Today it is considered trendy and really modern to be green. By that I mean looking after the environment taking care of nature etc. We are told that in the past we should have been better at greening the world. Take a look at the sixties and one will see how green we actually were.
Self sufficiency, growing ones own vegetables, keeping chickens, fruit trees. I remember in the sixties along with my grandparents descending on the highways and byeways collecting brambles. Wild untended brambles that grew with more profusion than they do nowadays. Fumes from cars trucks, lorries and buses has in my opinion dealt wild brambles a death blow that they are having trouble recovering from. We collected bucket loads of brambles which Grannie turned into glorious thick jelly. Although cars then were not as proficient at exhaling co2 as now, the thing was though there were less of them. My grandfather owned an allotment in the possil area where he grew vegetables by the barrowload .My father in his garden grew vegetables and flowers in glorious magnificence.
At the shops our purchases had less plastic packaging, taties would be put straight into the shopping bag , as were any other vegetables bought.Soft drinks came in glass bottles which when empty were returned to the shop where we received a sum of money in recompence. Milk was delivered to the door in glass bottles, it was fun in winter as the milk froze and lifted the tinfoil lid off, or finding little holes in the lid where Blue tits and Great tits pecked through for the cream. We also used bread wrapping for covering sandwiches instead of the American fad for plastic airtight boxes.Our clothes instead of being thrown away as now, were mended and repaired. Also some clothes where possible were kept aside for “Good” wearing such as Sundays .Shops did not open as such on Sundays, giving families time to be with each other. Very few of us went abroad on holiday therefore keeping air travel to a minimum, and also boosting the holiday towns with much needed revenue. Going on holiday was by train or coach, cars were quite a rarity then.
Round the streets came all sorts of vans and traders like the City bakeries, butchers fish vans and the rag and bone man taking whatever clothes they could and giving out a balloon. We walked to school, in those days probably safer than now. As far as i can recollect everyone was the same by that we were all in the same working environment where no one had more than another, not poor but by know means over rich. Even footballers had a normal wage. I also remember my mother making us clothes and Grannie was a ferocious knitter and crochetier. There was less “Fast Food” outlets in the sixties, fish and chips were the norm, and they were wrapped in newspaper.Ah the aroma of salt and vinegar mixed with newsprint, heaven. In our cities we hopped onto electric driven trams, nothing greener and cleaner than that, with their various coloured liveries and fold back seats for the return journey.
In the sixties there was very few throw away commodities. Things were made with care and quality.made to last. Cars had real chrome bumpers, bench seats front and back, built of a size to accommodate families comfortably. There was different grades of fuel to make them go,”two star”, “four star” diesel. There was no giant supermarkets either, no out of town shopping malls with their sameness leading to confusion and disorientation as all “Malls” as the Americanisation of language calls them, look and feel the same. Gone know is the joy of walking along for instance Inverness High street and finding shops that you couldn’t find in Glasgow selling things special to their area. Nowadays choice seems to be a bad word where all things have to be the same , uniformity and standardisation are the new way. Yes the sixties were good, but their was also bad times. We cant go back now ,thats for sure, whats been done is done. We can only look forward and hopefully make the future a fit place to live and breathe in. Then in years to come we will have people writing about their past with as much joy as we have in reminiscing about the sixties.