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Friday, November 25, 2011

how to hate the working classes


Details of the T.U.C. Day Of Action:30th November
 Personally , I think the focus on just "pensions" is a far too narrow one.It's more complex than that....but,hey, what do I know....? I support, but it's disingenuous for both sides say it's 'just' about pensions.

Do you think David Cameron's hair is starting to turn gray?  Wouldn't it be cool if peoples hair turned sepia instead of gray........ 

"Yes, I remember Tommy Cheese-bits very well. I can see him now, pushing his cart around. If he saw a group of youngsters he would often turn around and walk away, frightened of "getting a stone on th'heed", I heard him tell..........."[Read More]
This is a Sepia Saturday post.

This week,a couple of photos& comments from Old Photos Of Halifax    
Our first  man is Tommy Cheesbits (outside a 1970's shop.I'm on theme by accident this week!).Tommy was one of those "characters" who,in retrospect, are remembered by a community."You dont get any characters these days" people say.I'm not so sure if thats true?Maybe we only recognise 'character' in retrospect?
I remember 2 other local characters from my youth in the 60's..70's.....80's...[hey! I had a long youth!].Sadly I dont have any photos of them.One was a guy who dressed up as a Roundhead Soldier..& used to ride around The Pennine Moors on his horse.I know not why.I remember once,driving along Blackstone Edge in thick fog..and suddenly he appeared silently (from shrubs & grassland) like an extra from The Twilight Zone.
Another chap I remember was  someone who seemed to spend his life walking up& down The Calder Valley.Dressed as a monk....in bare feet.
I never stopped to talk to them.Je regrette..........
One bloke I did know was Donald John.As a child I lived near a Salvation Army Hostel near King Cross Street (it closed during the reign of Maggie Thatcher & became a winebar called "Salvations").Donald was a kind man.I used to meet him & his mates in Peoples Park on Sunday morning when (aged 11) I told my parents I was going to Sunday Mass..but sat in the Park for an hour instead talking with him.
I loved this guy,i used to tell him where there was any scrap,visited him in hospital when he had throat cancer, I also attended his funeral which was very well attended, I think he was one of the last of the Cowburn totters, I miss the old characters of hx,when Donald died the Courier ran weeks of eulogies about him. Donald John R.I.P.............[Ken]
.............. he used to go to Butterly Bricks in Elland every night my grandad was kiln man there and my grandad used to let him sleep near kiln where it was warm........[Karl Gledhill]
Ken was telling me recently about another Halifax character I had never heard of ,a certain "Mrs Cheesebits" [no relation] who in the 70's used to sit cross-legged on a pavement all day [often sat immodestly] selling day-old copies of The Halifax Courier.Rumour had it that if she didn't bring home enough money,her son would beat her up in the evening.....that's the way it goes.............
just like millions of other British Public Service Workers , I will be taking part in a Day Of Action on Wednesday 30th November.


Luke Haines :"How To Hate The Working Classes".
A Link via:Danny's blog

DAVID CAMERON:biography

30 comments:

Brian Miller said...

very cool...i like talking to characters actually...they always have rather entertaining stories....

Martin said...

I think the likes of Tommy Cheesbits often become 'characters' in retrospect, and that's probably for the best. Sadly, today, the label is all too often pinned to social misfits. And I cringe when I hear members of the caring professions using the word to patronise those whose needs they don't fully understand.

If I was still working, I would be joining you on 30th.

Alan Burnett said...

I met this character in the Union Cross in Halifax once - he was a real character (we must meet up for another pint soon Tony). There was an old chap who used to have a pitch just outside Lewins, grand old fellow who used to tell me tales of his time tramping the road. And then there was Lilly Fogg!

Ciaran Rehill said...

Two points. Firstly is the "Join Labour" sign satirical? I mean, if it was pre 1997 Labour I would consider. Newsnight tells us there is sweet F.A between Miliband & Camergoon on economic policy, but, hey, as Blair said, we all knew that.
Characters? If I had more time I'd regale you of one from my Dad's youth. Some thought of him as a village idiot. Today we call it Shell Shock.

tony said...

Alan...Lilly Fogg!!!!Is The Internet Ready For Lilly ?:)
Yes, Alan, A Pint Would Be Cool.I Will email you with possible dates....
Ciaran.No ,the Labour Sign isn't satirical. Sometimes its supporting what should be rather than what is. Lord knows,Labour has destroyed & wasted many opportunities.....But I don't see or feel any alternative .
Martin.I had never thought of it before.Maybe 2 kinds of Character ? (1)a label given by lazy observers. Or (2) a persona created (like an Artist!)by the person themself.... to either illuminate or disguise [or both]
Brian! We Are all Characters ,But Such Guys Are Oscar-Winners!

Liz Stratton said...

Tony,
I have a very wonderful 'character' in my life right now whose tales I love to hear. I use character in the very best sense of the word - those wonderful folk who march to the beat of a different drummer.

Thanks for the reminder to take a photo! Now, how to capture him on film so that all his charm shines through ...

Ciaran Rehill said...

The Liberals are probably the sole left of centre party. But could do with de Clegging. As for Labour, you plough a lonely furrow, give me a shout if they ever regain their soul.

tony said...

The Old Liberal yea......Ummm A Politician with A Soul!Now That's A Radical Concept!

Danny said...

"In Los Angeles earlier this week, approximately 10,000 people lined up for free turkey dinners.

