A Word In Your Ear - August 24, 2017

Roy Edmonds
Roy Edmonds
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Memories of gravy and radio

It was a step back in time last weekend as Lytham celebrated a 1940s Festival in suitable style. The traffic jams approaching it, however, were very 21st Century.

Motorists not in classic vehicles parked up and on show were stuck in jams caused by, as well as the festival’s draw, traffic avoiding fracking protests on Preston New Road, then temporary lights for roadworks and United Utility excavations.

Oh, for those halcyon days when local youngsters, like She Who Knows, cycled leafy lanes rarely seeing a car, let alone roadwork cones. Still, the weather was fairly kind and we enjoyed a dance in St. Annes.

The event wasn’t 40s-style but over a Pimm’s we and friends discussed memories of the 50s, when most of us had grown up.

It was comparatively boring then, we all agreed, with far less to enjoy than nowadays. Also, food was predictable, rather dull and labour-intensive to prepare – with all those dirty vegetables to clean, cut up and boil.

“But it was nice, too, though,” insisted friend Elaine, all the way from Essex, with a wistful look back into her family past.

We soon understood and sympathised with what she meant.

“Everyone had Sunday dinner at lunchtime,” observed husband Paul, “usually New Zealand lamb or beef.”

“With Two-Way Family Favourites on the radio!” I added. “That theme tune still summons up the aroma of Bisto gravy and a Sunday roast.”

“Afterwards we’d play table tennis or other family games,” added Elaine, “then listen together to radio plays.”

“Yes, it was fun!” Paul agreed.

We rose and swept off into a timeless waltz, glad to be alive now, healthy and relatively prosperous – but acknowledging there was much to value from those distant days.

Also, what a debt we owe to the sacrifices and efforts of others, in those war-torn 40s!

• For Roy’s books visit royedmonds-blackpool.com.