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Hylander

Nostaligic at Chritsmastime

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Somehow getting nostalgic at this time of year doesnt seem unusual. Memories of times gone past and the folks who perhaps are not around anymore, makes you recall happy memories. Not necessarily about Christmas but just oddments, one thing that will always stick in my mind is that as a child, we went on what seemed like an epic journey from Kent to Essex to see my grandparents, was on getting there, despite the fact that they lived on an estate, the back door was never locked. You just turned up and just went in. Kettle was always on and a homely welcome waiting. I suppose they never locked the door because come to think of it, what the devil did they have to nick, everyone was in the same boat.

Wondered if other forum members have similar memories.

M

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Welcome to the NBN, Hylander. :dance:dance

Indeed I do remember those days... gas street lamps and gas lighting indoors...no electricity in Dukinfield during the War!

Even an outside privvy to share with the rest of the terrace... :naughty::naughty::naughty:

And as you say, back door open to all, nothing worth pinching anyway...

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Showing my age here but yes I remember my grandparents having gas lights and a gas lamp lighter used to light the lamps in the street. No it may seem like it but I am not 102 but in my late 60s. It wasnt until well into the late 1960s that they had any form of improvement to the house which was at long last a bathroom so the tin bath and the copper was extinct. Nan had a huge mangle thing outside the back door for the washing , which was done on a Monday, despite the weather.

M

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I always used to wonder where my 2 pet rabbits went,they used to disapear a couple of days before Christmas.

Also Christmas prezzies,an apple and an orange,a few nuts,boiled sweets and a jigsaw puzzle,my puzzle always seemed to have a piece missing.

Great days and great memories,would not change them for anything

Now off carol singing

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Yes we are very lucky to have such treasured memories. Perhaps in these times folks will start to make the best of what they have or havnt as the case may be. Cannot ever imagine anyone being sentimental over their Xbox. Now I am showing my age.

Your memory of the missing rabbits was probably someones Christmas meal.

Yes please can we have some Christmas smilies.

M

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What about the compulsary nugget of coal in the sock, making our own decorations - you remember the taste of the glue on the paperchains, roasting chestnuts on an open fire - no radiators in those days.

Brian J. cheerscheers

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23 of us there were. Living in cardboard box in middle o t'road. . .

Seriously this Christmas seems alot less like Christmas than ever before. Stores are reporting the lowest turnover in recent memory, home delivery companies who traditionally take on more staff and agency workers are not doing so - me thinks this year may not be the Christmas to remember in years to come!

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And Chicken for Christmas dinner,the only time you ever had chicken for dinner,how good it tasted,no preservatives,or injected with water,just straight from the garden coop and into the oven.

Before you comment Nan used to pluck it first,Grandad then had to kill it and put it in the oven,what memories.

PS I cant get the Christmas smileys to work,it just opens up the window and it disapears

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Chicken plucked, half its innards in the bucket and Dad with his hand up its backside removing the rest of the entrails when he must have touched the vocal chords and it started to cluck!!!. Also the horrible smell of what was in the bucket. Oh yes, I remember it well!!

Brian J.

xmas2xmas2xmas2

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And Chicken for Christmas dinner,the only time you ever had chicken for dinner,how good it tasted,no preservatives,or injected with water,just straight from the garden coop and into the oven.

Before you comment Nan used to pluck it first,Grandad then had to kill it and put it in the oven,what memories.

PS I cant get the Christmas smileys to work,it just opens up the window and it disapears

My Gran'pa used to chop their heads off with the coal axe... they would then run headleasly around for a minute or so :naughty::naughty::naughty:

PS Open the smilies and click on the one you want (I have to do them one at a time).

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Christmas Eve at Nan and Grandads was the best,Chitterlings and Jot for tea,and sometimes pork brawn,now that is food at its finest

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Before you comment Nan used to pluck it first,Grandad then had to kill it and put it in the oven,what memories.

I would hope he killed it first before plucking it two guns

PS I can't get the Christmas smilies to paste either!

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This story is a repeat. Well it is Christmas.

In the late 1800's, perhaps the early 1900's, there was a fishing trawler, out of Lowestoft, named The Brothers.

The skipper was my grandfather, together with his brother Jack. One of the founders of the Broads industry as we know it today. Indeed, his sons followed in his footsteps, once again, The Brothers, who in turn created one of the most respected boat yards on the rivers. Sadly, no longer.

The story continues, to this present day. The Brothers, are now the great grandchildren of my Grandfather still making a very valued and important contribution to the Broads industry, a contribution which would have been applauded by their father, their grandfather and my grandfather.

Now for something different – a Christmas story – a true story, one which I put to paper many years ago for my children. So it is a story for children, very pertinent at the time after I looked at the enormous number of gifts which had

been given to the young Dwile Flonkers and now for my own grandchildren.

The story is still relevant today, in these troubled times. It took place in my Grandfathers house, Home Port, by the old railway bridge, Beccles.

The Child who cried on Christmas Day.

I was six years old, it was 1948. The war was over but many families would feel it's impact for many years to come. But for me and my cousins it was different, we came from a privileged background. Every Christmas the whole family stayed at Grandfather's house overlooking the marshes and the river at Beccles.

