FORGOTTEN CORNERS

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 24 Feb 2020, 04:28

You are right Tiz but note i said 'coal fire'. Logs and smokeless don't give the same affect of flickering flames and that lovely coal fire smell that we are told is so bad for us. At one point in the mid 20th century it was quite common to take a child with Whooping Cough to the gas works and one of the employees would take it up on top of the retorts to get a good lung full. Same with the smell of the gas tar boilers on road repairs, the fumes were said to be good for them. Probably the phenols in the volatiles. Incidentally, I I have never come across an authentic case of a baby being dropped in a tar boiler, a common story you will still come across.

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The Heaton Mersey LMS motive power depot in 1947. A favourite destination for us, we were never stopped from wandering about there and I can still remember the all pervading smell of cold coal smoke. If these things are so bad for us how come I have survived this long? What's the relative danger of barbecue smoke or incense in churches?

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No problem measuring pollutants in parts per million these days so plenty of scope for warnings and prohibitions. Many of them perfectly sound but some strike me as a bit hysterical at times. Like many other things in life, we pays our money and takes our choice!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tizer » 24 Feb 2020, 10:06

Stanley wrote:
24 Feb 2020, 04:28
If these things are so bad for us how come I have survived this long?
Well, smoked herrings last a long time, don't they? :extrawink:

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 25 Feb 2020, 04:46

And if the scientists are to be believed they are loaded with carcinogens. A timid person could think that eating a kipper or any smoked product means you take your life in your hands. Have they ever eaten a freshly smoked Eel in a butty in Holland when the new season's catch came in from the IJsselmeer? Some things are worth a bit of risk.

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Non smokers will not be familiar with the shock horror images on packaging. This is one of the least gory believe me. This doesn't bother me, I know propaganda when I see it but two things strike me. Bearing in mind the precision with which chemical analysis can be done these days, what would the statement of 70 cancer risks be like for a kipper, or talcum powder or any manufactured article you can think of. How about air fresheners or a bottle of booze? I suspect alcohol and gambling are at least as harmful so why not the same level of dire warnings on them? Incense and barbecues? What would the result be if most 'beauty products' were analysed?
In less complicated days gone by we were treated as adults and had to fend for ourselves. True, we had a notice 'VD KILLS!' in our faces in every Gents toilet (I wonder if they were in the Ladies as well?) and 'Coughs and colds spread diseases. Trap them in your handkerchief' (Could be useful against Covid-19) but that was about it.
I'm all for good science based information to help us make choices but once government starts to take a hand I'm afraid balance goes out of the window.
So my candidate for the Forgotten Corner this morning is 'Pay your money and make your choice.'
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by plaques » 25 Feb 2020, 08:29

Don’t Die of Ignorance now there's a challenge. :biggrin2:

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 25 Feb 2020, 09:17

Stanley wrote:
25 Feb 2020, 04:46
This doesn't bother me, I know propaganda when I see it
Obviously not, you are mistaking medical fact and seeing it as something else. I don't know what, the message is pretty clear. I take your point about other substances but on the whole tobacco kills a hell of a lot more people than smoked eels and many of your other examples.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Tripps » 25 Feb 2020, 11:41

Stop saying bad things about kippers please. I ate two on Saturday - undyed Manx style, and topped and tailed, then baked in the Halogen oven they were absolutely delicious - so good that I got two more yesterday, for tonight.

I'll try and enjoy them. . . . :smile:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Whyperion » 25 Feb 2020, 21:09

Tizer wrote:
17 Feb 2020, 10:24
Coming from Blackburn and its terraces in hard, shiny red brick I still remember my first visit to London. I was on the coach and as it entered the London suburbs what struck me most was the weird yellow bricks used in the houses!
London Brick , (LBC) or London Stocks. The inventor wanted a house to look like yellow cotswold stone and invented a process for making it, mainly from clay from Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire with additives. A lot of the yellow bricks from the 1950s onwards are actually red - but 'sand faced' with yellow sands, OK until you run into them or put a hand out to stop yourself faling if you trip - they are like sandpaper - I still have the residue from one childhood incident when I was chasing a ball around the sheds where we played that were made of these - not as bad as Canterbury Spar pebble-dashed blockwork walls though !) To me it is the Red bricks that look wrong. Old bricks of course made to imperial measurements, tricky to replicate on extensions to metric dimensions.

