Telegrams to You Tube

David Wood’s story continues with the 1950’s Telegram and concludes with 21st century You Tube technology.

David says, urgent messages were delivered by telegram because very few people had telephones and this was the quickest way to do it. The telegram boys rode little red motorbikes and fairly whizzed around the city, in fact everyone looked if they saw one because it usually meant bad news for somebody.

Police Constable Joe Smith was the man who steered us in the right direction, it worked Joe, but then again you know that, because we have met up a few times socially over the years since then. Thanks Joe.

My religious background is slightly complicated. My mum’s family all attended the Dale Street Methodist Chapel and had done so since time began and my dad’s family belonged to the Latebrook Baptist Chapel. It was agreed by our parents that we would be dedicated, that is named, as Baptists, in the hope that we would be fully baptised when we became adults. The other part of the deal from our mum’s point of view was that we would attend the Methodist Sunday school.

The Baptist chapel closed around 1956 and we outgrew the idea of Sunday school when we were teenagers. The strict chapel upbringing certainly didn’t do us any harm; in fact it gave us both a good basis for our future lives. The school rooms belonging to the Methodist chapel were further along Andrew Street towards the fields. Quite a few pantomimes, dances and social evenings took place there.

Jack Rhead’s brother Cyril, who was quite tall, played the part of the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, it must have had an effect on me because I never looked at Cyril in the same light again. One year I was volunteered to read a monologue and I chose “The Lighthouse Keeper“. Follow the link to read it in all its literary splendour.

The monologue was a humorous rendition of an imaginary lighthouse keeper’s bravery, as told by himself and it was to be performed in front of an audience in the Sunday school hall. Little did I know when I volunteered that there were fourteen verses which had to be learned and recited without the help of the script.

I think I was about thirteen or fourteen when this was a happening, I do recall that it was totally nerve wracking, but the sense of achievement was fantastic. There were another couple of similar performances, but modesty or embarrassment, prevents me from telling them here. What a pity we didn’t have You Tube then, I could have been preserved for posterity, well perhaps not.

Because there was very little in the way of alternative entertainment, we looked forward to evenings like those.

David talks about Police Constable Joe Smith earlier in the story and I am pleased to say that Joe is still going strong at the age of 80 and he still enjoys community life as the Chairman of Sandyford & Goldenhill Residents Association (S.A.G.E.).

Until next time please enjoy the reading of these interesting stories by clicking on the local memories tab.

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