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Monday 3 September 2012

Looking back...

It has got to be yet another sign of aging. (sigh)

I know that 'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”  L. P. Hartley (1895-1972) 

Thoughts of times past crowd my mind and no, they were not all the 'good old days'. Partly these musings have been driven by a spate of obituaries over the last few weeks.

Hal David - lyricist who worked with Burt Bacharach - composer (music) to produce a cornucopia of hits for well-known artists

Aretha Franklin - I Say A Little Prayer 
Dionne Warwick -  I'll Never Fall In Love Again 
Dusty Springfield  - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself 

Commander Neil Armstrong of the Apollo moon landing; first person to walk on the Moon.

Also, of late I've taken to listening to Radio Four Extra which broadcasts past listening 'gems'.
There was 'Rogue Male' by Geoffrey Household which held me enthralled; so much that I added the book to kindle.

Written about a time before the days of personal mass communication which dogs our days and seems to run the lives of some people.

A time when most people communicated by speaking person to person and face to face or writing letters. Only the well-off used telegrams, which were a source of dread for the ordinary person. The one and only telegram I received bore news of a death.

Time that spread out "endlessly" in to the future. Posts arriving twice daily, replaced by the post which arrived regularly about 8.30. Now, we're lucky if it arrives in the morning (Saturday) or any time in the afternoon (M-F).

The most popular method of transport being Shank's pony. 

Then there were journeys by steam train. The noise, smells, hustle and bustle of the railway station. Platform ticket price 1d to access the platform in order to greet, wave off friends and relatives.
The small branch-line from Hayfield to New Mills which is now part of the Sett Valley trail. Then, the train ran on a single branch-line and had to stop to give back or take on board the pouch which showed the line was in use or clear.

Another thought which surfaces repeatedly is the memory of my father in his 60s returning to the Peak District to visit places from his past. No train journey was possible as the station had closed and lines torn up. He took himself by bus there and back, telling me after the event. Now, I too have a similar impulse, partly assuaged by researching genealogy, and viewing places on line. Now all that's left is to visit in person...

Geograph is a useful site where folk share photographs on places. As most of my time spent in the Dark Peak was in the days of black and white photography I'm using Geograph for these images (Creative Commons).

Looking over Upper Cliffe Farm in the middle ground, Hayfield beyond and seemingly the highest point Mount Famine with the distant bulk of Kinder Scout massif on the left skyline.
  © Copyright Peter Turner and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Edited version cropped and enhanced by me.

Lantern Pike Inn, Little Hayfield, Derbyshire - cropped and enhanced.

Pub on the A624 with its own special place in TV history. One day in 1960, Tony Warren alighted here and sat down in the front left corner of the pub to begin writing the scripts for the first ever episode of Coronation Street.

  © Copyright Jonathan Clitheroe and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

So says that I can add some family knowledge...
The Inn is situated at the corner of Clough Lane and Glossop Road.
In the 1960s local people were astonished when a cottage on Slack Lane (the side road before Clough Lane) gained a celebrity owner Pat Phoenix star of Coronation Street.


Sayre said...

I have received two telegrams in my life - both from my grandfather. The first congratulated me on my engagement to my first husband and assured me that he would be in-country and would attend. The second was on the birth of my son.

Weirdly, I do not have either one still (because that's the kind of thing I would have kept). I can only blame the number of moves between the first one and the present for that.

joanygee said...

Good to know your telegrams were happy ones.