15 ways in which the 1950s was better than now.

Things That Were Good About the 1950s.
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I grew up in the 1950s and 60s. People born much later than that have no idea what it was really like in those days and so I have decided to do a blog about it. Some older readers will understand what I have to say.

Nowadays we have lots of technology to make our lives easier, but it seems to me that life is more complicated now than it was when I was growing up. I think that many of the problems today stem from people’s inability to cope with an ever-changing world.

Now it could be said that my Grandmother’s generation saw more changes. She was born in the 19th century. There were no mod cons around. Lighting was by gas and transport was by horse-drawn vehicles. She died in 1965 when cars were quite common, vacuum cleaners helped to clean the house and detergents had been invented. Previously she had had to grate soap to do her washing and even the washing up. From having to walk most places, she saw the first artificial satellite put up in 1962 and the first transatlantic TV pictures. No wonder she was fit and slim all her life.

I seem to have digressed from my original theme.
Here are some things from the 1950s that I think were better than now. (Not in any particular order.)

 There were no empty shops in the high street.
 Road surfaces were smooth, as were the footpaths. (I don’t know if it was true, but it was said that if you tripped on a paving stone and it was raised more than the width of an old penny, then you could sue the council. This gives an idea as to how much better the footpaths were.)
 I used to go outside to play.
 Sweets were rationed and so they were a treat. A Mars bar was cut up into slices and shared with all the family. Yes, this was a ‘good’ thing. Less tooth decay, learning to share and less obesity.
 Food was what was in season.
 When we went out to play, it was in the woods and fields. We climbed trees, dammed streams and made dens. No one bothered us.
 There was no climate of fear for children playing and running wild.
 Not many people had televisions and so we learned to play musical instruments.
 We played games together like Monopoly, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Dominoes etc.
 We learned to put other people before ourselves.
 The 1950s were a time of optimism. The 2nd World War had recently finished and people were looking forward to a new world.
 There was little or no swearing on the street.
 There were policemen on the beat and they were respected.
 Schools were from 9 (or 8.50) until 4 o’clock, not until 3 o’clock. Only infant schools finished at 3.
 Exams were meaningful. We had to write essays, not just fill in blanks. (Structured questions!) Yes, exams have got easier over the years. I found an old  ‘O’-level paper some years ago that I had kept. 16-year-olds nowadays would not be able to do it.
I am sure I could find many more things if I were to continue, but I think this is long enough for now.

Please comment whether you agree or disagree. I would enjoy a lively debate on this subject.

Now the answers to last week’s questions.

1. Bulldog for sale. Loves children. Will eat anything.
2. As I was passing, the dog growled at me in a very aggressive manner. OR The dog growled at me in a very aggressive manner as I was passing.
3. A man found Caroline’s bag full of groceries.
4. The wool was found in a complete tangle by the playful kitten.
5. Man on rail line saved from being killed by train.

OK. This last is still a bit ambiguous. I could have made up a better sentence.

1. There was a greater amount of rainfall than usual last month.
2. There were a greater number of people at the match than usual.
3. The girl put a large amount of sugar in the cake she was making.
4. If you look at the window, you can see the number of raindrops that have hit it.
5. We need to score a greater number of goals than that if we are to win the league.

I intend to have a much better schedule for my blogs. I will still try to post on a Tuesday as much as possible. And I may reblog some interesting ones on other days, but this is what my intentions are at the moment.
 The first Tuesday in the month will be a general blog of something that has caught my attention recently.
 The second Tuesday will be another episode of The Wolf Pack.
 The third Tuesday I’ll do a blog about words and grammar.
 The fourth Tuesday will be some more of my writing or some of someone else I enjoy.
 If there is a fifth, then I’ll take potluck and maybe do something general, or some more of my writing or something. Perhaps post a few pictures.

Keep on following the Dragon.

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10 thoughts on “15 ways in which the 1950s was better than now.”

  1. For someone who was born in January 1969 (namely me), your post made for interesting reading.

    I attended several boarding schools for the blind in Liverpool in the 1970’s and 80’s, and despite being visually impaired I remember, in those years climbing walls and ruining many a good pair of school shoes in the process!

