Sunday, 13 March 2011

Cadets and 'The Who' sell out...



Yesterday, Mrs S and I were murmering about how much we liked 'The Who', and actually played their seminal album from the sixties. I'd known all these songs almost by heart since then and a chance visit to 'Circuit City' in Richmond VA, had unearthed a cassette, during a visit some years ago.

This all started because for no reason, the song 'Substitute' came into this ol' grey head, and I immediately thought of 'Senior Service Cadets' cigarettes.

Back in the impoverished student sixties, the young surveyor's salary wasn't that great; in fact there were even a few articled surveyors still around, which is an anachronism which would make today's business starters reach for the protest march handle.

The few pounds I earned were upgraded by my generous Dad, who'd always urged the Sprog Scrobs to go for a profession, or something similar. The accumulated cash (about £8.00 a week) usually went on much the same as anything today, like digs, rugby subs, train fares, egg and chips, a few beers, and of course, some fags.

When I returned to the vast bosoms of my landlady, on a Monday, I'd be well in with some folding money, and her rent (£4.00) was always paid on the dot. And, because the rest of the cash was holed up in a rapidly burning pocket, the week would start with twenty 'Players Gold Leaf', which would last about a day and a half. This would continue until about Wednesday, when it was down to one egg and chips, and I also needed some shillings for a few halves of bitter most nights, but by the Thursday, the pocket was considerably lighter than it had been on the Monday.

That was the moment when these tiny sixpences and shillings were counted up, (several times) and I'd realise that 4s-7d (23p), was out of the question for any more Gold Leaf, and it was down to the Cadets at 3s-9d (19p).

And so the last evening at work (I went home on Friday evenings), was spent enjoying the rasp of those little smokes, a couple of halves of the cheapest bitter I could find in 'The Duke of Marlborough' Ashford, and - yes, with the chums agreeing - a threepenny play of 'The Who's 'Substitute' on the juke box...

24 comments:

The Lakelander said...

I gave up smoking nearly eleven years ago when I turned 40. I had been a smoker from the age of 19.

I wish I could have back all the money I spent on fags in those 21 years.

In today's money, it would be £6 a packet x 365 x 21 = £45,990.

And of course, anyone who says they smoke a packet a day smokes at least half as much again....

Electro-Kevin said...

It wasn't really any easier then.

Lakelander should not beat himself up too much over the £45k he lost in fags.

I figure that I've lost around £300k over two extra pints I shouldn't have had. Seriously !

A wrecked career because I threatened to stick one on a boss whilst drunk.

rvi said...

Ah, those nostalgic days of abject penury!

When I started work, my weekly take-home wage was a little over a fiver plus change, and that had to pay for everything - fares (2/6d return five days a week), lunch (also about 2/- a go), and the occasional (ie maybe once a month) 7" record for 6/8d. I used to stretch my cash by saving in a not-to-be opened-until-the last-Monday-in-the-month tin in my bedroom every 3d bit I was given during the month. I used to cheat by giving the paper man 6d for an Evening News on my way home (it was my job to provide the household newspaper) and he always gave me a 3d bit in return. Those little yellow odd shaped coins, plus the 10 bob a week from my very early morning paper round which I retained for a full two years after I started work, were the difference between starvation and the odd cheese sandwich during the last week of the month. If things got really desperate I had recourse to the Bank of Parent for the odd oncer, but only in dire extremis.

I could not afford ciggies so I was not tempted to even try one. Think of the thousands of pounds not gone up in smoke over the years.

Scrobs... said...

Somehow I've got to £574,875 spent on fags and pipe tobacco Lakes, which can't be right! (I'd have had a fall of soot if it were true...)

But I reckon we've saved about £25,000 since packing up in 1986, which seems horrendous!

I think I need to lie down in a darkened room by somewhere cool as a mountain stream...

Scrobs... said...

Now that's a sad reflection Elecs.

Are you really still thinking that?

Scrobs... said...

It was supposed to be good for you Reevers.

I remember my Uncle Jack giving me a £10.00 note once, about the time that The Beatles' White album came out. I'd been saving sixpences and threepenny pieces for ages, and my mother said it should go on something else - which it did actually, and added to the crisp tenner we went on holiday!


Cold gravel, living in a hole in the ground, etc etc...

Aye, 'appen...!

Thud said...

I had rather a fun life for many years on not much money,simple pleasures and all that. I still enjoy myself but it does sometimes seem to take rather a substantial amount of cash...maybe a pint of cheap bitter is the answer.

Scrobs... said...

"...cheap bitter..."

May well be Thudders.

I had spells of thinking that if you're going to buy a pint at a quid, then you might just as well spend a few bob more and get a really good one.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't...

Blue Eyes said...

At least you got your washing done.

Chaffey said...

Back inur twenys whenuz as werer lard, Fether urd gee us rabet shut foruz pype... deadnur new no dyfren, zmoked a bit arsh mind.
And ort fermeted pig milk kep ewt nur cewld welernurf.

jarmed
C.

Philipa said...

I gave up smoking when babies happened. Don't miss it. I miss the ability to sink more than enough alcohol to stun a mule and still get up for work the next day though. Actually I miss being able to pay for it too :-/ But more than anything I miss my alternative modes of transport.

Scrobs... said...

Right on both counts Blues (song and going home on Fridays...)

Blessed my mum, she never worried about doing that!

Scrobs... said...

Wilcot, you Devil you!

By George, we've missed you, and from your last few words here, I see you've bought a new dictionary...

