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iL Dottore

50s/60s Britain and Now

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The Dragon docking at the ISS being now well under way, here’s the 1960s version - Gemini in 1966

 

464F85D5-ADD7-4600-BE00-FE89A44DB185.jpeg.b7312541f6a5def34151071022054d9c.jpeg

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Whatever you do, DON'T LOOK DOWN!

 

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Given the outcome of the revived “Bachmann Project Engineer” thread, it’s worth remarking on the sheer quantity of rubbish now circulating freely, and the (sometimes) difficulty of identifying it. When I first did contract work on rigs in the 1970s, the system was largely unchanged from the 1950s, if not 1930s and there were well-known procedures for eliminating obsolete enquiries. Most of the time, it was simple: the date on the page. Newspapers were issued daily, trade journals weekly or monthly and anything not in the latest edition, was quickly discarded and unlikely to be of interest to anyone. 

 

Now, once posted these things remain in circulation indefinitely; updating filled vacancies appears to be rarely, if ever carried out. This is further complicated by the development of agencies which scour the web for keywords, post them on job boards and then attempt to make spec applications to the original advertiser, which means prospective candidates receive worthless enquiries from third parties with no effective involvement, for jobs which may well not exist. 

 

Theres also the practice of advertising for unobtainable combinations of skills and experience, as an administrative exercise (sometimes in conjunction with pre-determined internal appointments), or advertising a quite unrealistic rates to support visa applications for ICT candidates. This wasn’t done in the 50s and 60s because of the time and effort involved in the exercise. 

 

I remember being told in the late 70s or early 80s that an advert would typically produce 20-50 applications by post, of which about 2/3 were quickly eliminated. Candidates would not be interviewed unless the decision in principle to appoint, was confirmed. Likely candidates not appointed for some reason, were often filed for future reference. People simply had more important things to do. Now, adverts produce hundreds of applications, which are screened by keyword filters almost instantaneously.  Hundreds of spec applications from job boards flood in, all the time. No attempt is made to store information, and candidates seen from more than one source added to automatic filters. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, 96701 said:

Getting back to furniture, I really got on with my mum's dad. I used to go round to his a couple of days a week for lunch because because he lived quite close to the school what I went to. Anyhow, when he moved house 40 years ago, he didn't have space for his sideboard, so asked me to look after it. 

Here it is today. Nothing special, made by a local timber merchants, Lamberts of Nelson.

 

Nothing special in terms of craftsmanship, but it belonged to a lovely man, so I'm keeping it. I have to wax the drawers occasionally to keep it running smoothly, but other than that, a nice piece of furniture to keep our stuff in.

IMG_0777.jpg

IMG_0778.jpg

 

Well made, practically indestructable provided the woodworm keep away, but visually....

 

I like the fruit bowl, and we've got an identical vase!

 

23 hours ago, iL Dottore said:

We certainly do live better, don’t we? The following is a list of some of the things we now take for granted but in the 50s/60s/70s were, variously, the province of the well off, the rich and the entitled at various times in those decades:

  • Owning a car: Dad always had a car from the mid-50s at least
  • Owning a house: My parents had a house built for them just after they married in the early 50s
  • Having a telephone: We had a telephone from the late 50s, I had to be stopped from picking it up and chatting to the operators when I was two or three...
  • Having a fridge: 1950s with a "freezer compartment" big enough to keep a Walls Family Brick of icecream in.
  • Having a TV/Colour TV: TV from the late 50s, Colour TV early 70s.
  • Indoor toilet: Grandparents house had an indoor toilet in the early 20s.  Never lived in a house with an outdoor one!
  • Flying for pleasure/Foreign Holidays:  Parents could probably afford all the above because we never went on foreign holidays.
  • (others?)  A 36' steel-hulled Narrowboat which we built ourselves from the keel up.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 30/05/2020 at 18:34, iL Dottore said:

We certainly do live better, don’t we? The following is a list of some of the things we now take for granted but in the 50s/60s/70s were, variously, the province of the well off, the rich and the entitled at various times in those decades:

  • Owning a car My parents had a car from about 1958 - a case of necessity with 5 kids to lug about!
  • Owning a house My parents first house was owned by them, but it was part of my great-grandparents estate and was 'bought' from the estate. The house itself was brand new in 1951 having been rebuilt on the site of the GGP's house that had been 'land-mined'.
  • Having a telephone Didn't have one of those at all. I had my first 'phone in 1976.
  • Having a fridge They had a gas-fired one from about 1960.
  • Having a TV/Colour TV No telly until around 1960 too.
  • Indoor toilet As the house was new, it had an indoor toilet upstairs and a half-in, half-outside one downstairs.
  • Flying for pleasure/Foreign Holidays Nope, though I was exceedingly privileged to fly (alone) from Cardiff to Paris from the age of 3 to meet up with my French grandparents.
  • (others?) Having grandparents abroad again we were privileged to go on holiday. It was though, an exceedingly long journey by car - 24hours - a journey that I can do today in about 14 hours - M25 notwithstanding, and going the longer land route via Dover.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

Edit: Forgot to add that the journey was made longer by there being no motorways nor Severn Bridge until 1966. The journey time was reduced by about 1 1/2 hours.

