A question for the older members

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
:thumbsup: Just wondering, being just 26, I obviously have no experience of the 70's... and I certainly cant remember the first eight months of my life thats for sure :D

However, I often hear it said that things were better back then in the 70's. I have my doubts. I am from Tyneside in North East England, and I have a few mates who are older than me - people in their 40's etc... and I was talking to one of them the other day. He has a bit of a history, used to be a punk, and he was telling me of stories how they used to fight the teddy boys.

Basically he told me that there were pitch battles and people used to get some real bad beatings. Also, he's from Hebburn, and he says they used to have big gang fights with people from Jarrow, South Shields and Felling. He tells me that a lot of estates back then were very run down and rough.

My dad, who I've also discussed this with was brought up either in the Old Fold or Leam Lane, both of which have their reputations (not much left of the Old Fold nowadays). He says he could seldom ever leave the house without finding trouble. He said that poverty was rife where he lived, not many had cars or TV's even in the 70's round there. Again, when he lived up Leam Lane he used to talk of fighting with people from Springwell Estate and the nearby parts of Washington.

Now going back to the guy from Hebburn, I told him that I'd never really known violence, unemployment or poverty on the scale he was speaking of in my lifetime, at least not in the areas where I've lived, so I asked him how today's Hebburn compared with yesterdays... and he told me things were MUCH quieter and less rough nowadays and that there was hardly any trouble at all. He's still quite active socially, goes drinking down there a lot, as he's not married and doesnt have kids, so he still thinks he's in his 20's i think :thumbsup: He reckons the world in general is not as bad as it was.

Funnily enough, my Dad went to a party when he was younger down a place called Grange Villa which is just down the road from where I went to secondary school - its an old mining village in the North of County Durham, not too far from Tyneside. He said it was probably one of the roughest places he'd ever seen in his youth and him and his mate got chased out of the village by the locals throwing bottles and wielding bats and other weapons! Now, my experience of growing up round that part, having other friends around other villages in durham, and having plenty of friends and quite a bit of experience of tyneside holds true - that these small villages are actually WORSE than some of the worst parts of tyneside... as they have a very cliquey element to them, and they dont like outsiders too much.

Anyway, getting back on topic, I asked my dad what he thought, and he basically believed that it was easier to find trouble back then, and the standard of living was definitely worse. He did add however, that you were perhaps more likely to be murdered nowadays, although he did concede that this was probably pretty unlikely anyway. He says its just increased coverage of the media through TV and internet that makes things seem worse than they really are.

So, all the people who say things were "more peaceful" in the 70's. Were they really? Because to me, it does not seem to be the case - this seems to be something reeking in nostalgia and seen through rose tinted glasses. After all, how many people here still go down a coal mine and get a lung full of dust giving them cancer nowadays? How many people have to have a fight every time they leave the front door? How many people can go home to a warm house and have a tasty warm meal, put their feet up, watch the telly and chill out? How many could do that back then?

Discuss :D
 

Bat-man

Well-known Member
I know what you mean but we tend to look back with rose tinted glasses.
I assure you that, in general, things are much better now.
 

Gary D

Distinguished Member
70's was crap - i was 5 at the beginning of it and 15 at the end. Bloody power cuts, crap govenments (all colours), 3 day week, British Leyland etc etc.

I grew up in the 70's and while i had a laugh to say it was better than now would be difficult to say. i think there is always a tendancy to look back and think things were. But they weren't. The only good thing about the 70's was the lack of chav's, and the the fact that there was no bloody hip hop!!


Gary
 

Ian J

Banned
Paul's 70's isn't one that I recognize at all but I come from middle class Surrey & Sussex where life was very different.

Oddly enough whilst the Tyneside lifestyle seems to have improved dramatically in the last thirty years the same cannot be said of the home counties which have probably regressed and the gap between the two different lifestyles has narrowed considerably

There is always an element of rose tinted glasses when looking back and whilst technology in the shape of mobile phones, microwaves and computers has leapt ahead it isn't necessarily for the better as we managed well enough without mobiles and computers and I much prefered four TV channels of comparative quality rather than the 200 channels of rubbish that we have today.

Don't get me started on food as the one thing that I really do miss now is food that actually tastes of something. Sunday joints with bones in them, fresh fish, vegetables with a very short shelf life but far more taste
 

Beobloke

Active Member
I remember when it were all fields round 'ere.....................
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Things weren't really any better in the past. What's changed is not how many incidents of violence there are, but how many you actually hear about. Back in the 70s if someone was killed in a fight between gangs it wouldn't have made the national news; nowadays every time it happens it's in the papers and on TV for days. Because people hear about far more violence they think there must be far more of it around, but it's not true.
 

Light_User

Active Member
Gary D said:
70's was crap - i was 5 at the beginning of it and 15 at the end. Bloody power cuts, crap govenments (all colours), 3 day week, British Leyland etc etc.

I grew up in the 70's and while i had a laugh to say it was better than now would be difficult to say. i think there is always a tendancy to look back and think things were. But they weren't. The only good thing about the 70's was the lack of chav's, and the the fact that there was no bloody hip hop!!


