LETTER: A lot in society we have lost today

A reader recalls simpler times.

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It was nice to read the letter by Mr Peter Hassall re. Trains of the 50s, it seemed so easy and straightforward then. It made me think back to the time 1957 or 1956 not sure which me and my mate Tony Tolley who went on to play the drums for the Bachelors, sadly he recently passed away, we were both very interested in aircraft we were age 15/16 and lived in Darlaston next to Rubery Owen.

We had heard that there was an air show at the Rolls Royce airfield at Hucknall Notts, in previous years we had been to air shows at Farnborough on the coach from Bob Smiths Darlaston, also Battle of Britain shows at Cosford and Castle Bromwich. We had no idea how to get to Hucknall we did not have phones etc. then, we got the bus to Walsall went into the railway station told the ticket-master where we wished to go no problem change trains at Birmingham. Tickets were issued then on to the train, arrived at Nottingham hoping we would get a bus to Hucknall sure enough a short walk from the station we got a bus straight to the air show which we enjoyed.

Then for some reason we missed one train back to Birmingham as a result we did not get back to Brum until about 1.30 in the morning thus there was no way we could get back to Darlaston on public transport that night, it was a lovely summers night so we decided to walk back. We went past/through, Newtown, Lozells Handsworth etc. It was as quiet as a graveyard all the people were in bed ready to go to work next day of course, just imagine two 15/16 year old kids doing this today it does not bear thinking about.

Past the Albion ground we encountered a police constable on his beat, yes that's what they did then not like now, he looked about two years older than us. "What you two lads doing out this time of the night?" he politely enquired, we told him about where we had been and we all had a laugh, he said with a smile, "of course at this time of the night I should ask you what's in your bags", our snack bags, which of course we flipped open with good humour, he wished us goodnight and safe journey.

We got back to Darlaston I think about 6.30am my father a good Black Countryman he must have been up most of the night wondering what had happened greeted me with "Weer-y-bin", when I think back there was a lot in society which we have lost today. If he was alive now he would believe how bad things in certain areas have now become.

Richard Green, Great Wyrley

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