Scrobs... said...

That mule syndrome eventually gets to you doesn't it Pips.

I can't either, and luckily because the funds for such activities are just as depleted here, it's interesting just how high (or low) on the Tesco own branded plonk one will climb before eventually saying 'sod it', and buying a wine box...

O I was only saying yesterday to BP that it is ages since we all went out for a whole day on the beer!

Blue Eyes said...

"Right on both counts Blues"

I was quite pleased with myself with that comment :-)

Philipa said...

We must, Scrobs, we must. But not now *gulp* I had to buy shopping on the credit card again *shame*.

Scrobs... said...

Pips, "credit card", CREDIT CARD?

You were looky!

We had to do wi' credit on 't tiny piece of paper, oonsigned, an' for nearly nowt...

Know the feeling though...;0)

Scrobs... said...

I should have realised by now you'd be onto this post a few times Blues! ;0)doh...

When 'My generation' first came out, those first two chords used to bring the house down - rather like they do now, and sealed a much younger Scrobs' endearment to 'The Who'.

I didn't ever see them live back then, but there's enough footage these days to get a flavour of what they all did!

Pete Townsend said once that he used to rush into his music shop each morning, grab a Rickenbacker guitar off the wall, and hurriedly explain that he'd broken his other one the night before, and he'd pay the guy later...

I always loved that!

Wilcot Chaffey said...

Oi harf an plittykle creck jewk forney...

There was this Afghan, Albanian, Algerian, American, Andorran, Angolan, Antiguans, Argentinean, Armenian, Australian, Austrian, Azerbaijani, Bahamian, Bahraini, Bangladeshi, Barbadian, Barbudans, Batswana, Belarusian, Belgian, Belizean, Beninese, Bhutanese, Bolivian, Bosnian, Brazilian, Britishman, Bruneian, Bulgarian, Burkinabe, Burmese, Burundian, Cambodian, Cameroonian, Canadian, Cape Verdean, Central African, Chadian, Chilean, Chineseman, Colombian, Comoran, Congolese, Costa Rican, Croatian, Cuban, Cypriot, Czech, Danishman, Djiboutian, Dominican, Dutchman, East Timorese, Ecuadorean, Egyptian, Emirian, Equatorial Guinean, Eritrean, Estonian, Ethiopian, Fijian, Filipino, Finn, Frenchman, Gabonese, Gambian, Georgian, German, Ghanaian, Greek, Grenadian, Guatemalan, Guinea-Bissauan, Guinean, Guyanese, Haitian, Herzegovinian, Honduran, Hungarian, Icelander, Indian, Indonesian, Iranian, Iraqi, Irishman, Israeli, Italian, Ivorian, Jamaican, Japanese, Jordanian, Kazakhstani, Kenyan, Kittian and Nevisian, Kuwaiti, Kyrgyz, Laotian, Latvian, Lebanese, Liberian, Libyan, Liechtensteiner, Lithuanian, Luxembourger, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malawian, Malaysian, Maldivan, Malian, Maltese, Marshallese, Mauritanian, Mauritian, Mexican, Micronesian, Moldovan, Monacan, Mongolian, Moroccan, Mosotho, Motswana, Mozambican, Namibian, Nauruan, Nepalese, Netherlander, New Zealander, Ni-Vanuatu, Nicaraguan, Nigerian, Nigerien, North Korean, Northern Irishman, Norwegian, Omani, Pakistani, Palauan, Panamanian, Papua New Guinean, Paraguayan, Peruvian, Pole, Portuguese, Qatari, Romanian, Russian, Rwandan, Saint Lucian, Salvadoran, Samoan, San Marinese, Sao Tomean, Saudi, Scotsman, Senegalese, Serbian, Seychellois, Sierra Leonean, Singaporean, Slovakian, Slovenian, Solomon Islander, Somali, South African, South Korean, Spaniard, Sri Lankan, Sudanese, Surinamer, Swazi, Swed, Swiss, Syrian, Taiwanese, Tajik, Tanzanian, Thai, Togolese, Tongan, Trinidadian or Tobagonian, Tunisian, Turk, Tuvaluan, Ugandan, Ukrainian, Uruguayan, Uzbekistani, Venezuelan, Vietnamese, Welshman, Yemenite, Zambian, Zimbabwean came into a bar in Badger’s Drift.

Philipa said...

"credit on 't tiny piece of paper"?

You were lucky...

(cue Kev)

We used to get up half an hour before we went to bed, lick road clean wi'tongue. Work? we used to dreeeeeam o' work - our Mam used to beat us wi' a broken bottle and jump on our graves singin' allelujah, every night. And you tell that the kids today and they won't believe yer.

Scrobs... said...

Byeckerslike oor Pips!

Thou art an' grand lass an' naw mistairke!

Coom over 'eere and gi' us a smacker like aye!

Philipa said...

xxxxxxxx!

Scrobs... said...

Wilcott!

My apologies for somehow mislaying my response to your excellent missive, which (eventually) caused great mirth and a call for more rum!

I did think at first, that I had stumbled on a wrongly diverted list of members of the Political Wing of the Scotton Stamp Collectors Guild, which had wrongly turned up at the draw for the 1948 Hockey World Cup, and on reading the list (several times, once in Latin to make sure), I knew I was wrong, because Serbia didn't exist back then!

But here you are, and I'm aa better Martian for it!

Thank you!

Scrobs... said...

And I feel moooch better for that Pips!

xxx