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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  23/12/2011  :  09:45

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS!

It's that time of year again! The editor tells me that I am having a holiday until January 13th so this is my last View of the year.

The first thing is to thank you all for putting up with me and giving me so much feedback. I hope I can continue to entertain and provoke thought during 2012. The next message is to wish all of you a happy holiday, no matter how you celebrate the season. Mind you, I've never seen different beliefs stopping anybody having a good time. I once asked a Jewish lady why she was baking a Christmas cake and planning all the meals with a Christmas theme, I knew that she observed her religion. She said “Stanley, a holiday is a holiday!”, typical Jewish thinking and well done her! The surprising thing is that in these austere times the government hasn't warned against too much celebration, some things are sacrosanct and I doubt if any politician in his or her right mind would dare to criticise us. Speaking of austerity, even if you know you have spent too much, try to forget it over Christmas. It's too late to worry now so have a good time, avoid stress and recharge your batteries. I have little doubt we will all have plenty to worry about next year!

Funnily enough, writing this on December 6th I haven't seen the usual warning about a shortage of turkeys yet. Perhaps they're saving that one up. I can't ever remember a Christmas when we didn't have this story. Remember that every supermarket has a Department of Cunning Wheezes and they are working as hard as they can to fool you into spending money on 'bargains'. I watched a Panorama programme on BBC1 last night and the quote that stuck in my mind was the expert who said “The funny thing is that if they are price-cutting, how come their profits aren't suffering?” Quite! Read the price tickets, compare costs and make sure they don't fool you. They are not charitable organisations!

I was impressed yesterday by the impact of the shops blacking out their windows as a protest against the proposed new Tesco store. I have no strong opinions either way on the subject but the thought crossed my mind that as well as being part of the protest, blacking the windows out did call attention to the fact that these brave little local businesses exist and regardless of Tesco we should value them and shop as much as we can with them. Perhaps they should make the great Window-Blacking an annual event. One thing is certain, if as much energy was put into promoting the local traders as is going into the protest against Tesco it could do nothing but good.

Enough of these deeper thoughts, it's time to concentrate on the delights of the season. My children and grand children are scattered all over the world so Christmas Day is, in many ways, just an ordinary day for me. After all, being a solitary 75, every day is a holiday! Nevertheless many things still delight me. I love the Christmas music and always play the full Messiah at least once. It brings back the memory of childhood Christmases when there were no worries and even in the dark days of the Second World War we woke up on Christmas Day knowing that by some miracle there was a fire in the front room and at least one present. By another miracle my Mother would make sure there was a proper Christmas dinner. Looking back and no matter how reprehensible it was, I am pretty sure that some of the goodies came via the Black Market and were illegal!

I remember the family days at Hey Farm and the happiness of the kids when they found that no matter how bad things were, they had presents and a stocking full of goodies. Funnily enough, one of the things that gives me pleasure still is the early-morning trundling noise of children trying out their new scooters and the number of little girls pushing prams round during the day! I remember one year when we were poor the only pram we could afford was the cheapest, most nasty pink plastic monstrosity that you can imagine. I have talked about this with my daughters and they all agree that it was the most loved and used toy they ever had. It was almost indestructible and was around for years. A good illustration of the fact that the expense of a present isn't always a good guide to how well it goes down!

There is another attractive aspect to Christmas. No matter how bad people are at other times of the year they usually send a card. This means at least that we keep in touch and get the latest news. I will never join in the usual seasonal diatribes about the dreaded 'Christmas Letter'. (That one hasn't happened yet either!) No matter how bad they are they are a handshake and the thought behind them is good. However, when you get to my age these messages can be a mixed blessing. It always surprises me how often I learn of a death at this time of the year. Only to be expected of course, life is a terminal disease but nevertheless it's sad when the word drops on the doormat. I hope you are lucky and don't get any of these over the holiday, they can be a bit of a dampener.

So, all that remains for me to do is issue my Christmas Orders! Have a good holiday, push all gloomy thoughts to the back of your mind. Try to be nice to everyone no matter how aggrieved you might be with them. Remember that one of the sad facts about Christmas is a rise in the divorce rate and the incidence of family squabbles. I have no idea about why this should be so but am sure that if everyone was thinking straight, sharing the work, avoiding stress and trying to be nice, many of these upsets could be avoided. Concentrate on the children and make sure the sound of carols echoes round the house at every opportunity. I can't guarantee that these things will ensure the best Christmas ever but it could be a good start.

