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1950s and 60s Childhoods... Those were the days!

You won't understand this unless you were brought up in my young days (1950’s & 60’s)

My mum used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread butter on bread on the same cutting board with the same knife without using any bleach or antiseptic, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting e.coli

We all took PE ..... and risked permanent injury with a pair of plimsolls instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors that cost as much as a small car. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

We got the cane for doing something wrong at school, they used to call it discipline, yet we all grew up to accept the rules and to honour & respect those older than us.

We had well over 30 kids in our class and we all learned to read and write, do maths and spell almost all the words needed to write a grammatically correct letter.......FUNNY THAT!!

Staying in detention after school caused all sorts of negative attention.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

Did we lead flat and boring lives without computers, Facebook, Twitter, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations. Guess what? No, we had the time of our lives exploring the neighbourhood, climbing trees, looking at ants, trying to catch non existent fish dangling string in shallow water, arranging stamps from exotically sounding foreign countries which no one we knew had ever visited and listening to radio programmes which let our imaginations run wild.

Oh yeah ... and where were the sterilization kit and antibiotics when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played “King of the Castle” on piles of bricks & rubble left on bomb sites from the WW11 blitz or the umpteen building sites in progress. When we got hurt, mum pulled out the 1/6d bottle of iodine and then spanked us for daring to put ourselves at risk. Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10 day dose of antibiotics and then mum calls the lawyer to sue the contractor or council for leaving a horribly vicious pile of debris where it was such a threat.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family.

We never needed to get into group therapy and/or anger management classes.

We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

How did we ever survive?

Aaaah, those WERE the days!!!!

Thank you Laterlife reader John of Surrey who sent this in to us. Are children having less fun in childhood than we are, or are they just finding different ways to enjoy themselves?

Let us have your thoughts – and even better any pictures of childhood from the 1950s and 1960s that show you doing things that modern children probably don’t do. We would love to publish the most interesting shots. Just email them to comments@laterlife.com

If this all brings back memories, you might be interested in a book available by Paul Feeney called A 1950s Childhood. It is filled with anecdotes and pictures and could make a great Christmas gift. Available on Amazon.

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