10,000 people."

this is from here: http://www.blacklistednews.com/The_Global_Economy_is_in_Big_Trouble/16717/0/38/38/Y/M.html

things are gonna get scarily shitty in the next 5yrs or less, tony...i am v.frightened....i suggest buying lots of dried goods that can sustain for 6 months, a gas cooker and plenty of those big water drums you see in offices.

i believe that when those who 'run the world, behind-the-scenes of common times' have their gameplan enacted we might all be characters then - particular the peculiar, our bare raw ids, the confectionery concealment of which was afforded by the 'system', laid bare, and...hopefully...it will be greater than the sum of its parts...great song, too

Pat transplanted to MN said...

I believe that everyone has a story to tell if we can engage and listen....your first photo of the woman looks like something from the John Steinbeck novel, "Grapes of Wrath" I think missing mass to talk to the "character" was a good tactic

tony said...

Pat.....The Photo has been photoshoped in order to superimpose British Prime Minister's Head....!
Danny.....It's Back-To-The-Future but not in a nice way.Thanks for the link I will put it on the main body of the post.People Are Sleepwalking in a Stephen King-Fashion.It's very Real.It's Very Dark.The Depth is scary....I Dropped a coin in The Well 5 minutes ago...& it still hasn't touched the water.

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

I remember one of the 'Characters' in my town was the looney, as we called him, who chased us all just to hear us scream. Now he was shell shocked, PTSD, we call it now. When I was in Jamaica there were what looked like beautiful flowers and bushes along the side of the road outside of the town where we took a road safari, after we passed by we looked back and there were dozens of folks taking off the top of the outfit and walking away. They would come back when the next safari was due. Nothing is sacred anymore. Not even the natural sights of a tourist town.
Great post.
QMM

Bob Scotney said...

I could listen to men like Donald John all day. I'm so glad you spent time with them.
Politicians, all colours, I wouldn't give them time of day.

Jinksy said...

Fascinating post and pictures...

imagespast said...

Love the clarity of photo No 1 :-) and I'm with you on the pensions thing. As a child growing up in Edinburgh, we had many local "characters" one of whom hung around the school gate at Home Time. He always had a lit cigarette in each hand and smoked them alternately. We knew him (from the older kids) as "The Convict" and we were afraid of him. He was probably just a lonely man and I wish I had taken time to speak to him a little, but was too frightened. Jo

FrankandMary said...

My sepia roots are coming in.
Oh, yes. Much nicer.
It is awful hard(for me) to hate.

Kurt said...

I read an article about eccentrics in Britain and why the British culture engenders eccentricity, but I no longer remember the reason. Maybe it's 'more repression=more eccentricity"?

Dominic Rivron said...

Agree about the focus thing. Are you picketting? There are many people like me (an MU member, so not directly involved) who could be picketted out.

Talk of Halifax characters reminds me of Joan Ellison who sits (does she still?) on the wall outside the garage on Boothtown Road.

http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/news/local/thugs_film_joan_s_soaking_and_post_it_on_youtube_1_1911916

Marilyn said...

Interesting post. My husband's 97 year old uncle is very much a character, he is one of a kind.

http://mymagpiecollection.blogspot.com/2010/10/outing-with-elderly-person.html

sunny said...

LIKE THE POST MR TONY.

tony said...

Kurt ,I'm not sure The Brits are more eccentric than Johnny Foreigner.It's just we take a peverse pride in it!
Marilyn.I Like Him!
Dominic.I'm not if sure I have met/seen Joan? Yes, truly wicked what those 2 men did..although heartening to read the support she got....It reminds me of a facebook page last year that was set up ridiculing a bloke from Halifax.He has a learning disability.They even posted Google map photos with him in view (how creepy) .Loads of people complained & the page was taken down.
My place of work is closed,so i probably wont need to picket....But ,no doubt, I will be waving flags somewhere!
QMM... you've given me ideas should Halifax ever get invaded by tourists!
Thanks sunny,FrankandMary
imagespast....."The Convict" is a pretty Cool name to be known by!
Bob,Jinksy .Thank You.

Little Nell said...

I remember characters like that in my own home town.

Akelamalu said...

The guy on the horse emerging from the fog on the moors must have really looked like an apparition! :0

Karen S. said...

An incredible post again by you! Thanks... I too say long live those charming (and sometimes not so charming) characters that grace our lives and are never forgotten, not for long anyway!

TICKLEBEAR said...

First, be careful on wednesday if your day of action means public manifestation. since the "occupy' movement, cops are itchy to hurt someone...

I like charaters, even if they impress me much usually. In my district, there was an old man who dressed as a king, with the crown and the hermine coat and all. The king of what? I never knew. Another one dressed as an orthodox priest of some kind but I suspect he was a fraud, though there is an orthodox church near by, but my building back then was not the place for a priest being a place of ill repute. It's now changing but back then...
Oh boy!!
Like a brothel with a monthly fee, with laundry room and garage...
the homeless folks are less scary.
:)~
HUGZ

Joya said...

Spectacular picture! I really love the post, you amaze me.

Sample Letters

Scarlet Blue said...

I remember in Eynsford, there was a man who we all used to call the bucket man. Whenever there was a hot day all the kids used to bundle to Eynsford for a paddle in the ford. The bucket man used to provide us all with... er... buckets and then a massive water fight would ensue. It was great fun, he was always there. He looked a bit like Mr Bean.
Sx

Zuzana said...

It seems like you have met a few characters in your life Tony.;)
The first image made me chuckle, hehe.;)
xoxo

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

If our hair all turned sepia when we got older we'd be wishing it would turn grey instead.

Marshall Stacks said...

there are at least 20 good reasons why that top photo of Dorothea Lange's is a revered classic. photo-journalism = 1000 words.

Robert Morley (English actor, deceased)is infamous for saying:
"I like the working class. I like to sit in the window of White's and watch them outside in the rain."