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 26 Feb 2020, 04:03

Good lad David.
One of the peculiarities of supply during the war was that a shop called Hutchinson's in Princess Street Stockport, had joss sticks in stock for the duration. Mother was a big fan and used to burn them in a large vase in the front room. Nobody noticed at the time but they went out when they reached the point where they were touching the rim of the vase. Father used to have a sleep in the front room occasionally if he was at home on a Sunday and one day the stub ends of the other joss sticks caught fire and father was almost gassed by the smoke. She made sure the old ones were thrown out after that!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 27 Feb 2020, 04:48

My eye was cught yesterday by an image in Peter's canal book showing farm milk in kits being delivered to a canal side dairy in the 1920s and it reminded me of West Marton.

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The Lad waiting to tip farm milk at West Marton Dairy in 1960.

My years working for the dairy epitomise to me how good old fashioned industry was. We were not the highest paid labour, about 3/6 (17p) an hour and the it was hard physical work but it was secure, enjoyable and we were working out in the open all day. Everyone was content and got along with each other. Sounds like rose-tinted glasses but it isn't, labour didn't turn over like it does now, many had worked there for over 20 years so there must have been something good about it. Our pay and conditions were set by a government wages board. We got overtime, sick and holiday pay and increases based on cost of living. How many 'labouring' jobs get that these days?
It wasn't official but a blind eye was operated by the management and everyone had free milk at home and the occasional tub of cream or pound of butter, following the Biblical dictum, "Never muzzle the ox". Old fashioned yes, but a very easy system to work under.
Looking back, the enterprise fitted in well with the landscape and the local economy. What was more sensible than a bottling dairy sat in the middle of a grass based local farming system? That's why we had two dairies, don't forget Dobson's Dairy in New Coates Mill. Funnily enough Dobson's were based in Didsbury near Manchester and when I was a lad they delivered our milk at home.
As the dairy industry consolidated we converted from bottling to bulking and cheese making in the late 1960's and were bought out by what was then Associated Dairies. That was when I moved over to tanking milk, one of the best jobs I ever had.

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It was a clean job and good hours. We loaded at around noon each day with refrigerated filtered raw milk and delivered it to other dairies first thing next morning to other dairies as far apart as Sanquar in SW Scotland to Ashby de la Zouche in the south. That meant that we started early and were back home finished shortly after noon the following day. That suited me down to the ground and meant that I had a few hours in the afternoon to do things at home on our seven acres at Hey Farm. I had half a dozen heifers and some pigs at that time.
In short, it was a low paid job even then but supported a family and the purchase of a house and seven acres. What's not to like?
I look at wages and conditions today and the lack of security and I ask myself whether this is progress. I feel sorry for young families facing a far worse situation than we had in 'the bad old days'. It's a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 28 Feb 2020, 04:58

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This pic is connected with yesterday's post, I'm home early on a summer day after starting at 02:00 in the morning delivering Keighley bottles than picking up about 400 12 gallon kits of milk. A happy bloke with his dog and kids, didn't Vera do a good job of taking the pic!
I know I spend a lot of time living in the past but why not when there are forgotten corners like this! We had a good house, a barn, seven acres and a few heifers and pigs plus the bonus of three daughters and Fly my old dog who used to attack me when I got home each day, I had just got out of the wagon when this was taken.
These were happy kids, they were loved, well cared for and had the best adventure playground in Barlick outside their front door. They almost always had their friends playing with them and had the advantage of some very cuddly toys to play with.

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These days there would be an outcry about them being exposed to germs. Look at the problems 'petting farms' have. As you can see we never bothered. Is this perhaps why none of them had allergies?
This isn't rose coloured glasses, it really was like this and we knew it was good for them at the time. If there's a better way of rearing kids, I haven't found it.

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Our experience wasn't unique. Here are the North Street gang at about the same time. No bedrooms and electronic gizmo's, playing out in the muck and getting up to mischief was the order of the day.
I'm afraid this is a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by chinatyke » 28 Feb 2020, 17:21

Stanley wrote:
28 Feb 2020, 04:58
... then picking up about 400 12 gallon kits of milk.
Assuming they were full that would weigh over 23 tons! Our stories get better each time we tell them! :biggrin2:

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 29 Feb 2020, 03:12

A 12 Gallon galvanised steel kit of milk weighed 168lbs, same weight as me. however you're right China, 400 was a typo it should have been 200 (15 tons), well done for spotting that. Still a good day's work! The Keighley bottles weighed 9 tons and all had to be unloaded by hand and the empties reloaded. I usually had a bloke to help me but sometimes he missed and I had to do it all myself. That was onto the floor and empties back off the floor as well. A killer....
We had hands like leather and in winter they used to crack. I've seen me leave blood all round the steering wheel when I left the Keighley depot. No wonder I ended up with a bad back!
Some kits were on the floor as well and in those days I could lift a full kit off the floor and throw it into the middle of the wagon flat. I have always said we didn't need to go go to the gym in those days, we lifted weights all day and got paid for it. Today an employer would be prosecuted! It's a forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 01 Mar 2020, 04:48

Still on the subject of the weights we had to deal with, I had a baptism of fire when I left school in 1953 aged 17 and went to work on Harrod's Farm at Whatcote. It was harvest time and Lionel had a Massey Harris bagger combine.

