) and I think about 10 years behind you. I still know what you are talking about. I remember the first B&W TV we got in the 60's it was a Bush in a big case and looked like a goldfish bowl, but it also had a radio. Dad had his own business and fortunately got it right. We had central heating installed via a back boiler in the coal fire, so no timer to set it going, my mum used to get up early to get the fire going, when I was older I did it, I was probably 10 at the time because we moved to a new house when I was 12 which had hot air oil fired heating on a timer, luxury. Dads first car was an A35 and then he upgraded to a turquoise A45. I bought my first house in 1980 at the age of 24, I had been saving with I think Bradford and Bingely BS since I finished my time and was still given the 3rd degree. I was borrowing £12,000 on a house worth £18,500 and I was on about £7,500 a year at the time. Mind you it was easy to save when you where away at sea if you went down the west coast, going to the far east usually meant you had to go west coast the next trip to pay off the debts; happy simple days.


  4. Daedalus.

    "(the real merch not that wooly RFA stuff)"

    We engineers in the RFA worked just as hard.

    It was the wankers in the deck department that swanned around like prima donnas.

    When a 1,000 bomb comes whistling through the ship's side and disables the port engine, the last thing you need from the bridge is "How long will it take to fix it?"

    Let's face it. The first thing I needed to do was change my underpants.

  5. Little bit older than you but I do remember those times. Sweets were a luxury, if you could get them and they were rationed as indeed was everything needed to live. Just about remember the euphoria at the end of the war, but the rationing continued.

    Had a flat when first married, large living room on the ground floor with a bedroom in the roof (the servants quarters). Five "flats" and one bedsit in that house with a single shared bathroom and toilet. We bought a new bed and a mini belling cooker (the kitchen was in the living room) the rest of the furniture was mainly scrounged.

    Mortgage on the first house was £13 per month (salary less than £50 per month). Maximum mortgage was the lower of 2.5 times the man's basic salary or 80% of the building society's valuation, which was always less than the purchase price. Money was so tight it was difficult to afford to keep the bicycle on the road.

    First car a 1932 model Y Ford (Popular); second was a 1938 flying standard 8; Third was luxury, a 1948 14 horse J type Vauxhall.

    First phone was in 1965 when we moved into a house with a phone installed.

    Basic working week was 48 hours for the workshops and 37.5 hours for staff. Evening and weekend overtime was a normal addition, and usually welcome since it boosted income, but even when I qualified and became "staff" I was working at least 70 hours a week. For about 9 months in the mid 60s I was trying desperately to keep below 100 hours a week (my salary was approaching the "unpaid overtime" level and I wanted to try to reduce my income so the change did not come as too much of a shock.

    Haven't had to subsidise the daughters' house purchases, they are both extremely independent. One has struggled but was determined to pay her own way.

    Now well and truly retired I actually feel comparatively well off. Don't have to watch every penny, which I used to have to do up to about 20 years ago. I also feel, and ex colleagues confirm, that we have been extremely lucky in our lives, despite the difficulties and hardships in our early lives. Work was plentiful and generally enjoyable. we got good company pensions plus SERPS which really does make a noticeable difference. Little extras that are the norm today brought excitement and happiness. I would not wish to go back to work though, other perhaps than some part time lowly job, because of the atmosphere and distrust from the top. That is my winge and, fortunately, I don't have to.

  6. Some fucker gets to be born on a certain date, in a cerrtain place and as they grow up find that they are heir to untold wealth, the admiration of the whole country, and adulation from a further 20 odd countries, gets their arse wiped, shoe laces irnoned and food delivered on silver fucking salver.
    I, a so called "baby boomer" through no fault of my own, gets born on a certain date in a certain place and gets told that I am to blame for averyfuckingthing that's gone wrong in the world from year dot.
    What I have was obtained with lots of blood, sweat, toil and fucking tears, For all those that feel they are owed a piece of it -fuck off and die. ASAP

  7. Ancient + Tattered Airman30 October 2011 at 23:40

    My father was in and out of various hospitals and sanatoria after the war. I started school in 1945. I was a 'free dinner boy' as my family was poor. I passed the 11 plus exam but never attended grammar school as we couldn't afford the uniform so I went to a secondary modern. When I was aged about 14 the class had to stand up one at a time and say what they hoped to do in life. When it was my turn I said I wanted to be a pilot. The teacher laughed and made me stand on a desk and encouraged the whole form to laugh at me. He said "Your class can never make an officer, don't be so stupid" I will never forget the humiliation. As it happened I was fortunate to get into a technical college where I worked my socks off. I gained the requisite qualifications and applied to the RAF. To cut a long story short I gained my wings and went back to my old school in uniform. The hateful teacher was there but he claimed not to remember me. On reflection of my earlier experiences I wonder why I didn't become a left winger. In fact I became a Tory District Councillor. Funny old life, really. Would I have had a different career if the teacher had been a paid-up member of the human race?

  8. Think how lucky you were when young. You didn't have riots , diversity, affirmative action , immigration, junkies, thought police or television adverts ( not the loud ones anyway).

  9. About the only thing they don't seem to covet... is the freedom the BBs had.

  10. Baby-Boomers have "had it all" eh ?

    I wonder which revisionist, brain-washed, university educated toss-pot came up with that one ?

  11. "I wonder which revisionist, brain-washed, university educated toss-pot came up with that one?"

    A Marxist revisionist, brain-washed, university educated toss-pot... in the ongoing campaign to seperate us from our wealth, property and breath.

  12. Seems that we're all singing from the same Hymn sheet.

  13. "I wonder which revisionist, brain-washed, university educated toss-pot came up with that one ? " ...

    Now that I've read the article concerned .. I should have known really ..

    Jeremy Paxman .. fucktard of the first water ...

  14. Even as I was growing up in the 60's many of the "luxuries" you refer to were still out of reach. I can remember ice on the inside of the window, and taping round the opening to try and stop bitter East winds howling through. Mother didn't have a Hoover twin tub until I was about 10 or so. Prior to that it was a simple washing machine and mangle.

    We were lucky to have a basic fridge (the absorption type, which took ages to get anything cold). I had to walk to school, as father couldn't afford a car to start with. Occasionally they got to borrow Grandads Austin Big 7. A single wall mounted phone was installed around 1970.

    And you try and tell the young people of today.....

  15. We certainly had to work much harder at school in those days. The great motivation was not so much wealth, but security of employment, security of home ownership, and security of savings. Most importantly, there was no concept of living off state benefits, you couldn't.


  16. Yes we really lived on luxury. Didn't we?


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