|President Ronald Reagan born in 1911 & Pope John Paul II born in 1920|
Like several regular readers of "Yorkshire Pudding", I was born in the middle of the twentieth century. We were aware of key events and phases in that century seen from different angles - personal, national and international. We had a real sense of what those hundred years meant.
Now we are in a new century. Already twenty years have gone by. It's interesting to consider what would have happened by now if we were still back in the 1900's.
Born in the first year of the century, my grandmother Phyllis White is now twenty years old. She remembers working in a munitions factory on the edge of Sheffield at Templeborough. She worked there for two years along with hundreds of other young women. Most men of fighting age were in France or Belgium, participating in a ridiculous war - The "Great" War. What was "great" about it?
It's two years since both of my grandfathers returned from those killing fields. They never met each other but they both fought at The Battle of the Somme and returned to civilian life without physical injury or psychological counselling. No one will ever know what they experienced.
Twenty years ago there were hardly any automobiles. The majority of urban transport depended upon horses. There was horse shit everywhere. Now with World War One over, the age of the horse is fading away with cars, tractors and omnibuses taking over. It's as if there has been a revolution in transport.
Queen Victoria was still on the throne as this century began. Her loathsome playboy son King Edward VII lasted just nine years before the current monarch King George V came to the throne.
The entire nation mourned when the "Titanic" went down in The North Atlantic eight years ago - the same year that Robert Falcon Scott and his polar team met an icy end in Antarctica.
In Malton, North Riding of Yorkshire, my father Philip was born six years ago. He now likes to ride on the family's milk cart around the streets of the adjacent village of Norton. My mother Doreen will appear in May of next year in The West Riding of Yorkshire. She will be born into a coal mining family.
Next year someone called Adolf Hitler will become the fuhrer of the German Nazi Party as the German economy continues to nosedive and in two years time archaeologist Howard Carter will enter the sealed tomb of Tutankhamen in The Valley of the Kings.
For five years the English F.A. Cup football competition has not taken place but in May of this year Aston Villa will beat Huddersfield Town in a keenly contested final at Stamford Bridge in London. The Rugby League Challenge Cup will be won by Huddersfield for the second year running.
This year Pope John Paul II, Isaac Asimov, Mickey Rooney and Ray Bradbury will all be born and in August all American women will theoretically be entitled to vote in elections though many thousands of black women and indeed black men will still face serious obstacles.
That's a fascinating comparison and it does, as you say, put things into perspective. It would be really interesting to know what others of us would have chosen if we'd written this post. I'm also wondering if I had done it what period would I have chosen.ReplyDelete
Possibly the Victorian era?Delete
(Only kidding Graham!)
Development occurs at a much faster pace today. How many times faster I'm not sure. are we lemmings running into a flying end?ReplyDelete
When we reach the cliff you can leap first Red Lemming!Delete
I will have leaped off old age long before we get to the cliff so it's all yours.Delete
I enjoyed your comparison of these two centuries. When I was in school I did not really like history but the older I get the more I love reading about the past. It is interesting to think about the 1920s. My Mother was born in 1922 and she used to tell me a lot about the years of her youth. I think people then had a greater appreciation for the simple and basic things in their lives. I am grateful for all of our modern conveniences but I don't think we realize how fortunate we are compared to those in the past.ReplyDelete
Fortunate or unfortunate? Life was simpler back then and there were far less human beings on the planet in the 1920's.Delete
As Graham says, it is a fascinating comparison you are making with this post, and it gives me a lot of food for thought.ReplyDelete
This was a tricky blogpost to write Meike. It was hard to pin the slippery thought down. I am glad it chimed with you.Delete
Good post Mr Pudding. May I ask which part of the the last century would you liked to have lived in? There's a Steve Turner poem: These are the good old days. Just you wait and see.ReplyDelete
For me it would have been 1970 to 1972. They were special years for me. So much happened and my adult character was formed. What years would you pick North Cider?Delete
What a marvellous blog on Perspective. Being brought up in the 'Black Country' in other words in the industrial Midlands. I knew yellow smog, trams hissing and spluttering. Men coming out of the factories walking or with bikes, Lowry captured it exactly. Horse drawn milk carts, afternoon tea out with silver teapots and china cups and my 'nannas' terraced house with only one tap of water (cold) and an outside loo. Life was simpler than.ReplyDelete
You have captured so much in just five lines Thelma. Perhaps you could dig into those memories over at North Stoke.Delete
One exception to the strangeness of the world 50 years before we were born is popular music. Almost everything from before 1950 or even 1960 sounded old. But 60s and 70s pop music is now heard all the time.ReplyDelete
You are right there Tasker. Yesterday in the Oxfam shop I was listening to Simon and Garfunkel's "Bookends" album. It was released 52 years ago! Incredible and still so relevant and fresh.Delete
Interesting. And of course, in the grand scheme of things, 100 years is nothing. It's the blink of an eye.ReplyDelete
I am pleased that you could relate to this Steve.Delete
I've had similar thoughts, starting in about 2013 when newspapers started carrying articles marking the upcoming 100 years since the beginning of WWI. Because my knowledge of the years before I was born is clearest for 1914 and forward, each year since then has had this overlaying of history for me. This must be what it's like to have the privilege of growing old. Or older, at least.ReplyDelete
Of course you have expressed it far better than I would have, had I even thought to write about it at all. But I was THINKING it! lol
It is comforting to know that I was not alone in having this notion Jenny.Delete
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Good post Mr Pudding. May I ask which part of the the last century would you liked to have lived in? There's a Steve Turner poem: These are the good old days. Just you wait !ReplyDelete
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