Tuesday, 3 November 2009

When we were small...




When the Scrobs you know and occasionally love - may do, may do not... - was pretty small, i.e. in the fifties, Elder Scrobs (Phil) and Elder Scrobs' brother, (Jack), built their own houses in a village not far from here.

Well, they had a proper building firm doing the actual work, (in fact it was the firm that Jack managed, which was encouraged after the war when reconstruction was the norm). It was a big venture, but Jack had got planning permission to build two detached houses on a two acre patch, and the two brothers - sometimes aided and abetted with a third Uncle Bill, built homes for us all in 1953.

The two different houses were on their own plots, and Mrs Elder Scrobs and Mrs Elder Uncle Jack Scrobs (oooohhhh bugger this is getting tiresome...) MY Mother and MY Aunt) always kept in touch through a gate in the fence, and usually visited each house when they wanted to as they were good chums and had been through a nasty war together, while the blokes were away fighting the others.

And so, when I was very young, I'd visit Uncle Jack, and Auntie Connie whenever I wanted to, by nipping through the gate! I expect I caught them at it occasionally, but hey - so what, I was only a lad...!

Uncle Jack had started a collection of Giles cartoon books - all gone now sadly - and I used to look at them all every time I went there - often several times a week, and just soak up the humour, laughing all the time and eventually being asked, through a cloud of pipe smoke "Are you wearing out our Giles books again, with a huge twinkle, and a chuckle...

They do that, Uncles...

22 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

FIRST!

When you say you caught them at it, do you mean you caught them at it? I didn't think Aunts and Uncles got up to that kind of thing in the 1950s.

As for 1950s architecture well I live in one. I am guessing it was designed and built in the you've never had it so good era. I do like those big 1950s windows which your photo shows but my flat does not :-(

Thud said...

I refuse to believe anybody was 'at it' back then...I'm pretty sure my generation invented'it'!

hatfield girl said...

I am the youngest child of youngest child parents so have slipped almost a generation. My cousins were much older than me, more like uncles and aunties and my uncles and aunties were older than my parents and merged into indulgent 'grandparent' behaviour. As well it was the habit to class friendly neighbours and parental friends from further afield as uncle and auntie as well. Sometimes I wonder if disliking the fragmentation of the family in England isn't just me losing all those uncles and aunties as time takes its toll.

The Bomber said...

u asked something bout an old post mine???

Philipa said...

Love this stuff. But for a while there I thought you were saying you'd married your 1st cousin. I read it through again :-)

Trubes said...

I had a favourite Uncle Jack, Scrobs, he wasn't my real Uncle but was actually my Godfather.
His wife was called Mabel, but for some unfathomable reason, I called her Mrs Marshall.
They were lovely people and very kind to me.

Arrr! Golden Days.


Di.x

Scrobs... said...

Blues!

It was a throw away comment, but we all got on so well, that I'd just barge into their house (next door - similar building), whenever I felt like it!

It was indeed 50s architecture. The budget was pretty thin, Dad told me that the MD of the building firm, (now part of Slough Estates), knew and trusted him to the extent that he didn't even have to get a mortgage until the house was built!

Try and do that today eh!

Scrobs... said...

Thudders, see above...

But would I have understood anyway?

Scrobs... said...

Hats I can understand that! Mrs S has a cousin 15 years older than her, and although we are all great chums, even we feel a bit younger now...

There doesn't seem to be a wide Scrobs family now, and sadly the surname will be lost in the ether...

So don't try looking up Scrobs on BT.com, 'cos it won't be there ;0)

Scrobs... said...

Bomber - Hey, thanks for calling in!

The post was after a search I was doing on a song from the Sixties, by The Symbols...

"Hey now; your post in March - about "The Symbols", started something...

Did they have a hit in the late sixties with a song which had the words "Better get used to missing her; better get used to not kissing her; time and time ....etc etc finishing with 'Baby doesn't love you, no, no, no, anymore...?"

I've remembered the song after all those years, but it isn't on Youtube, or anywhere else for that matter!"

Somhow, It seemed that you knew whether indeed the song existed still, or maybe I'd got the name wrong.

As you can see, this is a site not especially devoted to the great music you work with, but there are several here who would like to know how you get so much on your site, and I hope they'll click onto you soon!

Thanks again!

Scrobs... said...

Pips, It started tio get silly, writing in the third person, and getting the names arse about face...

Actually, in the long distant past, I think a cousin did marry an uncle by marriage, but it seems there was quite a lot of it about then...

Something to do with buses/bicycles not being invented etc etc!

Scrobs... said...

Trubes, that's good to hear! Mrs Marshall it is of course, and why not!

My Uncle actually keeled over for the last time, in a restaurant with the remains of a large G and T in front of him...

Not a bad way to go I suppose!

lilith said...

I think Aunts and Uncles were quite wild in the 1950s :-) It was the relief of getting through the war :-)

You have prompted another post out of me Scroblene with this sweet one of yours.

Scrobs... said...

Lils - thanks!

Love your delight of a post, and it will stay with me for ages, because there's something too deep there!

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Delightful post, thanks, it's nice get away from politics for a while..

I have hopes that my sons will be able to look back on a similarly rosy childhood; I built our house, and our best friends built one next door; we too have a gate in the fence between the two houses. All the children from the two families have grown up together, and are more like cousins than just friends.

But as for Aunts and Uncles, we used those titles for friends-of-parents when I was a kid, but such formality is gone. Everything's just first names now, even from the youngest children.

Thanks again!

killemallletgodsortemout said...

1953? What a good year that was!

Childhood memories come flooding back after reading this post. I remember a neighbour coming to the house during the day when I was about 7.

"Oh, hello, Mrs Killers. I thought I'd pop in and say hello".

"Oh, do come in Mrs Lady. Care for something to drink?"

"Oh. Rather"

And there in the kitchen sat my Mum and Mrs Lady, smoking Kensitas and sipping sweet sherry from bone china cups, with saucers, too!

Wonderful!

Scrobs... said...

Weekenders! Welcome...!

It could have been me writng all that, especially calling Mum and Dad's friends 'auntie', and 'uncle'!

I started work in 1965 at a firm owned by one of my family's oldest and dearest friends. It was a hopeles scenario, when instead of calling my new boss 'Uncle Gordon', I had to call him 'Mr Allen'!

Too true what you wrote - many thanks!

Scrobs... said...

Ha ha ha Killers! We live locally I believe!

Yup, Kensitas were the fag of the day because the coupons got you an Iron Lung (or so my '80 a day' Uncle told me - especially after he gave one up for the same reason - bless him...)!

Kept lots of oldies out of hospital, smoking did...

rvi said...

Nice post, to which I have contributed nothing, but which brings back pleasant childhood memories of proper houses with proper gardens and proper civilised neighbours.

The reason for the silence is that SWMBO has ordained that we decamp to the ends of the earth for a week or two and thus I have been busy trying to locate suitcases, keys, passports and other travel paraphernalia.

We leave this evening. As the man said: I am just popping out for a while. Carry on without me.

Scrobs... said...

Reevers - we will expect a full report - with photographs and receipts on your return...

Have a good one you Guys!

electro-kevin said...

Sounds idyllic.

Family living together and all getting on.

Scrobs... said...

It was really Elecs!

We didn't know how hard it had been for the Parents 'till long after...

I'd actually like to buy the old place back now, just for old times sake; but it's still lived in by others.

Went past it with Mrs S yesterday, and we both agreed it looked exceedingly sad.

HMMM...