Edited by Philou

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On 30/05/2020 at 17:34, iL Dottore said:

We certainly do live better, don’t we? The following is a list of some of the things we now take for granted but in the 50s/60s/70s were, variously, the province of the well off, the rich and the entitled at various times in those decades:

  • Owning a car; We got our first car in around 1970 (and the family never went on holiday by train afterwards)
  • Owning a house; My Dad worked for a bank, so cheap mortgage and therefore homeowner !
  • Having a telephone; Didn't get one until 1978
  • Having a fridge; Always had one
  • Having a TV/Colour TV; Always had one (but only ever one at a time, unlike now)
  • Indoor toilet; Always had one (but only one, unlike now)
  • Flying for pleasure/Foreign Holidays; First for the rest of the family was 1976 to Majorca, but i didn't go; I did an East Midlands Railrover instead !

 

Regarding flying, my first ever flight was around 1983, Cork-Heathrow; we had intended to travel overnight back from Ireland via train to Rosslare, ferry to Fishguard, train to Reading, a journey of many hours, but Irish fishermen were blockading the ports. So we had to fly home instead, which was very expensive, but quick; The journey time was.........an hour !

 

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As an add-on to my post above and journeys abroad in those days plus the reliability of cars AND tying it all to railways:

 

My father had only two driving speeds - fast or very fast (comparatively speaking to speeds possible today) and invariably would forget to slow down going over one particular French level crossing that was on a cant and EVERY TIME would take off and land heavily on the suspension and break one of his leaf springs. It didn't stop him going on his way and get to final destination, though the car was looking decidedly ungainly. As we would be away for six weeks, there was always enough time for the RAC to send out another set of springs to be fitted by the local garage.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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Holidays was up the road to Forest Hill station, and to catch the train off the excursion platform, now long gone. 

 

Car? No, we lived in London The bus stops were 100 yards in either direction.

Telephone? No, not until we moved to wales.

Fridge/television. Yes, we had both.

Owning a house. Our parents had a rather nice council house, and I'd still be living there now if I had my way. Although parents bought a house, it took forever to finish the mortgage, while I managed to do the same in 10 years, and, oh boy, did that create some problems at home.

Back to the car. We're (I'm) turning full circle. Whereas I used to get excited about high-powered cars like the Escort Mexico with the Lotus twin-cam, nowadays, I can't be bothered. Mrs Smith has a runabout for her needs, and once the shed gets completed, that'll be it for me.  You can't get a ladder rack on a Bugatti Veyron!

Telephone? Well, we're all here, aren't we?  I only need to find where 'here' actually is....... 

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On 31/05/2020 at 16:00, rockershovel said:

Now, once posted these things remain in circulation indefinitely; updating filled vacancies appears to be rarely, if ever carried out. This is further complicated by the development of agencies which scour the web for keywords, post them on job boards and then attempt to make spec applications to the original advertiser, which means prospective candidates receive worthless enquiries from third parties with no effective involvement, for jobs which may well not exist.

 

Agencies also not getting the message about when someone's got a job - I know someone who had his own CV sent to him for a job he was advertising...

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7 minutes ago, Reorte said:

 

Agencies also not getting the message about when someone's got a job - I know someone who had his own CV sent to him for a job he was advertising...

He was lucky it hadn't been rejected.

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Worse still if he rejected himself during shortlisting (good practice being to blank the names from CVS to counter unconscious bias).

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8 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Worse still if he rejected himself during shortlisting (good practice being to blank the names from CVS to counter unconscious bias).

Perhaps we should blank every piece of information so that there would be no unconscious bias towards anyone who might actually be capable of doing the job. Recruitment could then proceed under the total control of HR in a spirit of diversity and inclusion...

 

It would also save the cost, time and hassle of producing maintaining and submitting the CV in the first place.

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Aah, the hours I've spent tussling with HR about what should and should not be included on the shortlisting synopsis for each candidate when I was the Sponsor of a grad training scheme. Most of the things HR wanted to omit (names, which give clues, sometimes misleading, to race and/or gender; gender itself etc.) seemed sensible precautions, but we had a serious to-do about not including which Uni a person had attended, which I eventually won because even the university bodies are overt that exam grading is anything but directly comparable between institutions.

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9 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Aah, the hours I've spent tussling with HR about what should and should not be included on the shortlisting synopsis for each candidate when I was the Sponsor of a grad training scheme. Most of the things HR wanted to omit (names, which give clues, sometimes misleading, to race and/or gender; gender itself etc.) seemed sensible precautions, but we had a serious to-do about not including which Uni a person had attended, which I eventually won because even the university bodies are overt that exam grading is anything but directly comparable between institutions.

