Were the ‘good old days’ really that good?

Helping to keep the streets of South Tyneside clean and tidy in days gone by.
Helping to keep the streets of South Tyneside clean and tidy in days gone by.

You had plenty to say when we said “people talk about the ‘good old days’, but were they really that good?”.

Here’s what you posted on Facebook in response to the question and the accompanying picture of a South Tyneside resident sweeping the street outside her home.

Alan Smith said: “Great days, everyone worked, everyone had money. Community spirit was second to none. Outside toilets and coal fires were just a minor side issue. Take me back.”

Ryan Pace was not quite so sure, saying: “Doesn’t look great to me, but each to their own. Trouble is nowadays people are never happy and think they are entitled to everything. In the old days people either worked for it or were happy with what they had.

“It’s people’s mentality that has changed for the worse not life in general.”

Geoff Bartle took to social media to comment: “Obviously some things are better now, but people had job opportunities and we had UK firms making cars, ships, household goods, clothing etc.

“Some of the big employers could offer job security, reasonable pay and decent pensions. Unfortunately too many people, and some UK governments, started buying foreign goods too often and this is the main reason why things are completely different now.”

Gill Hartmann Abbott spoke of “Much more community spirit around, neighbours helped one another. I remember my gran always had her front door open and everyone was welcome. People these days are too wrapped up in themselves!”

Pauline Clouston posted: “Not sure people had money. They worked hard but lived week to week and in some cases day to day. Nobody was trying to be better than their neighbours. Most mothers stayed at home and the dads worked hard. People cared and shared, in the summer holidays you came home when the street lights came on.”

George Fenwick talked about: “Personal pride in your own place was the thing, vandalism was not a problem like today cos if kids were out of line they got a clout and the threat of ‘I’ll see ya dad about this’ and were going to get another clout when they got home.”

Allan Fada took to Facebook to say: “I’m only 51 but I remember the 70s and early 80s quite well, and for me personally, I’d rather be back there than here now, people were different, we felt safer. There’s too much uncertainty now, too much could go wrong at any moment, yeah, put me back in 1982 please!”

Colin Tosh said: “Local community and local amenities were better. Natural environment wasn’t so screwed up. Rampant, unregulated capitalism has swallowed all this up. 1979 was the year it all began in the UK. Many countries still have what we used to have.”

Kevin Cawood had his own take on the question, saying: “The days before kids were called Tyson and Chardonay, people talked to each other, not texted and were not happy but content with what they had.

“A much simpler and relatively stress free life, targets were something you fired your bow and arrow at.”

We’ll have more comments on this and other subjects later in the week.

In the meanwhile, why not get in touch with your views. Would you travel back in time if you had the choice?