Gary

You are right, fortunately, we didn't have had hip hop in the 70's. Unfortunately, we had bloody "Glam" rock instead!! :thumbsdow
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I was 9 in 1970 and 18 in 1979 so really miss wearing those big wide baggy trousers with a 3 inch waistband that comes up to your chest, all topped off with a lime green jumper with 3 white stars on it - pure class ;) :D
Of course the late 70s saw me getting my hair cut really short and sticking zips and safety pins all over my ripped clothes when I was a punk, now that was really great fun ! I remember going into a pet shop and picking out a big studded dog collar and then looking at the faces of the amazed people in there when I asked if they'd got a mirror so I could try it on :D
 

Garrett

Moderator
Well I did not think the 70 were bad, there was less traffic on the roads, and the night clubs in the area were very orderly. It was fairly quite though the town late at night which I cannot say now.
And only this morning I was looking at the pavements at all the chewing gum on it and though it never use to be like that.

As to TV and food Id say Ian J is right.

One thing I do miss is going to different towns and going in different shops, now a days they all seem homogenised, and can only see things getting worse as the big chains squeeze the small shop owners out business.

I also think music has been killed, and instead of group forming themselves they are being manufactured by companies. And a lot of stuff is undecipherable, bland pap or copies of what went before and done not as good. The other week I heard someone singing Jackie Wilson's I Get the Sweetest Feeling, which was from an inferior singer, in my opinion and also the backing was bland companied with the original. Also there is a lot of ripping track because the talent is not there to write good new stuff.

The artist then did not charge an arm an a leg to see them and saw most of the Mowtown line up.

I was very fortunate to catch the last 2 years of the cabaret circuit in town where fo a very modest amout you could see 4 acts one would probably a well known singer (probably just gone out of fashion) or some comedian. IE I saw Freddie Star and The Grumbleweed before they became famous.

Oh and one park I know had a lot of amenities, e.g. Shelters if it rained, toilets, wooden benches. Now there all gone due to fairly recent vandalism probably under age drinkers as it was a well know spot for them and was told one night the park ranger was sat with them drinking.
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
is it me or were punks and teddy boys from different eras?
 

Nick_UK

Banned
There's only one thing that was better in the 70's and that was the traffic on the roads, but we were all driving rubbish cars back then.

There were a few good programmes in the '70's, but there was a lot of rubbish too. People had lower expectations in those days, and technology wasn't taken for granted the way it is today. Mind you, "high tech" entertainment in the 70's was an 8-track stereo in the car, and if you were really well off, you had an 8-track cartridge recorder in your living room. Young people certainly had a lot less to spend in those days.
 
F

Family Guy

Guest
I was 5 in 1970...living in SW London (Battersea). We never had any money yet my dad was always ******...:confused: :D
There was always white dog pooh all over the place (which has dissapearde of the face of the planet). Summers seemed hotter and longer and winters were cloder and it seemed to snow every winter - real snow.

Though we did FIRST RUNS of Steptoe & Son, Porridge & Some Mothers Do have 'em which made things bearable...:smashin:
 

Garrett

Moderator
I got told the reason there is no white poo is because of the diet they were on.
 
F

Family Guy

Guest
Garrett said:
I got told the reason there is no white poo is because of the diet they were on.
So even dogs are healthier these days...
 

Mr Cat

Banned
Garrett said:
I got told the reason there is no white poo is because of the diet they were on.

which was...? :)
 

Alan_W

Active Member
JohnG said:
I was 9 in 1970 and 18 in 1979 so really miss wearing those big wide baggy trousers with a 3 inch waistband that comes up to your chest

The best bit about the 70's was being able to get into big wide baggy trousers with a 3 inch waistband :cool:
 
C

Chumpy

Guest
Interesting thread for sure. I am originally from 'the leam', and just a few years older than you, and whilst it could be argued that the leam was rough, there was no comparison between the leam and the old fold. If you drove through the old fold in a car you never let the wheels stop turning or they would be gone - why they decided to build Gateshead 'International' stadium right on the doorstep I will never know!

Overall my recollection was that it was an honest, hard graft area, with no **** being taken from any little charvers. In fact I remember my old man waiting up one night to acost some young charvers who though it was fun to run through people's back hedges. After slowing them down with some strategically places rose thorns and chicken wire, and some education with a pick axe handle, they strangely never came back again :) , moreso a few years later, would always offer him a seat in the local club whenever he came in. Who said education doesn't work :)

You could certainly argue that the old fold was run down, but the leam did seem to have at least some pride of appearance in most areas (apart from the dodgy concrete in the swimming baths that led to it being closed for many years).

There were certainly gangs about, although from memory most of these were splinters from larger organisations in Newcastle or Gateshead.

Mind you saying all that, I could go out on my own anytime, anywhere around that area and not come across any trouble, in fact I had a lot more problems with that when I moved away from the area.
 