True, and as you will know not all Universities' degrees are accredited by the relevant professional institution(s). The whole business is a farce. No wonder one of my very good friends refers to HR as Human Remains (he actually said that in a meeting once - unintentionally, he told me, although knowing him as I do I wouldn't be so sure...).

 

When I used to do the milk round for BR, one of the "red flags" was anyone who said they wanted to join the Personnel Management training scheme because they "wanted to work with people".

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We might as well say that the plonkers who advise job market hopefuls about the contents and structure of a CV don't Have A Clue about what employers are looking for.

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9 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Aah, the hours I've spent tussling with HR about what should and should not be included on the shortlisting synopsis for each candidate when I was the Sponsor of a grad training scheme. Most of the things HR wanted to omit (names, which give clues, sometimes misleading, to race and/or gender; gender itself etc.) seemed sensible precautions, but we had a serious to-do about not including which Uni a person had attended, which I eventually won because even the university bodies are overt that exam grading is anything but directly comparable between institutions.

 

This is a significant part of why HR has become so powerful in recruitment, whereas Personnel was simply an administrative function for the most part. 

 

A whole structure has been created over the years, containing numerous pitfalls for the would-be employer and bearing little, if any relevance to their actual business. HR have inserted themselves in the position of arbitrators of this tangled web.

 

A further complexity now, is the present lunatic business of “social distancing”. This actually poses the employer with the problem of a HAZARD which is strongly emphasised, together with little, or no information upon which to assess the RISK. However the employer DOES know that they have certain legal responsibilities, including insuring their risk and placating any malcontent or third party who might, at some indeterminate time, bring legal action (the former concept of “vexatious litigation” having been quite abandoned since the 1960s). 

 

The results are about what you might expect, and given the shift in public attitudes since the 1960s it will pose huge problems in terms of getting people back to work. 

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Apologies for returning the thread back on topic, but, anyone remember having "shots" at the petrol station when filling up?

 

Mike.

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1 minute ago, Enterprisingwestern said:

 

Apologies for returning the thread back on topic, but, anyone remember having "shots" at the petrol station when filling up?

 

Mike.

Presumably something like Redex (senna for cars), leading to your departure being covered by a fug of exhaust fumes and smoke.

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5 minutes ago, Enterprisingwestern said:

 

Apologies for returning the thread back on topic, but, anyone remember having "shots" at the petrol station when filling up?

 

Mike.

Well certainly for two-stroke bikes. With my first moped, an NSU Quickly, I would ask for half a gallon of '20:1'. However the tank only just held half a gallon so I would always have to instruct the attendant(!) not to fill it right up - or put the shot in first.

ELB 843C, and it wasn't particularly quick.

Les

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On employment and selection, the difference between the 60s and now can probably be summarised by saying that ‘then’ it was in practice quite ordinary to discriminate between candidates on the basis of race, gender, creed, ‘cut of your jib’, age, old school tie, and any number of other things that have nothing whatever to do with competence, whereas ‘now’ it isn’t, but that some of the people charged with making sure that it doesn’t happen get too carried-away with their own importance.

 

On balance, I think the current situation is probably the least bad of the two, although it can be tedious to operate.

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10 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

On employment and selection, the difference between the 60s and now can probably be summarised by saying that ‘then’ it was in practice quite ordinary to discriminate between candidates on the basis of race, gender, creed, ‘cut of your jib’, age, old school tie, and any number of other things that have nothing whatever to do with competence, whereas ‘now’ it isn’t, but that some of the people charged with making sure that it doesn’t happen get too carried-away with their own importance.

 

On balance, I think the current situation is probably the least bad of the two, although it can be tedious to operate.

There's more to it than just competence though, Kevin. A big part of recruiting is finding someone who will "fit in" for want of a better term - not only that the rest of the team will be comfortable with the newcomer but that the newcomer will be comfortable with the rest of the team. Square pegs in round holes and all that. HR will probably have a polysyllabic word for that too.

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1 hour ago, rockershovel said:

Personnel was simply an administrative function for the most part

Even better when it was just the Staff Office.

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17 minutes ago, St Enodoc said:

Even better when it was just the Staff Office.

Or 'The Welfare Office'

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Right, I'll have another attempt!

Shopping regularly at the local shops, for local people!, before the advent of supermarkets, Gowers and Burgons being the one I remember best, the square biscuit tins with glass lids at the entrance to trap the unwary parent into being pestered by their child, the massive block of butter on the counter with chunks hacked off and wrapped in greaseproof paper. It seemed like we used to .go down every day.

 

Mike.

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5 hours ago, Enterprisingwestern said:

 

Apologies for returning the thread back on topic, but, anyone remember having "shots" at the petrol station when filling up?

 

Mike.

 

My BSA Bantam had a measure on the underneath of the filler cap, for ratios down to 16:1, no wonder two strokes smoked so much. There was the dispenser on the forecourt too. 

 

 

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