Oh how times have changed...

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MattyC64c
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Oh how times have changed...

Post by MattyC64c » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:43 pm

Walking home today I was passing some phone boxes, and it made me think about things from the past that are either no longer around or are less common.

The public phone box

Take my first thought, the humble BT phone box. I remember a time when there were loads of telephone boxes everywhere. In my local area there is one which is about 120 metres from my home. The next phone box from there is probably about half a mile away. Back in late 90's there were at least 4 within easy walking distance, not any more. Of course, this is understandable, not only does nearly everyone have their own land line, most people own a mobile phone these days. The public phone box has had it's day.

The Milk Man

Do you still have a Milk man? Is there even a milk round in your area these days? I'm certain I've seen one around recently, but not in my street. In fact, I can't remember the last time I've seen one near me. When I was a kid, my parents you used to have a regular milk delivery, he even sold bread. We used to get bottles of cheap lemonade and cola too on the weekends.

Arcade Machines everywhere

I miss arcade machines, I really do. I'm sure we can all remember a time when they were pretty much everywhere. In pubs, restaurants, fish and chip shops (if they were big enough) and video rental shops. Which brings me to my next change..

Video rental stores

I know we've already had a topic about this recently, but I do miss these shops. I do recall that back in the 80's there were about three near my home, now there's one, and they guy that runs it does more business selling and repairing computers than renting out films. With broadband internet, on demand TV, and DVD rentals by post, it's no wonder this trade has moved on.

The old fashioned pub

Back before cheap beer from supermarkets was all the rage, and the invention of the ingenious 'widget' for canned beer revolutionised home drinking, the only place to get a good old pint with a decent head was the local boozer. The boozers of old were proper drinking houses, none of that 'Gastro Pub' nonsense back in the day. These old pubs didn't do food, well not proper food anyway, and there were thousands of them. Many of these old pubs are now either derelict or have been converted into shops and apartments.

Terrestrial TV

Can you believe prior to 1997 that we used to be limited to only four channels? Heck, before November 1982 we only had access to three channels. How did we survive that? Taking about TV...

Public information films

I remember quite a few of these, some were pretty scary. Much of the information these films contained are still valid today, so why don't we get these on our TV's anymore? Don't kids still get hurt venturing on building sites or touching electrical pylons anymore? What about crossing the road? Talking to strangers? Surely there are more paedophiles on the streets these days then ever before. Just ask the late Jimmy Savile who did the 'Clunk Click' public information films!!

What other things can you think of from back in the day that either no longer exist or have changed?

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TwoHeadedBoy
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by TwoHeadedBoy » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:15 am

Phone boxes... There's two of those about a minute's walk from where I live, and they're both the old-fashioned red ones as well! I don't use them mind, as they smell of urine. A few months ago someone set off a box of fireworks inside one of them, which didn't help matters much.

The Milk Man... We were using one in our old house, and even then it was just because my mum felt sorry for him. Still hear a milk float every so often. Nothing like getting the milk off the step in the morning and having the cream off the lid (and you'd get strawberries off him at Xmas!).

Terrestrial TV... Don't think we left the realm of terrestrialism until about 2001-ish. I don't have any telly now, but even so, all the good stuff's on the five "main" channels anyway so there's not much point in the rest of them.

Here's some stuff that I miss:

-Videos and their uses. Such as scanning the TV guide and saying "We'll watch that and tape that", or setting the video before going out so you don't miss something. Or taping every cartoon that comes on, regardless of quality.

-Finding music! Say there was an old song that you wanted to hear, it'd be a matter of going to shops all over the place and looking on all the compilation albums to see if it's on there. Now it's just YouTube for anything. Same applies to theme songs and the like.

-Communicating - as in, not knowing what everyone you knew was up to all the time. It used to be a tangle of phone calls and then "waiting around and hoping for the best" if you were trying to go out with someone somewhere. Nowadays we can even see what music our acquaintances are listening to.

Everything's too easy and effortless nowadays, I'd happily go back.
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Fishsta
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by Fishsta » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:05 am

Quick responses to things mentioned:

Phone Boxes - I always used to keep 10p in my pocket just in case I needed the phone. Then, one night when the last bus failed to stop for me, I went to a phone box to ring home, only to find they'd suddenly made it a minimum 20p to call. And there was NO WAY in the world my parents would accept a reverse charges call. Now I think it's 50p to make a call, and mobile phones have taken over. I HATE mobile phones.

