Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Jonathan Meades says the future happened briefly in 1969


Jonathan Meades writes for the London Review of Books:
Concorde was seen in the sky over West London for the first time in late June 1969. Less than a month later Neil Armstrong stepped from Apollo 11 onto the moon. The future had arrived. It was tangible, it was thrilling, it was now. We came to believe that we were all part of an adventure without end. This was just the beginning, the new beginning. 
What we didn’t realise was that this was it. A peak had been achieved. The only way was down.

2 comments:

Andrew S Hatton said...

I have a clear recollection of the day, it was a Saturday, early afternoon, I was working for First National City Bank of New York, in their CDFX Department (Certificates of Deposit & Foreign Exchange - including Eurodollar Loans & Deposits) -

We still had a mostly handwritten accounts system and once a month were required to work overtime to calculate account interests and perform other administrative tasks, there was much ribaldry and even some "horseplay" amongst the mostly male back office young male clerks.

Concorde (it was still spelt the French way) was heard - it was expected, there was a rush to the windows, I only heard it, as dyspraxically{30 years before diagnosis for me - I was twenty} I went to the wrong window And drew the mockery with which I was very familiar.

The building was on the corner of the Aldwych, London, next or near to Bush House, since knocked down & now a hotel, the address remains the same, I am fairly sure, 336-337 The Strand, WC2 1HA, we were on the second floor, Aldwych side.

I guess I did really feel we were at the centre of things and life would improve.

I was married soon after in 1970, moved from Walthamstow to Sittingbourne, before in 1973 moving to Merseyside, to train for probation & Social Work at the University of Liverpool, residing in Maghull, before moving "back darn sarf" to Tolleshunt Knights, via East Hanningfield after a 3 month sojourn in 1983.

Tolleshunt Knights, because it was cheaper than Kelvedon & my income was reduced moving from a Merseyside job with, inner city allowances, to the worse paid rural part of Essex where living costs were significantly higher than on Merseyside. (Our financial stability is vastly influenced by where we settle & there is considerable variation even if one continues doing exactly the same (as I did) public service job, at the same level in Essex as I did in Merseyside.

I also clearly recollect the moon landing, at the home I had grown up in, 22 Richmond Avenue, Highams Park, Walthamstow, London, E4 (9 RS - now!). It was over Friday & Saturday night & my fiancée Heather was staying over – I slept downstairs on the settee, placing me in front of TV with mother joining in. The next day H & I (still with me today) set off for a couple holiday at Cromer in a rented flat with Roger and Ann – real grown ups, though I still did not qualify for a mortgage, so we arranged our wedding date after I was twenty one & in the first week of the 1970/71 tax year – I cannot remember exactly why, but the married man’s allowance was involved. I think we would have been better a week earlier to get the rebate for the previous year – but ultimately, I think we had to fix a week later because something was not available like Shernhall Methodist Church or one of the two ministers who married us – I was a member at Handsworth Avenue, where J Wesley Woods was Minister & H was a member at Shernhall, where John Morgan was minister, or maybe it was the availability of The Kingfisher Social Club, Oak Hill, Highams Park, where we held the reception, that ultimately led to us marrying at the beginning of the next tax year, my memory is weak on that point.

Fat Boss said...

Kelvedon Hall where Chips Channon had his gardener dig a deep grave where they buried the family silver in Aug 1940 lest the German's arrived and went stealing. Chip's dear friend Emerald Cunard said she'd rather risk hers being stolen then meanwhile eat on cheap china with wooden candle sticks "...there is only so much Poland can expect us to do" she exclaimed seemingly unaware of why the war was being fought in the first place. "Dear Emerald she is so sweet and fey" Chips said to his wife.