How do you know you're getting old...

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MikeJhn

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I'm far more opinionated now than I ever was in my youth.

Salary in 1963 was £3.2/6 a week, train fare to work £1.5s gave my mother £1.2/6 for my keep, at the weekend I used to earn over £10.00 cleaning cars, Mohair suits and spend most of my weekend evenings in the West End, Wardour and Carnaby Street mostly, Oh yes day release and three nights a week at Collage.
 

Mick p

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In Chelmsford it was GEC Marconi, EEV and Crompton electrical that provided all the surplus and gave many people an early interest in electronics and paved the way for future careers. There used to be so many shops selling new components, walk in and buy your transistors and even valves or go to one of the many surplus shops, great days and now all gone along with even Maplins so a sign of the times and we wonder why we have such a skills shortage. There is nothing to get youngsters interested in these hands on hobbies. Look around, what happened to all the model shops, places of wonder and most towns had at least one and I can clearly remember going to Wanstead flats to watch the model planes flying and the boats in the lake.

No the kids of today are missing out on so much without even realising it, life is a rush where parents force kids to growup fast as if growing rhubarb and get them onto the conveyor belt ASAP to go through education and the mandatory degree in anything to become a five star worker in the local takeaway, what happened to the "teenager phase" !

Life has flatlined, there is something missing that I cannot put a word to but excitment, buzz, anticipation are in the right vein. So put yourself in their shoes, what is the future, a lifetime of debt and unless you invest heavily no retirement until you are to old to enjoy it and now the addition of pandemic's and world war, so being old is not so bad after all but we should be educating the youngsters as to what life could be and getting a better balance of age in government so the young get a fairer and better say in their future rather than leaving it to people who only have limited time left, yet are willing to leave them a horrendous future.
The absolute best comment I’ve read on this topic i now know that I’m officially OLD . Thanks
 

the great waldo

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I always think it's interesting to compare prices to wages, in 1976 I was a 20 yo single guy living with my mother, not ideal but that's how it was. I was taking home £55 a week. I don't think I've been better off financially before or since.
You could buy a lot of beer for 55 pounds in those days. I remmember I used to earn in the early 70's 3 pounds on a Saturday washing up in a staff kitchen in Bourne and Hollingsworth in Oxford street I think a Guiness was about 1and /6pence and I thought I was rich !! Mind you I never went hungry on a Saturday steak and chips for lunch (forbidden by the management who left a sign by the cutting board stating Steak was only for the customers) I somehow missed that every Saturday. The ladies from the cosmetics counters recieved their steak thicknesses on a scale according to how attractive they were. Watching are you being served was not far of the truth.
Cheers
Andrew
 

artie

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You could buy a lot of beer for 55 pounds in those days.
I don't remember exactly. I think you could get around 3 pints or three shorts for a pound.
I used to give mother her share first then put a tenner in my pocket for spending and put the rest in one of those fold over note holders and hide it in a cupboard.
That worked ok until my younger sister found out where it was. :(
 

Glyn Hyatt

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You're right, my arithmetic was awry. I claim COVID brain fog.

The percentage comparison isn't really correct. The income of an 18 year-old back in 1967 could hardly be called representative of a living wage at the time. In my case, it was in the order of £11 or £12 per week

However, to put things in a perspective, compound inflation to date since 1987 in the UK has been 149.56%. Petrol price inflation in the UK for the same period has been over 2200%.
You were quite well paid compared to my apprenticeship.1976 £13.99 for a 40 hour week.
works out at 35p per hour.
gave up a labouring job in a local factory at £21 per week. My mum wasn’t impressed.
 

MikeJhn

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You were quite well paid compared to my apprenticeship.1976 £13.99 for a 40 hour week.
works out at 35p per hour.
gave up a labouring job in a local factory at £21 per week. My mum wasn’t impressed.
You know when you are old when the post above confuse's you as it does not work out in ponds shilling and pence.
 

selectortone

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Growing old, is when all those you love and know start dying and you get closer to being on your own.
It happens.

I was in that situation: 70, widower, friends mostly pushing up daisies, kids moved away. I joined my local woodturning club, met a crowd of new friends and now go tenpin bowling twice a week in a local league I was introduced to by my turning friends. That's good exercise and plently enough social for this old curmudgeon. Beats sitting indoors feeling sorry for yourself. Just friendly advice. 🙂
 
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GweithdyDU

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When what you give a damn about the most when the world is looking like it is going poo-shaped, is not what it means for you or 'our lot', but how said poo is going affect our kids and grandkids. Not just relating to the recent poo from poo-tin, but the seemingly inevitable slide to massively divided communities, full of people with little tolerance for anything they hear outside of the 'echo-chambers' they 'inhabit'.

