Do you realise? , 6
1935 to 1970
The quality of life which was improving after all that austerity, was brought to a halt in 1939. Children, and in particularly, male children, between the ages of 10 and 25 were about to lose those valuable years between the ages of 15 and 25, if not their life. They were not to know the fun of sports, holidays and courting, in a calm and easy world. They would be shoved from place to place with no say of their own choice, and take their pleasures, if any, on the run. Those early years of the war were duplicated across the world, with Communist Chinese in a civil war, Europe and the Eastern countries in uproar, Japan invading, and America and the Commonwealth brought into the troubles as well.
It therefore took years to bring normality to Britain, we were destitute, owed a fortune to America, the reconstruction of work was enormous, and the changes produced by the men coming back from the war, to find a place within the workforce of the nation was the problem . The government initially made a promise, that anyone who was co-opted or volunteered to serve in the forces, could count on having his job back in peacetime. At the beginning of the war people were saying that it would be over in a short time, which probably accounted for that promise. People like myself who had only started their articles, were still totally untrained in the profession that they had originally chosen, and hence those of us in that condition could not just walk back into a job without additional training, so a lot of us found ourselves on the dole with a family to support, and no house to live in. I was fortunate in that I qualified for a place at a University, what some of the other men would not have done and would have been unfair, but the government had made no provision in this eventuality.
In 1950, while there was still the last areas of cities and towns that were derelict as a result of the bombing, Britain was returning to a level of normality we hadn’t seen in some time. There were job vacancies, a better economy, and manufacturing was widening considerably. In 1960 the number of cars on the road had increased considerably, and shops were stocking a higher range of products from home and around the world. This set the stage for the the period when the morays that we had been taught, were thrown to the winds. Carnaby Street, with its wild coture, was just the start. People dyed there hair, not just one colour, but areas of several colours. Behaviour was more extravagant and what was more, the morals of the past were beginning to be thrown over. People started to take what today are referred to as partners. In the 50s, it was unnecessary to lock your front door as the likelihood of being burgled was very low, it was common for women to go to the shop round the corner without locking the front door. In the 60s we had the Kray Twins, high-profile gangsters, who had their corner of London in their grasp, and were ultimately sent to prison for life. Since then on a steady rising curve, criminality has increased steadily, to the point now, it seems parents can’t leave her children to walk to school, for fear of interference. It was in the 70s that those huge open air concerts became a regular feature, people became more wealthy, started taking holidays abroad as a regular thing, it was also in the 70s that the government miss- managed the economy and there was a tightening of the belts which had severe effects on industry, and the high Street.
It is not my intention to take this revolution which started after the Second World War, and has been going on ever since at an increasing rate, any further, because the majority of people who are reading this are of and age where they have experience the incredible changes over the last 30 years. I don’t think anyone could have forecast the changes in the way the country is run, and the way in which people now live in so much isolation, with the village mentality long gone, and along with it the consideration for others.