What a lifetime war babies have lived

Snow at Station Road, Edale, 1947.Snow at Station Road, Edale, 1947.
Snow at Station Road, Edale, 1947.
What a lifetime Sheffielders born in the Second World War have lived.

From my earliest memories I remember the winter of 1947 when the snow drifts at Gleadless, where I lived, reached to nearly the tops of what were then called gas lamps.

Then in 1948 the National Health service arrived, a service that meant that poor people would no longer worry about the cost of seeing a doctor or that so many children would die due to not having proper medical attention.

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Into the 50s an era of full employment and although the wages were poor we had food on the table.

At weekends we danced to Bill Haley’s Comets as the new-fangled sound of rock and roll hit the cinemas and brought about the teddy boy era.

We then arrived at the greatest era ever .

Who can ever forget winning the World Cup as Alf and the lads defeated Germany in the greatest football match ever played in that competition?

Or the birth of the Beatles, who changed the thinking of a whole generation by their wonderful songs full of messages that the working classes were no longer the underdogs in society but could achieve all things in education,the arts and sport.

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As the 60s came to a close man made the giant step of landing on the moon as we all watched on our black and white sets.

Perhaps the invention of the birth pill around that time also altered life for thousands of families as women could now embark on new careers, previously thought impractical due to unwanted pregnancies and the disruption that this caused to working women before that time.

Into the 70s and home ownership became possible for anyone who could save a small deposit and obtain a mortgage.

We have moved on into modern times with the automatic age. Machines have taken over many of our traditional jobs in industry, computers have made many office jobs redundant and Sheffield has lost its traditional industries to be replaced by low-wage call centres and soft jobs that give our kids no hope of getting a mortgage, buying a car or starting a family.

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The wholesale demolition of some of our historic buildings and areas to make way for the new influx of students from the far corners of the world has changed our city into a place that you wonder what will happen next.

Whatever that may be we know that ours can never be bettered.

Judd Newton