    Whilst out walking yesterday I saw 2 children throwing a ball (I have limited vision) to one another. This was good to see, the only problem being that its quite a busy road across which the ball was being thrown!

    When I go back to my home city of Liverpool to visit my mum who lives on a quiet estate, I often find children playing football on the road. I’m sure that play has changed a good deal since the 1950’s, but children do still play outside, although I am sure you are right that this is not as common as it was then.

    On the subject of child safety, I am sure you are correct that, in the 1950’s parents didn’t worry about letting their children play outside. However a lot of the news coverage today pertains to child abuse which took place in the 1950’s (and earlier), for example in the churches (although it was not, of course confined to them). I am not convinced that abuse of children is any more (or less) prevalent now than it was in the 1950’s. However in the 50’s if a child claimed to have been abused (sexually or physically) the chances of them being believed where less than they are today.

    Best wishes – Kevin

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Kevin. You are right that child abuse was probably as prevalent then as now. With regard to playing outside, you realise that much of the child abuse was in organisations, as you mention the Church. Also, Scouts. This did not affect children playing with other kids in the street, or in the woods and fields, but those in these organisations by people they knew. There were no adults in said fields and woods the children knew, and all were taught carefully to keep away from strangers.

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  2. Hmm, well I was born in 56 so my memories start in 1960 or thereabouts. Seems to me my kids have grown up heathy safe sane well adjusted well travelled polite… Much as I did apart from the well travelled. Life is safer, healthier and more enriching now for a far greater number than ever before. Things go horribly wrong today still, we can look back but I’m very clear (certainly in my own mind!) that today the greatest number benefit more than ever. A healthier diet? Yes we could reduce sugar I agree it is a scandal. But overall we avoid the malnourishment that still existed in the 50s. Balance sugar against the smogs, the passive smoking children suffered, the lead in petrol if you got near a car. Infant mortality is far improved. Deaths from drink driving per head is well done. And let’s not get on to the inequalities in 1950 society. Nope I’ll live now thank you! And thanks for stimulating the debate.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, ThanGentle. Yes, I can see your point, but thre is mch about today that is worse. My children, like yours are polite annd well mannered, but so were we in the 50s and 60s. Then everyone seemed to be so. Now there seem to be many more rude people about. As to malnutrition. Well, that means badly nourised. All the obese folk around are malnourished. We could amuse ourselves and didn’t whine as teens that ‘there’s nothing for us to do in this town.’
      Yes, medicine is much improved on the whole, However, there are all the superbugs in hospitals. Too much is spent on unnecessary things like many administrators rather than nurses and doctors.
      What about the police? Hardly any on the beat nowadays, and they don’t seem to want to investigate private crimes like burglary or vandalism.
      Anyway, I’m glad to have stimulated some discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Such an excellent debate and it depends on which side you want to come down on I’d guess. Statistically we are safe today than ever, but if we don’t feel safe then it doesn’t really matter what the stats say. We are living a lot longer so I don’t think you can really argue the 1950s were healthier. It wasn’t that children weren’t bored, it was they didn’t have a voice and the cruelty perpetrated on them – abuse, unacknowledged bullying, corporal punishment at home and in school and from the jolly policeman on the beat – means to my way of looking that they and we are in a better place. I accept all you say as examples of why today isn’t perfect. Far from it. Just better in the round for the greatest number. We still have housing crises and homelessness, but today we acknowledge them and try and deal with them unlike when Cathy Come Home was made, or Peter Rackman ruled the Notting Hill housing market. Must stop and go to bed but thanks again. Keep posting!!

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  3. I for one never feel that olden times were good. Though I was born in 1980s, I feel this is the best time to be and I have felt this way always.

    I feel your nostalgic post is beautiful, still, it is our nature to look for past or future and avoid present. It’s in our mind, in our genes.

    Present almost always seems difficult to cope with.
    The more present we are, more alive we become.

    Best Wishes,

    Anand 🙂

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