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Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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691 of 699  Mon 27th Apr 2020 11:39am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3557

By the middle of the fifties Coventry wasn't ready for self-service and Tesco's, although the days of austerity were over. Rationing through the war had people queueing, talking of sons and daughters in different parts of the world had brought a social bond and a geography lesson that had never been seen before. They didn't like to walk into a shop and help themselves, then walk to a counter and just pay, they wanted to stop and chat - there was always a stool to sit on, something to watch, a pat of butter cut from a block by wooden paddles, loose tea being weighed. It was a pleasure to shop, not a chore. But within a decade supermarkets were with us, by then it was the mid fifties. We also had to think of new ways to cook, for few people knew of pasta, aubergines, red and green peppers, scampi cooked in butter, and a lot of foreign foods, even the retailers had doubts. This country had been used to high street shops and counter service. But everything was changing fast. For in shops in ‘52 we had television sets, and they sold like hot cakes, and mass entertainment came in. In ‘54 we had our first 'soap' on BBC, 'The Grove family' - no rapes, no lesbian stuff, no murders, but the writers took a holiday in ‘57 and the show was dropped. This was followed by Granada's 'Coronation Street' in ‘55, the independent television gave Granada the franchise in the north. But Granada went broke and was baled out and became ITV.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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692 of 699  Mon 4th May 2020 3:46pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3557

1930 In Coventry was a time of change, a time of hard times and deep frustration. This was a time of a great leap forward, from rural life to industry, all over the city houses were being built with indoor toilets and bathrooms. On one side of the common factories were being built, on the other side houses. And larger gardens than the Victorians, long and narrow, and a new type of gardener - in his spare time, a small shed, a folding chair, a small lawn, here he would grow his fruit and vegetables to feed his family, right outside his back door. He and his neighbour swapped seeds, learnt from each other, and soon he had a real blaze of colour. He never went to a Garden Centre in his life. It gave him great pleasure to grow his own for his family. Many gardening books appeared and gardening programmes in 1934. But the garden was a world enclosed, but it could not stay long beyond the fence. Within a few years the gaze turned to Europe and we were listening to the first reports of Hitler’s speech at Munich as he talked of war, and now we would burrow into the earth where the cabbage and the lupins grew, man seeking refuge from man.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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693 of 699  Thu 7th May 2020 11:15am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3557

But Coventry, or thereabouts, had always welcomed power. Boulton and Watt built steam engines for draining coalfields back in 1774, there was something powerful and unstoppably visible about steam and so they built the largest steam engine ever seen for Hawkesbury Colliery at Bedworth, they also built it in kit form, so parts came from many sources to Bedworth to be assembled on site (B'ham Science Museum) by a trained engineer of the company. A few years later it was thought that a private shoemaker in Coventry tried a new method of making shoes, he set up several men like a production line, passing the cow-hide from one to the next, each man doing his part. The hide finished up a finished shoe, but like a number of inventions of the time, it folded. But when the Napoleanic war started, then Brunel took the idea up to make shoes for the army. Brunel went broke to when the war ended. Twenty years later he showed up, built the Rotherhithe Tunnel under the Thames, his son built the bridges. But in 1816 the year was without a summer in Europe, a huge volcano, the Tambora, threw ash into the stratosphere, causing frost, mist, rain, under the pall of grey skies.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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694 of 699  Thu 14th May 2020 12:50pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3557

1927 and the Craven Colliery complex closed down - with the canals and railway connected, it threw over a thousand men out of work. So I was an unwelcome baby in that sense, that year. I guess that truth to tell, we were an unruly lot of kids, there was no traffic then so we played football in the street, and men passing by would join in - sometimes as many as twenty or thirty of us, it was great fun, and we were together plenty, pretty exciting. You remembered which kids got sick, you stayed away from - people talked about it, you couldn't afford to give parents such expense. Someone got this, someone got that. You smelt fresh tar, save you from TB. Kids were in and out of each other’s doors, we got shunted around a lot, we all looked the same and seven or eight kids would come running out of the same door. Kids died of things back then, so you stayed away from them, and sometimes you would call them 'sissies' but you needed an army for they were the toughest brats you ever saw. New kid joined the street and soon someone set about him, we had to know the place, or the pecking order he belonged to. My grandfather was a public figure, being owner of the boat repair yard that stood on the other side of the 'cut' to the pub. It was said in summer he often swam or waded across the cut to the pub, and often in the evening would wheel a barrow to the pub so someone could wheel him home if drunk. But he was a fair man, and would help people out in hard times, which they were most of the time, but the atmosphere was happy. If you did get sick you had to wait in a very crowded room on hard wooden seats for hours on end among the coughing, sneezing and other ailments people had - no nurse, no attendant, but few people complained, it was the way things worked in those days. There was this class system, where everyone knew their place in the world, and people respected it. Several chapels, with all these names like Wesleyans, Presbyterians and many that we did not understand. We ate food while at play, not enough hours in the day for us - my mother would open the door wide in summer and let her piano playing drift down the street and we kids sang even if six or seven doors away. Kids in prams gurgled with delight at the antics of the young girls minding them. We were all nice enough kids. We wouldn't break into places, but if things turned up, like a rabbit or a few eggs, not many questions either. Yes I enjoyed my childhood, in fact I have enjoyed every moment of my life.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Helen F
Warrington
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695 of 699  Thu 14th May 2020 1:35pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2114