Last but not least, I wish you all the best New Year possible. Look after yourselves and remember that health and happiness are the best gifts of all, far more important than wealth. God willing I shall be back nattering you on January 13th 2012.

Christmas dinner Hey Farm 1977. Everyone on parade!


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk

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Julie in Norfolk
Senior Member


1632 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 03:54
Panbiker, I couldn't have worded it better. Merry Christmas everyone.


Measure with a micrometer.
Mark with a pencil.
Cut with an axe. Go to Top of Page
melteaser
Genealogist


4819 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 06:01
Merry Christmas to all at OGFB.


Mel


http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 06:20
Merry Christmas to you Malty. Nice to see you spending a bit more time on here. Nolic


" I'm a self made man who worships his creator" Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 06:28
I agree Comrade but the question is who is looking after the Potteries?


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Cathy
Senior Member


4249 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 09:14
Merry Christmas one and all and Happy Holidays 
      Cheers

             Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy! 


All thru the fields and meadows gay  ....  Enjoy   
Take Care...Cathy Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 11:10
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL THE PALS ON OGFB!!

I hadn't realised that Mel was in the Potteries - my maternal grandmother was born into a family of potter's printers in Longton, Stoke on Trent in the 1890s.


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thomo
Barlick Born Old Salt


2021 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 12:29
Interesting prezzie from my Daughter, a "Haynes Manual" for 617 Sqn Lancaster bombers and attendant special weapons ie, Grand Slam, Earthquake, Tallboy and Upkeep Bombs. Go easy now Tomket, I have the technology!!!!!!!!!!!!


thomo Go to Top of Page
melteaser
Genealogist


4819 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 15:37
I live in Longton Tizer!


Mel


http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 25/12/2011 : 19:19
Mel ...If you ever went to the Tuesday Antique Market on "The Stones " in Newcastle 1996/2005 , there's a good chance we met  (I had the stall right next to Woolies !)


BRADDERS BLUESINGER Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 26/12/2011 : 11:28
Mel, what a coincidence! In the 1901 census my great grandmother Louisa Weston was 4 years old and lived at 20 George Street, a daughter of James and Annie Weston, potter's printers. In 1891 James and Annie lived at 24 Howard Street, Longton. I'm not sure where the family where in 1911 because I don't have access to Ancestry now - we'd done as much as we could on our family histories at the time and couldn't justify keeping up the subscription. In WW1 Louisa did some nursing and met my grandfather, a South African soldier who was injured and sent to Britain for treatment. They got married and had their first child here before returning after the war to SA where my mother was born. In a reverse story, my father was sent to SA late in WW2, met my mother there, got married and they came to Britain at the end of the war and I was born here (but I've always felt so cold here that I'm sure I should have been born in SA!).


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melteaser
Genealogist


4819 Posts
Posted - 26/12/2011 : 20:07
Small world Tizer

I have visited the Stones Bradders but would have been browsing rather than purchasing back then. My interest in antiques has only really surfaced since I married one....sshhhh!


Mel


http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Sunray10
Regular Member


557 Posts
Posted - 26/12/2011 : 23:24
Hello Duck, duckie - thats for Mel in Longton, Stoke on Trent.ya-hoo


R.Spencer. Go to Top of Page
Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 27/12/2011 : 01:39
Mel, It was a real struggle , trading on "The Stones" ,but I met (and am still in touch with) some wonderful people .......it gave me an insight into what life was really like in that area.....not easy ,eh!


BRADDERS BLUESINGER Go to Top of Page
melteaser
Genealogist


4819 Posts
Posted - 27/12/2011 : 06:26
I don't know Bradders. I guess as a shopper/local, you go around slightly blinkered. Maybe as a stall holder you see more?
I think Stoke and Newcastle have a fair share of poverty....like most cities in the UK.  The area has been hit hard with job losses over the last couple of decades. The pottery industry is non-existent now, we no longer have the pits and the steel has gone too. Plenty of call centres and Tescos dotted around to replace them Confused


Mel


http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/12/2011 : 05:33
Fifty years ago the Potteries were dirty and buzzing with industry.  In latter years I used to wonder how everyone was surviving. Longton was perhaps hardest hit of all.


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
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