Oh yeah, and on a completely different note, when younger people see my Allen scythe working and you tell them you were taught to use one in Rural-Science class at age 13 and they say, "But surely the school were breaking Health and Safety rules". They have a similar incredulous response when you tell them at age 17 you could ride 100mph+ motorcycles on L-plates. Mind you, they often call you a "jammy (insert expletive)" when you tell them you had a 'tweaked' one that you built and it went far too fast.
 

JimJay

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I drove over for an overnight visit to the outlaws with The Boss yesterday. They're all part of my Fending Off Old Age plan - her parents are just a couple of years older than I am.... ;)

Even when I was still living in the UK, which wasn't that long ago, looking at the prices in the supermarket would still shock me - how could a loaf of bread be more than a tanner, let alone over a quid? :oops:
 

ian33a

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In Chelmsford it was GEC Marconi, EEV and Crompton electrical that provided all the surplus and gave many people an early interest in electronics and paved the way for future careers. There used to be so many shops selling new components, walk in and buy your transistors and even valves or go to one of the many surplus shops, great days and now all gone along with even Maplins so a sign of the times and we wonder why we have such a skills shortage. There is nothing to get youngsters interested in these hands on hobbies. Look around, what happened to all the model shops, places of wonder and most towns had at least one and I can clearly remember going to Wanstead flats to watch the model planes flying and the boats in the lake.

No the kids of today are missing out on so much without even realising it, life is a rush where parents force kids to growup fast as if growing rhubarb and get them onto the conveyor belt ASAP to go through education and the mandatory degree in anything to become a five star worker in the local takeaway, what happened to the "teenager phase" !

Life has flatlined, there is something missing that I cannot put a word to but excitment, buzz, anticipation are in the right vein. So put yourself in their shoes, what is the future, a lifetime of debt and unless you invest heavily no retirement until you are to old to enjoy it and now the addition of pandemic's and world war, so being old is not so bad after all but we should be educating the youngsters as to what life could be and getting a better balance of age in government so the young get a fairer and better say in their future rather than leaving it to people who only have limited time left, yet are willing to leave them a horrendous future.

I started out doing an apprenticeship working for another of those big companies, albeit a little further down the road, an outfit called Plessey. I did well with them and got an electronics degree by the end. The initial pay was rubbish. Even after getting my degree, it was still rubbish. I moved to a field office of a large American test equipment corporation and didn't really look back after that.

I also fondly remember the likes of Tandy and Maplin and a host of other companies where you could buy a kit from a magazine and have it sent to you or turn up at a shop and buy a 100 ohm resistor (you didn't call them 100R back then).
I've also lost count, must be several hundred, model kits that I bought from Airfix, Revel, Tamiya and so on. So many lovingly painted and stored on shelves for years. They must have been a curse for my mum come dusting time but my parents loved the fact that I was practical and was willing to make stuff and enjoyed doing it.

In my first year of the apprenticeship I was sent to a training centre. It was like prison, except that you went home in the evenings. I had a cap with my number written on the front of it. My tools had my number stamped on them. I was number 40. I will never forget it. I still have many of those tools, the best part of 45 years later. I hated the place. I hated how they treated people. I went back to my boss at Plessey one day, on the verge of tears. He told me "It's a game, it's just a game. Play the game and once it's over, you'll look back and see that it was worth it". He was so right. That pseudo prison gave me the confidence to use hand and machine tools and to make stuff and to deal with a wide range of people. It set me up for life, not just for a working life.

When our son came around to choose a career, he was going to take the maths, further maths and physics approach. I suggested he consider something a little less academic. He took the further maths out and substituted electronics and control (and Geography). He really enjoyed the electronics and went on to do a masters in it.

Is he practical? Somewhat. Being practical these days, it seems to me, is more about being able to adapt stuff to suit your needs. You might buy a bit of electronic kit from Amazon and then, via Alexa, tweak it to suit what you want it to do for you. Or you may open a web page and change some parameters and adapt it via wi-fi. It's just different. Is it worse? For those of us who knew or know an old school way, it probably seems like mickey mouse practicality. For youngsters of today, who have no interest in learning machine code or low level programming, it's how things are done.