WhyAyeMan

Well-known Member
Hey chumpy, I've never personally lived in the leam, that was my dad, and even then it was nearly 40 years ago he moved away. He did say that he was glad to get away from the area at the time. He actually lived very near the Eagle pub, I'm sure you probably know it.

Granted, the old fold was a lot worse than the leam, that was where he first grew up, and the place was demolished for good reason!

I've known a couple of people from the leam, although they've since moved on (and i dont even know if they lived there all their life or just briefly), but I must say that the leam doesnt look that bad these days (if it ever did). The worst bit is probably where the baths are as you say. I have a vivid memory of this place because my gran always used to take me down there when i was little for the shopping etc. Eventually they moved to wrekenton, which could be argued isnt really much better.

Slightly OT, but I lived just down the road from Cowgate in Newcastle last year, and while for sure theres no way I'd live in Cowgate itself, the part I moved to was often said to be a bit rough, and yet I never had any problems at all in the whole time I lived there. The people were a bit rough, but generally sound, at least in the case of the neighbours anyway :)
 

Garrett

Moderator
Mr Cat said:
which was...? :)
I think it was much protein??? in there diet now before they use to digest it all now they pass a lot of it.
Although I've been told if humans go on anti-biotics too long it can destroy the helpful bugs up your bum which also can may your poo go white.
 
C

Chumpy

Guest
I actually went back a couple of months ago, and to be honest it's not looking too bad (probably better than when I left there late 80's to move to the wrong side of the borough (Washington) for a while).

Gateshead and Felling High St's still need a bomb dropped on em (in fact there is some re-development planned IIRC), but didn't make it back over the water into the toon. Probably going to take a trip up there next week as it happens.

When I was up last they were flattening the top part of the leam where all the flats used to be (the estatename escapes my mind at the moment). I used to live not far from the Deuchars.

In all honesty, I much preferred the people/lifestyle up there to where I am now. I am shortly to be moving halfway back. There's a big pay differential, but also big differential in house prices, which means I can almost afford to sell up here and buy a bigger place outright up there, and have no mortgage ... and an easier life of course :D
 

la gran siete

Distinguished Member
wouildnt have said the seventies were any better or worse than today just different. Yeah sure therewere negatives but there was also lots of positives. I had tremendous fun particularly in the ealy part 70-75 whebn I caught the tail end of the hippie movement. My mates and I all looked and sounded a bit like Neil from the Young Ones except completely stoned out.Long hair badly kept, patched up jeans crushed velvet trousers and tassled swede jackets were de riguer. One lived in a "pad"slept on a mattress on the floor coverd the walls with psychaedelic paintings and ate rather odd stews made from anything available- lentils ,oats ,bits of veg and whatever bits of meat we could find Most nights the rooms would be full of spliff smoke and other naughties were occasionally available.Reading material would consist of a copy of "Frendz, IT or OZ all counterculture rags of the anarchic variety. Remember being raided by the fuzz once, luckily they found nothing.
Jobs were plentiful . You could walk out of one and into another without any bother.Paid for the rent and ones necessities.
The highlight of the season were the summer festivals some free and some for the bread heads.Bands were good and plentiful nad for the most part could play- Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Jeferson airplane,Byrds, Crosby Stills Nash and Young,Santana,Free,Rolling Stones,The Who, John Mayall the list goes on and on. One things for certain you did not watch POP bands if oyu wanted any credibility. I mean T Rex and the like Uuuugh!
If you were a student you'd hit the streets and go on a demostrations to protest at something -Margaret Thatcher was a favourite target.
After 1975 things took a turn for the worse as cynicism took over
and Punk became the dominant fashion. The music was dreadful for the most part with a few exeptions such as Iggy Pop. Most bandfs seemed content to just strut around, pose with attitude and thrash a few chords on a guitar badly:thumbsdow
 

KoThreads

Well-known Member
I loved the early seventies (70-76 born 58) Best music by a mile and still listen to it. Food, as Ian said, had flavour. Clothes seemed fine at the time (I had a pair of 501's that I saved for cost a wopping £3.49)

To busy to bother with the news, seemed loads to do. Ultra mono record player with auto changer with the volume on full all the time. My Dad bought a Dynatron which at the tme were well regarded and to me the 4 channel multiplexed sound was incredible.

Thinking back things seemed so simple.

I thought the 80's and 90's were awfull.

And as far as the last 6 years go, well it's seems an improvement on the last 20 years so far.
 

itcosthowmuch

Active Member
as a kid growing up in the 70's I know one thing for sure and that's we had more respect for our elders. There was none of this suing culture, school would give you a good whack with the slipper/cane and when you went home to complain about it you were told 'serves you right' and not 'come on lets take that b*****d to court' which happens today. There wasn't so much religious hatred or cultural diversity in school.

WAGON WHEELS AND CULRY WHIRLY'S WERE BIGGER!

However we didn't have mobile phones/plasma tv/dvd/computers or holidays abroad so easily.

SO I guess some things were better and some weren't!!!

Me I just live for today :)
 

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