Changes in my lifetime

Been sitting here thinking how much has changed in my lifetime. When I was young public transport was steam trains- trams/trolley buses, cars quoted in horse power HP . Law was a police officer -blue police box and panda cars/noddy bikes. Health a DR would do house calls and many local hospitals to serve the local community. Shooling one had to wear the school uniform. Deliveries such as milk floats and even horses and carts, rag and bone men ringing a hand bell. Coalmen carrying sacks of coal to the house. Dustmen with bins carried to the dust cart. Entertainment was making up ones one games with skipping ropes -chasing or using the local park swings. Food was got with vouchers and limited after the war.Phones only in the home by landline. Holiday in this country. Good tradesmen easy to find, People came regularly to read meters. flying a luxury for the rich in planes with propellers. Money was in pounds-shillings and pence. fahrenheit is how we judged the weather in. we used to used a phone to talk to people.Teenagers included some Teddy boys and girls the boys often had bicycle . chains as weapons. Dentists used gas to knock you out for any dental work.The drills were powered by a hand wound large wheel belted tgo a small wheel to create enough speed. No such thing as a computer, calculations done on a slide rule.

Now it is imitation police -traffic wardens/PSO, try and find a policeman on foot now - transport now electric powered buses and no conductors. Schooling all now done on computers even outside games are now on them, even allowed to go to school wearing what they like. Mobile phones stuck “glued” to the ear. Deliveries made on line via the internet. Holidays abroad more exotic the better. trains even electric. cars now electric and power judged in Cubic Capacity CC. Tradesmen now foreign as we don’t train our own people. Lucky to even get a DR’s appointment and hospitals now cover a huge area. meters now read by home owner or by remote. flying in fast jets,rockets to the moon and beyond. Coalmen gone -dustmen now have bins to wheel . Money now and the weather now all in metric. Now a phone is used for anything but talking, such as texting etc. Now on the street men dress as women and vica versa and “gay” Parades. Dentists now use the needle to kill pain and high speed air driven drills

No doubt many on here can add to the above but is this called progress?. Well I don’t see it. Just one huge backward step for the next generation to overcome.


Trouble is RS, we have all bought the services, products, and lived the aspiration that has bought us here, so, we are all complicit in it, its just that some saw what was coming as it happened, and of them some were concerned and some were not. :biking_man:

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@realspeed Those are changes within our lifetime and are quite something. For those well over 60-70 though, just imagine what our parents and especially our grandparents, would make of changes so far since they were youngsters!

Well…I don’t know much about “days gone by” but i do recall a life before the internet, and I’m concerned for the future and the reliance of having a life via a screen. :frowning:

Yes, concerning isn’t it. We see all around us what the future in this way might be like, all these people wandering around glued to their mobile phones. Then when they do arrive home they are on either that same mobile or another device like a laptop or desktop. At home there is another device called “Alexa” or “Siri” that gives them answers to any queries and also follows instructions. No doubt those devices or others, similar, are also able to turn the heating or lights on. Plus keeping an eye open for that person trying to burgle their home and relieve the owners of some of these devices.

The future … ? Well I can tell you, it really does make me wonder?

One Big Question Mark Smiley

Computers were developed by those either now well into their 80’s or dead. As a teen in the early 70’s, I can remember the articles in magazines like practical wireless etc, either offering parts to build computers or articles about doing so & by the mid 70’s computers were no longer new tech, but developing tech. Canadian researchers started the path towards sending data packets in the late 60’s & by the mid 70’s radio amateurs were able to communicate globally using data packets, & by the mid 80’s the system was sufficiently robust to be used as emergency comms following the crash of an Areomexico aircraft in California.

I used to know a radio amateur who had been involved in monitoring German radio traffic for Bletchley Park during WW2. He was also involved in introducing computers to what was then Norwich Union & now Aquiva back in the mid 60’s.

It kind of makes humans a bit redundant doesn’t it…or stupid in terms of dulling their awareness. I can switch on my own lights & heating thanks. The fancy fridge that can tell what you are running low in and order it for you, always makes me laugh though! :smiley:

Oh yes, I remember those. The Velocette LE water cooled 149cc 4 stroke jobs. They had an absolute top speed of 50 and it was great fun to leave the PC coughing to our exhaust fumes as we burned past them. Although joking apart, those bike were always piloted by very reasonable coppers who were always up for a jolly good laugh and a great asset to our local area :+1:

C’mon folks!
Think of all the improvements we have had over the years. When did you last see a housewife scrubbing the floor on her hands and knees? Or a man using a scythe to cut the hay?

