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50 Things We No Longer Say Do or See

Nell is a trained Psychologist and lives in London England. She has been writing since she was a child.

Marlow Donkey Train. This one is not the Marlow Donkey but the same style and used locally.  copyright Marlow & District Railway Society.

Marlow Donkey Train. This one is not the Marlow Donkey but the same style and used locally. copyright Marlow & District Railway Society.

What it was like way back when.

We are all aware of the fact that our language constantly changes, with words and nuances disappearing, then sometimes reappearing again. Its something that I have particularly noticed in London.

There are so many amazing cultures mixing with each other that the English language is bound to evolve, change, and flow. Within a space of maybe two decades we seem to have lost the old fashioned Cockney and produced this type of accent. A cross between English, Asian and West Indian. It has its own distinct flavor. (see video below)

But thinking about this, I suddenly realized that even though we have gained so much, we have also lost so much more.

So many things have disappeared that we always took for granted. So here's just a few that may make you say, 'Oh yeah! I didn't realize that had gone!'

The new South London accent - Oh dear! go to 1.43

Wiki Commons Free Usage. Painting of boys playing Marbles

Wiki Commons Free Usage. Painting of boys playing Marbles

People, were they friendlier back then?

  1. Winking. When was the last time someone winked at you? Either an older person, or even your partner?
  2. Opening doors for people.
  3. Not getting up to let someone sit down.
  4. Helping people cross the street or climb public stairs.
  5. Conkers. Kids do not play conkers anymore. Do they know what they are missing out on?
  6. Grass darts! I have never seen a child play with grass darts these days! Throwing them at each other like arrows! Fun times!
  7. Marbles. Crashing them together was great! Especially if you managed to smash their marble!
  8. Hopscotch. I vaguely remember that back in the day.
  9. Clapping hand games such as 'My mother told me,' etc.
  10. Jumping ropes, or skipping ropes, tied round the ankles and trying to jump as quick as you can.
  11. Tiddly Winks!
  12. Forget political correctness for a moment! Workmen whistling or saying hi to women who walk past. I loved it, so there! And now being older and totally ignored, I can appreciate how it made me feel attractive. Obviously not the obnoxious remarks etc.
  13. Women wearing skirts/dresses! How often do you see that these days? Trousers, pants call them what you will, we have lost our style.
  14. Acting like adults. Now this may sound strange, but we are so scared of political correctness that we jump on the 'band wagon' at the slightest opportunity. Sue for this, go and complain about that. We were adults, laughed took it as fun and so on. No more.
  15. This is going to sound even weirder, but bare with me. Over here in England we didn't even know the word racist in the 70's. We all got along fine. Not these days!
  16. And in the same vein, Manners! These days people feel that its their right to give an opinion, whether polite or not! Back in the day they kept their mouths firmly closed. Online especially we see so much rudeness and bad manners. Trolls were something we read about in our Fantasy fiction!
  17. Marriage! In the UK there are so many girls without a husband or partner, bringing up two or more kids. And of course the girls get blamed for being on the dole/welfare, but nobody mentions the missing boyfriend!
  18. Smacking children. Even at school! What? Terrible. Sort of. Most of the time, lol!
  19. Kids being allowed out without the fear of attack or kidnap.
  20. Friendliness.
Chimney sweep

Chimney sweep

Ah, those good old days!

  1. Milkman. My mum always had a milkman deliver goods every single day. Gone now, sadly.
  2. Old fashioned Dustmen carrying the bins on their shoulders and stopping for a chat.
  3. Chimney sweeps!
  4. Green shield stamps. (save up and get goods)
  5. The football pools! Bit like the lottery. My mother always did the Pools every Saturday. Only time she won was the week she forgot to go and pay! Argghh! She still had the ticket indoors!
  6. Darning/sewing. These days its throw the thing out the second it gets a hole!
  7. Dealing with your own car troubles! Car broke down? get your wife's tights and put them round the.....! Not anymore. The engine is sealed! Drives my brother nuts!
  8. Our old steam train the Marlow Donkey! That was special! I loved riding in that, what with the swirling smoke and the toot toot!
  9. Cheap days out! I know its relative to today's payment compared to way back then, but things were cheaper. A day at the zoo did not cost an arm and a leg!
  10. An open fire! Oh how lovely! these days its central heating, or electric 'on the wall' heating.
  11. Doctors who took notice of you, and knew your name!
  12. Doctors who would come out in the middle of the night, or just pop in, in the day to see if you were 'okay'!
  13. Gobstoppers! (sweets)
  14. Getting your wages in a pay packet at the end of the week! Awesome!
  15. Pubs. These days all our pubs or public houses are being turned into wine bars or restaurants! How many eateries do we need in a small town? There are at least 20 or more in our tiny village! Bring back our pubs!
  16. No mobile phones! Fed up to the back teeth seeing people peering at themselves or something 'important' on their mobile/cell phone and bumping into you because they can't put the darn thing down!
  17. Platform shoes and Flares!
  18. Newspapers delivered. And then pay on a Saturday! Awesome!
  19. Coal delivery men!
  20. Pawn shops. Not round here. Not sure about where you are?
60's retro pram and mother

60's retro pram and mother

The importance of little things.

