Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Thinking back, school dinners, teeth and choppers

After sitting quietly for half an hour, thinking back over the years of how things have evolved and change just in my life time. Sitting here typing this blog on a computer would not have been thought of (by me) just a few years back, and being able to send stories and tales around the world on the "nett" its beyond belief.

I look back on how mother coped with all the work in the farm house with all six of us to sit down for every meal every day, I know we did start school meals when they were first came in,  25 pence a  five day week , that's 10p in new money (UK) for the week.

Our house and farm in the village, on the left is the village school, we are looking
 across the village green and on the right used to be Green Farm.

And no we have not had any snow yet this is an older photograph

The meat for all the school meals in our county was purchased by the Fatstock Marketing board, who tendered the lowest price for the job. And the man who went round the farms working for them was an uncle of ours, (this is how we knew) he was looking at and purchasing all the old worn out or spent out old breeding bulls for miles around, that was how they kept the price so low. You had to have good teeth ta chew that meat.
N' talking about teeth, every now and then at school they had a "knitt nurse" call to see who had got lice in their hair and also a dentist called and plonked a dentists chair in the middle of the main hall, the kids would all line up outside the door and in turn go and sit in that chair. Some kids had front teeth missing, some had rotten teeth and the teeth they did pull we mainly "milk teeth" so not too hard a job.
 My teeth were okay, nowt wrong with then, the next time I went into a dentists chair was over fifty years later when I had to have two new replacement knee joints, the surgeon said I had got to go and see if I had got a rotten tooth, as a rotten tooth could make the metal in me knee reject, and if it rejected I would loose my leg.
All tough talking made me find a dentist, the dentist found nowt wrong with me teeth and asked how often have you cleaned ya teeth. Never in me life have I had a tooth brush, and now I go for a checkup at the dentist every six months, so I do clean them now twice a year just before going to see them.


  Me teef  are looking better

Me teef  are looking better , and I brush them every day,
New electric toof brush, and some paste that looks like clay,
Me misses getting onto me, n’ the dentist gives a hint,
Break a habit of a lifetime, to brush me teef I dint.

Mornings are so busy, after breakfast rush right out,
Then think I anna brushed me teef, n’ rules I mustna flout,
But then I conna turn right round, cattle got to feed,
N’ I’ll do in the morning, n’ I’ll brush them till they bleed.

Conna see the point of it, once a week enough fa me,
Twice a year is what om used to, n’ the dentists got the key,
To count them every visit, and to scrape then there’s no need,
Cuz  I eat an apple every day, and my mum she (set that creed,)  (did breast feed.)

Please don’t put the pressure on, om not feelin very well,
The verbal and advice okay, but too much I will rebel,
So to the dentist I have a message, count me teef and clean,
N’ chat about the weather, n’ what ever else in-between.

Owd Fred


A teacher in the "big school" in town, who you could never for get, was the wood work teacher, we all called him Bulldog Lees and he had got a real bad temper, and very little patience, particularly with anyone who was not very practical. I describe him here in a poem best 


 We Had a Woodwork Teacher  (1950 ish)

We had a woodwork teacher, we called him Bulldog Leese,
Had stern face and bad temper, no one dare to tease,
If he could not get class attention, throw a chisel hard,
Hit the back wall cupboard, like a dagger stuck and jarred.

All the class it stood and quivered dare not cross his path,
The respect was thrust upon you, dare not stir his wrath,
No one liked his lessons, even those who could push a plane,
Perfection in this man and all his tools, but he was a bloody pain.

Owd Fred


Talking of tools father was very particular with any sharp tools he had and would not let us chop sticks with his bill hook, well not the one he did his hedge laying with, his axe and bill hook, his chisels and planes and saws were all put in slots on wracks nailed on the wall in front of his bench and that protected the blades.  Other tools were not so cosseted just being chucked onto the bench in a heap along with off cuts of metal and timber, he was always in a hurry when summat had got to be repaired. When he retired things were a lot different, he converted half of his garage into a workshop, and kept it very tidy, he always blamed us lads for making a mess in the workshop at the farm, I recon he may have had a point there. 






One only needs two tools in life; WD-40 to make things go, and Duct tape to make them stop.
G. Weilacher