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You did that too then – it really was great fun wasn’t it!
:dash: :grinning:

Or the caveman, leaving his cave early in the morning to hunt, chase and catch dinner – no supermarkets or online deliveries in those days!

That so much reminds me of ‘The Flintstones’ – Fred Flintstone, his wife, Wilma, and their pals Barney and Wilma Rubble who made prehistoric cave dwelling seem downright modern.


we still do !!!:rofl:


My apologies Caveman, I had overlooked one particular member’s screen name when I posted that!
:thinking: :grinning:


There have been tremendous changes in my life as well and they were all for the better. I don’t miss anything from the old days except the weather that was “normal”, i.e., no weather extremes, a normal change of the seasons where winter was winter and summer was summer.
Our medical and dental treatment was appalling. A lot of diseases couldn’t be cured. Thick hollow needles were rammed into our arms when a vaccination was due. Dentists only new how to extract teeth rather than to fill them with a substance not injurious to health. Drilling the tooth for a filling was painful because one hardly got an injection and the dental drills became dull very soon leaving a smell of something burnt. Elder people had died because there were no antibiotics. In winter we were freezing and heating a room was such a hassle.
Apart from that I had to live in a repressive society that would lock people in and only knew how to pollute the environment and make people sick. It built ugly houses, paralysed the creativity, ingenuity, motivation, and performance of the people so that nothing was invented that would benefit them. It was not competitive at all and worth perishing to the benefit of the people.

That’s very interesting I presume that was the GDR.Can you describe what is was like in 1990 and what came after?

I agree I can’t think of anything from the 40s and 50s that I would like back and the music from the 60s is still around. (I wish I had been able to tell my younger self, “Don’t spend money on records and expensive hifi because MP3s are coming”).

A lot of the jobs I did have become redundant for example look at PO Tower in London, I started working there just after it opened, now it’s equipment and its reason for being is obsolete, later I spent decades working in the coal fired power stations now they are on the nose (in more ways than one)

No polio, rickets, smallpox, appalling dental work etc and despite climate change things are much better now

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@Bruce ,. SEEMINGLY ??
Donkeyman! :roll_eyes::roll_eyes:

We keep being told there are more Mental Elves now!!! :biking_man:

Wow, you even know the official name. :grinning: You are asking about 1990 and not 1989, the year of the peaceful revolution as it was called? There would be so much to say. Here’s just a rough outline.
In 1990, that is after the wall had come down in 1989 and me being 34, there was a mixture of joy, hope, despair (for some), anxiety (what exactly is to come?), and agony (of the old system). It was a year of transition. Some (the younger) regarded it as a creative chaos because the old system was tumbling and the new system not fully established before October that year, which gave them a degree of freedom they would never enjoy again. East Germans could travel but didn’t have hard currency in the form of the Deutschmark yet. Everyone was waiting for its introduction on 1 July. Until then they could only use the unofficial exchange rate which was much too high given the low pay in the east. People were protesting on the streets chanting “If we don’t get the D-Mark, we’ll all move to the west.” That made an impact.

People were looking for orientation. They were worried about themselves and their whole family. What will life be like? How to ride the rollercoaster of the new system? Will I keep my job? Will my company survive? Will my professional qualification be officially recognized and also accepted by a new employer? Or will I get sacked? Would I have to retrain?
A lot of young people like my sister and brother in-law didn’t want to wait for one or two decades before the effects of reconstruction would be noticeable and moved to the west immediately. Everything in the eastern part was in a deplorable state, many areas extremely polluted. It took between two and three decades before, as a result of a unique reconstruction programme, the standard of the west was by and large reached. Today, young people are stunned when they see the contrast of Now and Then as shown in exhibitions.
All in all, reunification has been a huge success story. There are just the few usual suspects who would want to have the old system back or so at least they say. The vast majority has benefited from the changes and enjoyed their life ever after like myself. It was amazing to see what people can achieve if they are free and can unleash their creativity, something most people had been longing for.
Yet even after 30 years my country is not fully reunited. Most importantly, pay in the east is still lower than in the west as are pensions. Insurance companies still have different tariffs for the eastern part. Energy prices are higher here, too. Any rise in the cost of living will have a stronger impact in the east.


Good to see you keeping abreast of the situation @realspeed

But we went metric with our money 50 years ago, and metric with our weather forecasting 60 years ago.

Thanks Dachs.Reading about it is not as good as hearing from someone who actually lived through it.I’m glad things are better for you.It sounds like an experiment that was never going to work .

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