Equally, if we look around the house. When I was starting out, I built shelves from scratch. I did electrical wiring, plumbing, I did simple plastering, decorating, you name it. We're in the process of moving and it seems to me that if you don't have a building control certificate for this and a completion works for that and an electrical safety certificate for this and a gas safe certificate for that ... well ! (The indemnity policy is going to cost you) It's not a bad thing necessarily, but with everything being so stressed, it's no surprise that youngsters just pay somebody to come in and do stuff.

In our new place (or more correctly, in our new, old place), assuming it all goes through, there is a fair bit of stuff to work on. Much of it is cosmetic and we will do ourselves, slowly, as retirees. Anything that is a little outside my comfort zone or which needs official sign off, we will get people in. It's probably a function of being a little older and, as my uncle famously said "you need to put your hand in your pocket" (and pay somebody), and we can afford to do so now.

Is is more stress for youngsters these days? Yes, I think it is generally. Deadlines are shorter. Management of activities via IT make everything more visible to everyone, particularly managers and there is a mentality of "I want this and I want it done by... and I'll be monitoring it so make sure your time sheets are submitted electronically".

Having said that, our son now works for one of the big four professional services companies as an IT auditor. The company, being short staffed during the busy period, asked people to up their hours by about 20%. There was wide spread moaning because it was unpaid (but in the contract). Our son was bleating to us about being over worked doing a 45 hour week, home based. He got very little sympathy from myself or my wife. For us, throughout our working lives, 45 hour weeks were at best the normal and almost seemingly part time... and we had to commute to work on top!

Us older people were and are rock 'ard .... today's youngsters are not known as the snow flake generation for nothing.
 

the great waldo

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I don't remember exactly. I think you could get around 3 pints or three shorts for a pound.
I used to give mother her share first then put a tenner in my pocket for spending and put the rest in one of those fold over note holders and hide it in a cupboard.
That worked ok until my younger sister found out where it was. :(
Yes I used to leave mine under the mattress. I told my brother to help himself and the lodger who was a mate too. The lodger always replaced any money he took, my brother seemed to suffer from a bad memory!!
Cheers
Andrew
 

stuart little

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When what you give a damn about the most when the world is looking like it is going poo-shaped, is not what it means for you or 'our lot', but how said poo is going affect our kids and grandkids. Not just relating to the recent poo from poo-tin, but the seemingly inevitable slide to massively divided communities, full of people with little tolerance for anything they hear outside of the 'echo-chambers' they 'inhabit'.

Oh yeah, and on a completely different note, when younger people see my Allen scythe working and you tell them you were taught to use one in Rural-Science class at age 13 and they say, "But surely the school were breaking Health and Safety rules". They have a similar incredulous response when you tell them at age 17 you could ride 100mph+ motorcycles on L-plates. Mind you, they often call you a "jammy (insert expletive)" when you tell them you had a 'tweaked' one that you built and it went far too fast.
OOH! An Allen scythe - haven't heard of one in 'a coon's age' (Davy Crockett said). When I was 15 or 16 [circa 1960] I had a p/t job gardening for a retired major, one of my chores was to mow a small meadow (now a housing estate of about 10 bunglehouses ) with a 'trusty' Allen, cutting down thistles, nettles, & docks etc, which horses wouldn't eat.
 

Spectric

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albeit a little further down the road, an outfit called Plessey.
Was that the one near South Ockendon / Upminster?

I hated how they treated people. I went back to my boss at Plessey one day, on the verge of tears.
Can you imagine the youngsters of today in that enviroment, but the saying no pain and no gain is true. My dad worked for a company in Chadwell Heath called Motor Gear, a specialist manufacturer of all types of gears and universal joints and again long gone, I don't think these products are made in the UK any more so another huge loss for British industry and then lets not forget RHP in Chelmsford, it was the largest bearing manufacturer in Europe for decades and now just a university where you go to get a degree in drama or some other easy subject. On their open day it was an amazing place to walk round, rows and rows of machinery with the heavy smell of cutting fluid hanging in the air with ball bearings the size of melons and bearings you could stand several people in the centre of.

with a 'trusty' Allen, cutting down thistles, nettles, & docks etc, which horses wouldn't eat.
I still have an Allen strimmer, thirty five years plus old and still going strong with a Kawasaki two stroke engine, no plastic bits apart from the fuel tank.
 
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