My Uncles were there, having distinguished themselves in service. Indeed their experience as boatmen held them in high esteem when building pontoons across rivers in Europe, their knowledge of wind and tides, and of handling small craft in adverse conditions.

Grandfather was a wealthy man, having been a trawler skipper and a Norfolk Broads boatyard owner, and one could expect, at Christmas time luxuries which today are taken for granted.

He was of a short stocky build, always immaculate, dressed in a spotless white shirt together with the gurnsey that he wore and always with a wrap around his neck. The solid gold ear ring that he had in his right ear, uncommon for a man in those days, was to pay for a Christian burial should he be lost at sea.

My three cousins and I loved and respected him, and, as was customary on Christmas Eve the grandchildren gathered round the Christmas tree to sing

Granddad carols. He enjoyed it enormously and roared his approval. This added to our excitement, but alas it was short-lived, adults decided that we were tired.

Far from it, we were entering into the spirit of the party, but with dire warnings that Father Christmas would miss us out if we did not get to bed, we reluctantly went upstairs to our rooms. Climbing between icy cold sheets, feeling the stone hot water bottle at the bottom of the bed, we awaited a spoonful of strawberry jam, with an aspro on the top! To calm us down said Aunty Elsie.

The morning came. He had been! The pillow case was bulging. I ran through to tell my parents. Father groaned, "it's 5 oclock, get back to bed and go back to sleep" There was little chance of that, I scurried back to my room and tore in frenzy at the packages. It was fantastic, everything a boy could ever wish for.

Later on that morning, having of course made sure that my cousins had not got anything better than me, we were told to bring all our presents into the lounge for Granddad to see.

Three trips each, down the stair's with the rickety banister. And then all laid out for Granddads approval.

Granddad came into the room and marveled at the selection of gifts which we proudly displayed. "You are very lucky children, I am so happy and pleased for you all", he said beaming down at us.

But then he became very serious. " I would like you to listen to me, the little boy next door, his father was killed in the War and his mother cannot afford to buy him any presents, I would like to choose just one of your presents, just one, from each of you, for this little boy"

We were mortified, how cruel, how unjust that we should have to give up a present. But Grandfather was unrelenting, and picked a gift from each pile.

A few minutes later the little boy came into the room with his mother. He looked ill at ease, a bit frightened amongst all the strangers in the room, luxuriously furnished and decorated for Christmas, so unlike his own humble home.

Grandfather took the little boys hand and led him towards the gifts, on a table, that he had selected.

"There" he said, "Father Christmas has not forgotten you "

He put his arms around the neck of the old fisherman, and sobbed.

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We had the outside lavvy and the tin bath in front of a coal-fired range until I was 12 years old and I'm 63 now. Central heating was not common in those days and frost on the inside of the windows was a regular winter occurrence.  In the very harsh winter of 1963, the school bus could not run, so we had to walk the mile and a half to school on top of the snowdrifts. After a couple of weeks, the school relented on it's policy requiring that boys wear shorts, and we were allowed long trousers. This was after welllies slapping on bare calves had rubbed our skin red and sore.

We used to know someone who raised turkeys and so usually  had one for Christmas. Most years they were fine, but on one occasion, the weather during the 3rd week of December was unseasonally warm and, by Christmas Day, the bird was, to say the least, very "gamey" indeed. Very few people had fridges in those days. Still, we ate it and no harm came of it.

A couple of years  later, my  uncle and aunt entertained us on Christmas day. Again, turkey was on the menu. All went well until my aunt opened the oven to  check on the bird and a horrible smell of melting plastic wafted out.  It seems that she forgot to remove the giblets, which were conveniently left in the cavity of the bird in a polythene bag. No matter, the bag was removed and we ate the the bird, although I seem to remember that the dog dog did particularly well that year.

cheers

Steve

 

 

 

 

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I well remember on one Christmas Eve being driven by my father out to Ellough Airfield near Beccles. It must have been late 40's, perhaps early 50's and back then the barracks sheds and nissen huts were filled with 'squatters'. The airfield had ended the war as a German POW camp and there were numerous, redundant wood and corrugated iron buildings. The best a grateful country could do for men returning home from war to be reunited with their families. Dad was taking left overs from his bakery and short dated goods from his shop for some of the squatters. Like Roger I came from a privileged background although I was never awash with presents we always managed a turkey at Christmas, indeed I must have taken it for granted. I well remember one of the squatter boys gleefully and proudly bragging to me, the rich kid in his dad's car, because his dad had snared some pigeons for their Christmas dinner. His dad was a hero, mine wasn't, not easy for the little kid that I then was to grasp. That was only about sixty five or so years ago. 

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Peter -  have you ever thought of writing a book or even just jotting down on paper your experiences of life.   Would make a fascinating read.

Mum has recently passed away at 96 and I found a whole lot of scribbles in her paperwork,  I have sat and typed them all up for the next generation to read.      She started her tale as a child when they had no electric light , just oil lamps and precious little else from what I have read and yet they all  (7 of them)  except one survived.

 

 

 

 

 

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