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There were two men on the combine, one driving and the other bagging the grain as it came off the drum into hire sacks which weighed about 300lbs when full. These were slid down a chute onto the ground and a following tractor and trailer had to pick them up and put them on the trailer. That was the first job I had at Harrod's. Remember I was straight out of school and weighed about 130lbs wet through. Believe me, you learned very quickly!
Back in the yard the bags had to be carried up an outside staircase into the granary above the barn floor. I was rubbish at the job of course and at the end of the cutting in that field I was well behind but everyone piled in and helped me to clear up. I remember feeling ashamed because I couldn't keep up but nobody said a wrong word to me, they all knew what it was like to be thrown in at the deep end, it had happened to them. Three weeks later at the end of harvest I was almost keeping up with the combine and I remember Lionel telling me one day that I was 'doing all right'. I think I grew 2" when he said that. Good man management!
That was the pattern of my life until I saw the light at about 40 years old and went into the engine house at Bancroft. During my days on the Tramp I was often in the situation when loading where I had to keep up with the bagging gang and they went like the clappers to try to overwhelm you, it was a hard education but we were young and daft and gloried in the fact we could do the job.

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All long gone now of course. Apart from anything else I think the maximum weight allowed now is 25kg (55lbs) we would have been in heaven!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Cathy » 01 Mar 2020, 07:34

Sometimes I think of things that humans have done, or been ‘put thru’ physically, mentally, emotionally . It makes me think that our spirit’s must be made of stern stuff.
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 01 Mar 2020, 08:00

Very true Cathy. I'd hate to be starting life and facing that now.... Funny thing is that at the time it was normal and expected.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by chinatyke » 01 Mar 2020, 08:20

We used to receive bags of Sago starch packed in 280 lbs hessian sacks, two and a half hundredweights, 8 bags = 1 ton, method in the Imperial madness!

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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 01 Mar 2020, 08:34

That was what the hire sacks were supposed to take but they were always overfilled to save on hire charges. That meant they averaged out at more than 300lbs for wheat and barley, a bit less for oats but more for beans and maize.
12 Gallon kits weighing in at 168lbs were child's play after them.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 02 Mar 2020, 04:40

I'm always aware as I write in this topic that there is a danger that the Rose Coloured Glasses syndrome my be present. I'm old enough to remember Harold Macmillan saying "You've never had it so good'. I also remember Harold Wilson and 'the pound in your pocket'. Despite this I really do think we had it better 50 years ago than now. In those days you could have confidence that your children stood a good chance of having it a bit easier than you did but is that still true? I'm not going to start a list but I am sure we can all think of examples that seem to prove that today's young families are worse off than we were in almost every aspect of their future. The hopeful thing for me is that if the present impetus in protest against Climate Change is anything to go by, the kids are waking up and showing us the way.
Every morning I am taking Jack for his second walk just as the kids are going to school and I always wonder how they are faring and what their prospects are. In my time, even though I was on what was then a very low wage, we bought a house with seven acres of land and reared three kids at the same time on one wage and were never in debt outside current bills. In this 'modern day and age' this is unthinkable. Indeed I am sure that many young people wouldn't believe it was possible. In that one respect we were far better off and that isn't Rose Coloured glasses, it's a fact.
I have watched my three daughters surmount all difficulties and two of them are approaching retirement age living in houses they own, one of course sadly didn't survive but before she died Janet did well enough to leave all her kids provided for and me as well. How many parents will be able to report that in another fifty years?
No. I get the feeling (to use one of my favourite phrases) we saw the Glory Days and unfortunately much of what I describe is a forgotten corner. This is not progress.
(What a pessimistic post, or is it actually realistic?)
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 03 Mar 2020, 05:17