Milk Man - We recently got one in our area! Doorstep fresh is definitely better, though I'm not sure about the cost. We might have to cancel, to be honest.

Arcade machines - A lot of places are starting to get some of those "classic" compilation boxes in, 3 games for a quid with stuff like Shao-Lin's Road (a.k.a Kicker). Kids like looking at them but not so much playing them. I can't resist, though.

Old Fashioned Pubs - Not so much in town (Northwich), but I live a little bit out of town in a quiet village, and they have 1, but it's an expensive night. Back in my home town of Chorley, Lancashire, I used to spend a lot of time in nearby Coppull, with wonderous pubs like The Printers and The Red Herring (constantly being voted one of the best pubs in Britain). One thing the Printers has is something I haven't seen out of the area, a "Bull Ring". I'll leave it at that and see if that brings memories to anyone! It's certainly one way to let people know you've been there before.


Stuff I miss:

Being able to have a decent night out for not much money - Back in the day, I could go out with a tenner and have a decent night out. Walk from Chorley to Coppull (about an hour), go in the Red Herring, 4 pints in there for (about £1.20 each), a pound in the Neo-Geo thing (3 games of World Heroes, Neo Turf Masters or Metal Slug or something), a pound in the quiz machine (usually 4 of us put a quid in each for EXTENDED PLAY), a free-to-enter pub quiz (never won), 2 quid for a little pizza from the local takeaway, and 95p for the bus back to the end of my road. Now? £3 a pint (and that's considered cheap), no buses after 9pm (soon to be 7pm apparently). Used to be able to do something similar with the cinema, a tenner covered the return bus to Preston, cinema ticket with change to go in the arcade. Now, no arcade, and cinema tickets are almost a tenner alone. Buses as above, and even if they were, probably also ridiculously expensive.

In fact, doing ANYTHING these days can be prohibitively expensive.
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Megamixer
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by Megamixer » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:55 am

Phoneboxes were always getting vandalised though weren't they? I think there's two in one of the alleyways up town but aside from that, I don't remember seeing any for a long time. The only ones I remember are the BT phoneboxes which were always covered in spray paint, full of litter and with broken receivers. Sadly these days you can't leave anything unsecure outside without a guaranteed certainty that somebody will come along and wreck it :(
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by STranger81 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:30 am

There's a phone box about 50 yards from my front door. Never see anyone in it. It's very nostalgic for me because when I was at secondary school and wanted to ring a girl I'd walk to that phone box and call.
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Antiriad2097
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:10 pm

I remember catching a jar full of bees and emptying the contents into the phone box near my house as a kid. As luck would have it, I only had to wait a few minutes before a young lady tried to use the phone.

I was only about 10 and it was funny at the time.

Ice cream vans seem to have disappeared.
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by Katzkatz » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:50 pm

Ice-cream vans are still around. In the summertime, there is one that visits my street 6 days out of the week. They sell the 99, Oyster, Magnum, Ice lollies, etc.

The only public telephone boxes around now, seem to be the classic red ones. I have seen a few others in central London that I think had web access. Yeah, I think Megamixer was right about the problems with vandals! In London, it was problems with pimps putting those cards in them for their prostitutes!

Loads of pubs are closing down. It was not just the supermarkets offering cheap booze but, also things like the tax rate on alcohol and also a lot of the freehold pubs getting sold off to breweries or pub chains now. That has affected them. It's now a lot more difficult for anyone to make money off of a pub.

I have seen a few Milk Floats around still. I think a lot of them are now petrol powered. I hardly think that anyone uses them. When the supermarkets were allowed to sell milk, it had a major effect on them. That, and Sunday trading.

As for Public Information Films, well they're still being made. I think the last one that I saw was that one about date rape! Ekkk! Yep, not a nice subject. I suspect it is because people either view stuff online or use a PVR that they tend to miss out on them.

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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by JazzFunk » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:22 pm

Antiriad2097 wrote:I remember catching a jar full of bees and emptying the contents into the phone box near my house as a kid. As luck would have it, I only had to wait a few minutes before a young lady tried to use the phone.

I was only about 10 and it was funny at the time.

Ice cream vans seem to have disappeared.
Oddly, I once wrote a story when I was 12 or so about a group of idiots who leave a wasphive (in a carrier bag) on the back seat of the upper deck of a bus, I remember finding this a very amusing concept at the time but quite perplexing now, albeit still quite amusing.

