Like the good old days

Geri wondered if people might be interested in what the world was like before Covid-19 or maybe after!!


When I hear older folks reminisce

They often use a particular phrase.

No matter how good their current lot is,

It’s never “Like the good old days.”


Whilst it’s true many things have changed;

There’s been progress since my childhood.

But, I just cannot believe all that is claimed;

So, I ask “Were times really that good?”


There were no computers, no wi-fi nor mobile phones.

No fridge-freezers, no dishwashers nor washing machines.

In fact, there was no electricity in very many homes

And elbow grease was used to make everything gleam.


There was very limited birth control.

Hence, family numbers were outsized.

On national resources there was a heavy toll:

Later, a benefit system was devised.


No loo paper, no detergent, no penicillin.

The NHS wasn’t created until nineteen forty-eight.

Abortion or homosexual?  You were deemed a villain!

Nylon and man-made fabrics would have to wait.


In 1936 the law decreed “Holidays with Pay.”

But as wages were a shilling an hour on average

No need for jet aircraft to fly folks away.

And we’d only just won women’s suffrage.


These things are all on the downside.

So what did Mum wish would leave her?

Try diphtheria, measles and typhoid,

TB, whooping cough and scarlet fever.


People lived in an over-crowded state

With access to very poor sanitation.

Life expectancy for men?  Fifty eight!

And it was only sixty -three for women!


Unemployment was twenty five percent plus,

And rent was at least one day’s wages.

Most people smoked, drank and cussed,

Six Bank Holidays! It was like that for ages.


Whilst there were radios in most homes

An accumulator was used to power it.

Horse drawn carts, the streets did roam

We were up to our ankles in horse shit!


These are the two faces of the same coin,

And so it will be unto infinity.

But mark you well this phrase I enjoin,

“Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.”

4 thoughts on “Like the good old days

  1. Quite agree, I too long for the good old days of TB, rickets, polio and smallpox, public executions, child labour, impressment Into the navy, transportation to Australia for poaching a rabbit and completely unguarded factory machinery; and of course an early, ugly death. Sigh – Good Old Days!

  2. I always think of my grandmother with things like this. She was born in 1900. During her life time two brothers built a machine that flew 12ft into the air!

    By the time she was 16 she worked in a factory because by then that machine has become an instrument of war! She doped the fabric that covered the aircraft and told me that only women could do that job!
    Because the toxins would get into the body. But once a month women would “dump” the infected blood!!

    When she was 40, the aeroplane had become a machine of metal and once again it would go to war and she would watch it defending London in the Battle of Britain!

    When she was 47 Col’ Chuck Yeager would take the aeroplane through the sound barrier for the first time ever!

    When she was 69 years old she would see a flying machine almost as flimsy as the aircraft she built for WW1 and with less computing power than the phone I’m sending this from! Land on the moon!

    By the time she entered her seventies that machine that those brothers built all those years ago had become a Supersonic airliner!

    All in one life time!

    Denise xx

  3. Yes Geri I agree with all you say. Where would we be without all these modern things. We never had a washing machine we had a gas boiler. No bathroom. We had to go down the garden to the loo. Someone had to go with me after dark as it was scary with no lights. Tin bath in the kitchen and the back yard was scrubbed with the water that was tipped out. No television. We listened to The Archers and Mrs Dales Diary was always on when I got home from school. We played tin pan alley in the road. We were able to as there were very few cars. Hopscotch was always a favourite. As you say it was hard work keeping a house in order. I have to say though that people were friendlier and there for each other. Now a days people are too busy. Neighbours were there if you needed anything and always ready for a friendly chat.

    I would like those friendly days back again but without all the hard work.

    Phyllis xx

  4. I wrote it as antidote to the poems a friend would write that invariably harked back and lauded times gone by.

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