When you look back at the social history in any part of the UK one of the things that strikes you is that with the advent of science, particularly in medical matters, older strategies gradually decline. I am thinking particularly of Folk Medicine. In very early times this was largely the province of magic, hence the preoccupation in earlier times with witches who were very often nothing worse than wise women skilled in herbal remedies. If you want to get a better picture of that era have a look at one of my favourite books, Thomas's 'Religion and the Decline of Magic. 'Magic' was in effect any strategy used by ordinary people to alleviate circumstances over which they have no control. Our modern version of this is technology.
In relatively recent times the strategy was not magic but folk medicine. Think back to the plethora of sayings that came from our mothers and grandmothers. In my researches I have come across other strategies. Lister Well on Whitemoor was reputed to have health giving properties. The fumes from the retorts at the gas works were 'known' to be a sure cure for Whooping Cough in infants, the same applied to the tar boilers used in Road mending and sett-laying. In some cases such folk treatments could be surprisingly effective. I have told the story many times about being plagued by carbuncles which resisted all the efforts of modern medicine. Old Mother Hanson cured me using a horse remedy called Diatherm. No arguments about that, it was many years before I had a recurrence. Staples like Armenian Boll were sold by chemists and a daily dose of bread yeast was common. We now know of course that one tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains 30–180% of the RDI for B vitamins.
My point is that there is still value in many of these old remedies and beliefs. They can still be effective today if you understand the basis and select wisely. This class of knowledge and experience is today's forgotten corner.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 04 Mar 2020, 05:12

I'm listening to a World Service programme on growth of children and the conclusion at the moment is that the more secure a nation is, the better the children grow. This is largely a measure of better diets but the researchers say that there is definitely a psychological component and is affected by a strong sense of security in nationhood and prospects for advancement.
I think we have all been on tours of medieval houses where the low height of beams and doorways is explained by the fact that our ancestors were shorter. The same conditions affect height and being slim. I wonder if this is a pointer to the rise in obesity in children. It's not as simple as this of course, but it would appear that we don't fully understand the phenomenon of average height and weight.
One thing that can't be argued against is the way many of our ancestors had bent legs. Even in my youth this was put down to children learning to walk too early. We know now of course that it was most likely down to deficient diet leading to some degree of rickets. 'Couldn't stop a pig in a passage' was a common saying.
However, having written this I suspect I am arguing against it being a forgotten corner. It may be that forces are at work that are tending to reverse the historic improvements. We already know that the statistics suggest that the increase in average life expectancy is faltering. Not a very cheerful report.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 04 Mar 2020, 09:19

My granddaughter Ruby is now 5' 9", slightly taller than me, she is 11 years old. She was over 5ft by the time she was 6 or 7. Her mother is not tall but our Dan was 6' 2" so she gets it from him, she towers above her older sister who is 15.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 05 Mar 2020, 04:26

The thing that always struck me about our daughters was that they were all different in stature. Same genes but different. In terms of litters of pigs, Janet was always the runt! It seems to me it's a lottery.
The forgotten corner that occurred to me today looking at dire predictions for household industrial names and brands and thinking back to the names we have already lost, is that the days when you could join a firm and work for them all your life are long gone. I'm reading an industrial history at the moment and as late as 1970 there were third generations of the same family working in the firm, many with over forty years service.
I think back to Jarrow in the 1930s which was a single industry town and when the local employer failed in the depression it was a disaster leading to the famous Jarrow March on London (Which was totally ignored by government). Even in those days it was a political decision that sealed the town's fate because there was a well researched and financed plan to make the town the premier steel producer in England. It was squashed by the government as they wanted to promote South Wales instead. Incidentally, it was that decision that set in stone the eventual fate of the British steel industry but that's another story!
My point is that all our industries are subject to many different pressures and the market and politics has no compassion. Hence the precarious nature of many of our major industries and the fact they are being bought out by foreign interests. Long term job security is a forgotten corner in this brave new world.....
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 06 Mar 2020, 04:40

There has always been criticism of our railways. In 1923 it led to the reorganisation into four main groupings, Southern, GWR, LNER and LMS. After the war it was nationalisation under British Railways and then Major's knee jerk privatisation in the dying days of the Thatcher era. Looking back, BR was probably the most successful of these because so much of the old labour force and practices was continued. True, it wasn't perfect but it's instructive to note that many Continental railway systems still use that model. All the figures indicate that in real terms, more government subsidy goes into the present system than BR ever got.
Contrary to Market Theory, it was the introduction of competition under franchisees coupled with a terribly flawed division between track maintenance and operating companies with the added disadvantage of lack of control through regulation that allowed the worst excesses we have seen to happen. Bad writing of contracts in making the deals was also a contributing factor.
There is much to be said for a reversion to the BR model or something very close to it but governments accepting responsibility for a core element of society is a forgotten corner. We see it right across society and this resiling from actually governing is the reason for our present woes. A headline project like HS2 will not cut it. We are going to have to put up with a terribly imbalanced system for many years to come.
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by PanBiker » 06 Mar 2020, 08:57

Typo there Stanley, nationalisation under British Rail surely!
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Re: FORGOTTEN CORNERS

Post by Stanley » 06 Mar 2020, 09:25

Quite right Ian, thanks for the heads up, I have edited it. (Too early in the morning!)
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