Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thinking about the 1930s . . . .


Sundays - when all the shops were closed, football was prohibited in the parks, and the swings and roundabouts were padlocked to prevent their use. Any parks which were surrounded by railings had their gates locked. There was no golf on Sunday, no cinema. And radio programmes were suitably restrained - no dance music, no comedy shows.

So what did we do? In our best clothes and in our best behaviour, we went to church for the morning service which lasted about an hour and a quarter, and immediately afterwards to Sunday School. We lived about fifteen minutes walk from the church and it’s interesting to recall that we children walked home unescorted.

In the afternoon, like many other families, we went for a walk.  A common sight was a group of gospel people having a meeting at a street corner. I remember one preacher who stood all on his own waving his Bible, shouting his message, with no one paying any attention to him.


what a variety of shops we had in our town. Most of them were long-established family businesses, and each had their own characteristics.

There was an ironmonger who seemed to stock absolutely everything; if you needed something like half-a-dozen nails, he would give you a handful and charge just a nominal sum. Long after the war was over, a “Dig for Victory” poster still hung on the wall behind his counter.

There were a number of private grocers, but our custom had to go to the Co-op, since my father was an employee. One thing we used to see that would never be seen nowadays - a shop’s cat asleep in the window surrounded by produce!

Because it was illegal to sell alcoholic drinks in our town, there were no pubs, hotels, restaurants or licensed grocers.

I have a very clear picture in my mind of the main street on a late afternoon in winter. The shops were all poorly lit by gas, and except the area around the lampposts the pavements were in darkness.


that there was a very good bus service to Glasgow and their time-keeping was excellent. Drivers and conductresses wore uniforms with caps. The only way of communicating with the driver, isolated in his cabin, was by means of a cord which stretched the length of the bus. The conductress pulled the cord and a bell rang in the driver’s cabin -one ring for stop, two rings for go.

At times the buses were very busy and conductresses on double-deckers were continually rushing up and down the stairs collecting fares. I used to marvel at how they managed to write in their little notebooks, despite the jolting of the bus. I wonder how legible their figures were!


“Monna Giovanna” by Edward Robert Hughes 1851-1914


My love in her attire doth show her wit,
It doth so well become her.
For every season she has dressings fit,
For winter, spring and summer.

No beauty she doth miss,
When all her robes are on,
But beauty’s self she is,
When all her robes are gone. (Anon)


my new blog . . . . . . A TOUCH OF CULTURE . . . . . . my new blog

                                 starting Friday 1st October 

Every Friday      Every Friday               

                  Cartoon image by

My other blogs Eighty Plus, Quiet Corner and Wise Men Say are continuing as usual


This is a clip from the 1939 film "Let's be Famous". The singer is none other then Betty Driver, who plays Betty of the Rovers in Coronation Street. I'm pretty sure the actor with her is Jimmy O'Dea.


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