Saturday 13 May 2017

The Saturday List #129 - 10 things which it would be great to go back to the 1970's for

Back to the 1970's - Such a bad idea?
So this weekthe Daily Mail has been suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Manifesto would transport us back to the 1970's. Clearly the Daily Mail thinks this will scare the children. At the Barnet Eye, we find this to be a highly attractive proposition. We had a blast in the 1970's, for us it was the best decade ever. What is even stranger for us is that presumably, the people who run/edit the Mail must have been around then, so either they were a bunch of rather unpopular weirdo's cooped up in their bunkers planning right wing Coup D'Etat's or like us they were having a  blast and they are trying to mislead the poor public  by pretending things were bad. I suppose that if you were a right wing nutcase, who didn't like music, parties and life, it may have been awful, but the rest of us were having an absolute blast! So here is my list of the things that it would be great to bring back.

1. Punk Rock - I was out at gigs three or four times a week. They were all brilliant. The first one I went to, that kicked it all off was The Ramones, Talking Heads and The Saints on June 6th 1977 for £2. It wasn't a question of waiting for a great band to play, it was picking which of maybe half a dozen.

2. Top of The Pops - Can you imagine the whole family gathering around the telly today to watch a show of different genres of music. One minute you'd have Lena Martell singing "One day at a Time Sweet Jesus" and next up you'd have The Sex Pistols singing "Pretty Vacant". For many, lives were changed for ever when Bowie threw his arm around Mick Ronson during Starman.

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British Rail Blue!
3. British Rail. Much derided. I loved British Rail. I loved the Blue and White colour Scheme. I loved the smelly diesel engines that thundered through Mill Hill. I loved the "Merrymaker Special Excursions" that ran from Mill Hill to places like Scarborough for a fiver. All of the criticisms of it we hear these days were the result of decades of under investment. Now we have privateers fleecing us. Wheras in the 1970's strikes disrupted your trip, now it's incompetence.

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A Routemaster in Mill Hill
4. Routemaster buses. These were the backbone of Londons network. They were smokey and there was a conductor on board to ensure good order was kept. You could hop on and off where you liked, so long as the bus was stopped (or not hurtling too fast). Thatcher derided buses, but the top deck is the only way to see London properly. I can remember my Mum telling me that getting a free bus pass was the best thing the government had ever done for her. She used it all the time. She'd just hop on a go where the whim took her. One day, I bought a red bus rover and went with her and she gave me a tour, telling of all of the odd things she'd seen in the war. Fascinating

5.  Standing on the terrace at football. Yeah, I know football is more popular and safer than ever, but the first match I went to on my own was West Ham vs Man City in 1975, for 30p (I think). I stood on the terraces in the away end (i'm a City fan). It was heaven and the only way to watch football. I loved the banter and the players were true heroes. Sitting down just isn't the same.

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Vesta Curries
6. Vesta dried curries.
Yes, I know that they were hardly fine cuisine, but they were great. Packet of mince from Budgens and hey presto, you were transported to Dehli. When I dug out the picture to the left, I came over all nostalgic. Maybe I'm a bit strange, but a family dinner scoffing this down was one of my finest meories.  My Dad was a pilot and well travelled. He loved these as they were practical and made a bland kitchen mildly exciting. These days, we can get a curry that is far better than most restaurants in M&S, microwave it and hey presto. But is it as much fun?

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7. Tonibel Ice cream. You remember the  Tonibel van. Light blue (Man City's colours). A big flake in it and some raspberry sauce. On a hot summer day, it was truly heaven. Often they'd park outside ....

8. Mill Hill Swimming pool. I've never forgiven Barnet Council for shutting this. Sure Barnet Copthall is  a far better and more practical swimming pool, but Mill Hill Pool in the summer was a magical place. Fountains at each end. A shallow baby pool and a big grassy area to chill out on. It was the one place that teenagers could simply gather in numbers and chill in relative safety. Perhaps the worst act of cultural vandalism ever was to close it. They there was nowhere for teenagers in Mill Hill and that is criminal.

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The Chopper
9. Chopper bikes. The chopper was the least practical bike ever made. You could easily castrate yourself on the gearstick if  you stopped too suddenly, but it was the coolest thing ever. It was the thing that convinced me that looking cool is more important than being practical (not that my folks bought me one!).

10. Dripping Fried Bread. In the 1970's, every self respecting cafe had a slice of dripping fried bread as a staple part of the greasy fry up. Sadly the health police abolished it. It should be compulsory for anything called a "full English Breakfast".

I'm not normally one to look back, but as The Mail has put it on the agenda, it would be rude not to wouldn't it?


Unknown said...

No. 11 Creative people could use the dole to live on while they cultivated their talent without fear of the government cutting off their benefits and starving them to death
No. 12 Student grants not debts

CalvinCasino said...

Great era. The 70s. I wish I was around.