PS: We still get ice cream vans here, even in this freezing cold weather!

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TwoHeadedBoy
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by TwoHeadedBoy » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:30 pm

I see more ice cream vans in the winter than I do in the Summer!
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SoupDragon
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by SoupDragon » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:18 am

"I remember catching a jar full of bees and emptying the contents into the phone box."

Ace :lol:
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Combo-Breaker
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by Combo-Breaker » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:56 am

Sad thread has made me sad! :(

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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by RetroAerosmith » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:02 pm

Public info films can be included with those "drink n drive" or "face - stroke" campaigns at the moment....i still quote the odd line from the old public info films and yep quite often get odd looks...things like "clunk click every trip", "only a fool breaks the 2 second rule" and my fave "what is he doing with those candlesticks".?.

Phone boxes from late 70s to 80s i remember had a shelf in that was supposed to hold the phone book - usually strewn on the floor smelling of peee. you had to put you money on the slot waiting for a reply to then push it in...realising some tosssr had jammed a 1p in there stopping the coin going further.

There were 6 pubs within walking distance of my old home and every new years eve all the drunks came out and danced in the streets to auld lang syne, then all the neighbours would go to each others houses wishing each other happy new year....doesnt happen now and i dont think i know any of the neighbours next to my mothers house now...its all family housing and different tennents every few months.

I remember when we used to have to ask our parents if we could play on our computer/consoles - the obligatory answer was "no get outside the sun is shining..." type of thing, then eventually when we were allowed it was seen as "special".

The thing i miss now is the lack of respect we seem to have for our elders, years after finishing school i bumped into an old headmaster and i just couldnt believe how timid and "alright sir" i became. I was also sad to see that he wasnt in the best of nick mindwise and really wanted to thank him for a lot of the stuff he taught which i still remember today but i was told he probably doesnt remember being a headmaster these days. He was always a big strong loud fellow and it was a shame to see him being wheeled about staring ahead.

Cobblers are no more...i remember taking shoes there to be re heeled for my mother then going back to pay and collect...these days theyre probably about 7 pound a pair to buy in tesco.

Designer jeans - people would brag about levis and the red label or the price of them etc as we sauntered round the disco then onto the chippy then home to watch benny hill...these days im quite happy with an 8 pound pair from asda.

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Antiriad2097
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:38 pm

RetroAerosmith wrote:I remember when we used to have to ask our parents if we could play on our computer/consoles - the obligatory answer was "no get outside the sun is shining..." type of thing, then eventually when we were allowed it was seen as "special".

Cobblers are no more...i remember taking shoes there to be re heeled for my mother then going back to pay and collect...these days theyre probably about 7 pound a pair to buy in tesco.

Designer jeans - people would brag about levis and the red label or the price of them etc as we sauntered round the disco then onto the chippy then home to watch benny hill...these days im quite happy with an 8 pound pair from asda.
I circumvented the first with the use of a long extension lead. Videogaming in the garden courtesy of our good friends at Oric and a black and white portable telly :D

The old cobblers that my grandad worked at still exists, though its not as big as it used to be, little more than a cubicle in a run down shopping arcade now.

My daughters have proven that designer jeans do still exist, just not in our old fuddy duddy reality. Personally I go for Primark as they have a better range, the Asda ones being baggy round the crotch.
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Tom_Baker wrote:I just finished watching a film about Stockholm syndrome. It started out terrible but by the end I really liked it.

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r0jaws
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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by r0jaws » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:34 pm

I think Boston is somehow fighting the derelict pub trend at the moment. There is one in my village, just outside Boston, and one in the adjoining village and they are both doing alright. I lost count of how many pubs there are in the town itself, all of which seem to be doing reasonable business.
My wife runs one, and the brewery have recently gone "back to basics" with it. All the old 70s decor is gone, and it is now all Victorian wood panelling, open fires and snugs. It has a wide selection of real ales, and only bar snacks available, its recently started to really pick up in popularity.
We also have a phone box that I still see being used at least weekly in the centre of the village.
Perhaps this part of Lincolnshire is in some sort of time warp.

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Re: Oh how times have changed...

Post by lee gray » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:35 pm

I leave for work at 5 am and sometimes see a milk man.
When I was young we use to get two red tops and one gold top which had a bit of thick cream at the top, it was always a treat if you go to open that one.

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