The stuff you write Kaga should be compulsory reading for kids. They have a distorted view of what humans need to be happy. There is joy in the simplest things. Forum library image Tusses Bridge.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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696 of 699  Thu 14th May 2020 4:58pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3557

Thank you Helen, the photo is about the time as well. That's a little shop between the pub and the canal, one yard from the canal and I never knew anyone to fall in the canal.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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697 of 699  Fri 15th May 2020 4:10pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3557

After the Protestant Reformation in the 1540/50's, 90% of the art and decoration in churches was destroyed. If you see stone sculptural features missing faces in medieval churches you’re looking at the results of the Reformation war against idolatry. The Victorians revived medieval design styles, you'll see modifications and any additions less than 200 years old. In the mid-1800's chapels were built across the country, humble and relatively adorned. Baptists can only join as adults, and not infants. Instead of a trickle of water from a font, a full body of water Is required for full immersion. A decline in religious attendance has resulted in a great number of chapels being sold off. Very old trees are an indicator that a churchyard is also ancient. Many churchyards in Britain contain yew trees, the longest living organisms in Europe. Once considered sacred, integrated into Christian representation of eternal life, and when cut they 'bleed' red sap, suggesting a link to death and resurrection. But it's more likely they were planted to discourage farmers from letting cattle stray into the churchyard, yews being toxic to humans and cattle. It's unlikely they would be planted as bow-makers as they would be protected.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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698 of 699  Tue 26th May 2020 5:08pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3557

The Sporting Life lay on my lap, an empty cup at my elbow. It was late Friday afternoon, I had sorted out what I thought was a couple of reasonable bets at Royal Ascot next day. Arriving at Ascot next day, 20 June 1974, the whole atmosphere of the races, the newspaper sellers, the tipsters, the bustle of the crowd, the excitement of the horses thundering over the turf, men in grey toppers, the ladies in beautiful dresses. Suddenly there was a commotion, a lot of clapping and yelling, a bunch of photographers round a pretty girl. I edged closer. Oh my! She had a see-through blouse, with a great figure - Linda Lovelace, American actress. All were looking her way with big smiles. You never knew what would turn up at the races. But Coventry had had racing at various times, as far back as 1705 on Cheylesmore Park, and racing although not often was a social event, being followed with dinners and dancing by the gentry and their ladies. 1767, there was a three day meeting, three races. The prize money was £50 for each three races. Cheylesmore Park was found unsuitable for racing when a child was killed in 1783. For a short spell a track opened at Stoke in the 19th century, but was phased out after a time. Warwick races had also started in 1707 and have remained open since.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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699 of 699  Wed 3rd Jun 2020 11:27am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3557

Nov 1989 and my wife and I were on a Continental Airways flight to Cairns, Australia, to meet two of our sons working there. Our first stop was to be in Honolulu for two hours. I sat by the window gazing out into the darkness, the cabin in darkness, people trying to sleep, but l felt uneasy. To me the plane seemed to be losing altitude slightly - hard to tell, wondering if I should tell my wife. When the lights came on and a voice on the tannoy announced, "Fasten seat belts please, we’re expecting bad weather”. Thought - “surely he would go above the weather, not below?” Now I began to get worried - 1989 had been bad in the USA for terrorists. I glanced around, there was a fair number of eastern people on the plane. I asked my wife the time - we had about an hour before landing. We had not encountered one single sign of bad weather, but the lights stayed on. The tannoy came on, full of apologies. “Sorry, there will be a delay of about ten hours, a rest room will be available, and will you please regain your luggage”. It was over two hours before the luggage arrived, and it had been searched, but we still had eight hours to go. I checked the time again. “Look, why don't we get a taxi and watch the sun come up on Waikiki?” I asked a couple of officials. “Yes, but you will have to take your luggage”. And that's what we did - a taxi, and we and our luggage watched the dawn break on the beach. Back at the airport, we hauled the luggage onto the very same plane, and continued our journey.
Our Kaga (The Life and Times of)

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