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By Gordon Boyle


I think in some countries there is a growing and fashionable change taking place today that can be summed up in one word; nostalgia. When I checked out the meaning of nostalgia I came up with ‘a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.’ In the UK a large part of the desire to break away from Europe is driven by taking back control and for some their hope is a change that will take us back to their picture of a much better place in their nostalgic past.

In the USA they are going through a resurgence in a belief that the old days were great. America is taking back control and opening closed coal mines. They are also taking affirmative action to send home illegal immigrants and at the same time keep out those from over the southern border who come into America illegally. According to the President no longer will America be taken advantage of by the Chinese and the Europeans and America will not subsidise Nato.

I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s and in my early years there was still rationing with sugar, meat and chocolates some of the products in short supply. We always had food on the table and at dinner slow cooked cheap cuts of meat were complimented with dough balls that helped to fill us up. Desserts or puddings as we called them were often sponge and custard with a drop of jam on the top.

I remember the excitement as an eleven-year-old the launch of BBC2 increasing the choice of TV viewing to three channels. More excitement was to come in my teens with the launch of BBC Radio 1 playing the music the young wanted to hear that was not played on BBC Home Service which at the time of the launch of Radio 1 became Radio 4. Thursday nights remained very important with the highlight of my week being Top of the Pops featuring singers and groups from the top of the charts.

In the early sixties my father bought his first car. We thought we were something special in our Morris 1000 with the split windscreen and the yellow indicators that popped out when you were turning a corner. The problem was the car broke down a lot and, in the winter, it was Arctic in the car as it had no heater.

Getting money outside of the very limited branch banking hours was next to impossible. Most homes lacked sufficient heating and lacked hot water on demand. At school I was on the receiving end of a good belting from teachers and on the Isle of Man the birch was used as a form of punishment for those who misbehaved. Gangs were also part of my teenage years and I can remember running as fast as I could when I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and liable for a good beating by rival gangs.

Yes, the good old days when everyone knew their place and had a sense of belonging. From what I remember no thanks.

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