  1. Decent music! From the 60's onward, the music has been great! Rock and Roll, Madonna, Jazz, Funk, Punk, Top of the Pops etc. Even today there are a few great singers, such as Ed Sheeran. But oh that awful row of R. and B. or Rap! I actually want to throw the CD or Radio out the window when I have to listen to that row! Bah Humbug!
  2. TV programs! We had lost in space, Time Tunnel, Star Trek...yes we still have that thank goodness! And lots more. These days its Adverts, rubbish, then Adverts again! 100 stations and nothing on them! Bah!
  3. Little shops. Such as the Butchers, Fishmongers, Woolworth's and Robinson's. There are far too many big supermarkets. Long gone our our little home grown shops.
  4. Cartoons at the Cinema followed by 'half time' ice creams and choc ices served by the lady with a tray carrying all the goodies! Then the main feature. Ah bliss!
  5. Home cooked meals everyday. I know I am to blame too! But with the invention of the Microwave, first made in the 40's, partly developed by the UK with its 'Cavity Magnetron' and the American, Percy Spencer, it infiltrated homes over the next 20 years or so. Until the 90's when every household had one. Unless you live in a tent! (of course you could wire one up in a tent.....!)
  6. One thing I won't miss is 'Corporal Punishment' at school! A slipper round the backside, a ruler on the hand and Ow! and double Ow! Mind you, some people would like to see its return, what with the bad manners of the young these days. But not me....oh no, not me! Um.
  7. Old fashioned prams. This one is a friends request. She said, and I quote: ' I hate those horrible three wheeled buggies that for some reason the mother or father who is doing the pushing, seems to think they need to trot like a demented cantering horse just because they are called 'Joggers buggies!' straight over my foot.......! So, yep, there you go Sara, well you did say to mention it!
  8. Classic Cars! Oh how lovely were they? Not like the 'Ironing Board' shape, usually grey that you get these days! Bring back the old Capri, turn on the Chevy and lets listen to Rock and Roll!
  9. Lack of Knowledge of the outside world. Sounds stupid? Bare with me! I remember growing up knowing what was going on around me, in my town and in my country. The news was very scant on the rest of the world purely because the Camera's, etc, were not that good back then to send live pictures and film. We of course knew what was happening, but it was a long way away. With the Internet etc, the whole darn world is at your doorstep. Some of its great! The rest? Well you can keep it!
  10. And last but not least? My mum's Stew! She passed away 20 years ago, but I can still see it, taste it and smell it. Thanks mum. You were an awesome cook.
Trolls ! my lovely favorite Troll Dolls from way back when!

Trolls ! my lovely favorite Troll Dolls from way back when!

Did I mention I loved Trolls?!

I know I said 50, but I can't go without mentioning the toys! These days its so darn boring! Computer, iPad, Kindle etc etc.

Back in our younger days we were surrounded by color. Cindy, Barbie, Trolls...oh how I loved my Trolls! (see above). I still have a few around the house!

And then there was Etch a Sketch which we thought was so modern and cool! Footballs, skipping ropes, Meccano sets, Racing cars and track, through the living room into the kitchen then back!

Dad on his hands and knees playing with the formula one car, and us yelling 'dad come on let me have a go, dad!'

Mum laughing as she tried to set up the table tennis and then started hitting the balls against the wall. Dog barking, kids screaming and the smell of cooking from the kitchen.

Color, laughter, fun.

Scroll to Continue

My answer? Put away those iPads etc and enjoy the real world.

Way back when? Or now?

© 2017 Nell Rose


Nell Rose (author) from England on January 12, 2019:

Thanks Tim, you are on! (Marbles!) LOL! yes being stuck in front of a screen all day, they have lost their way!

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 11, 2019:

(lol) Nell, are we showing our age? You better believe it! Music was great a few decades ago, but I can't "rap" my mind around that stuff today. What's funny is knowing that cool meant "cool," back then, and now, "cool" is ancient or has taken on some meaning that's confusing. Apparently, being "hot" is better than being "cool." Huh! (Thanks. I'll take your air conditioning unit any time in the summer.)

I think it's a transatlantic thing, Nell. Somewhere along the way, we forgot to be nice to one another and stopped playing those marvelous board games.

(By the way, I'll take you on in a game of marbles. You'll probably win.) Lol.

Much respect to a thoughtful and kind writer with wonderful uplifting material. (Thinking about the past can help us help our young folk make a better tomorrow.)



Nell Rose (author) from England on February 25, 2018:

Its amazing isn't it Mary? so many things have changed! thanks as always.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 25, 2018:

Hi Nell. I understand completely as I just attended our 5oth anniversary from high school and all the things we remembered but recently, I was surprised to have kids standing up and mothers telling them to do it when we get in the subway in Spain.

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 01, 2017:

Thanks Frank, lol! yes I played them with my son! great fun!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 01, 2017:

its so nice to reflect.. you know marbles.. I miss that I loved playing marbles when I was a boy.. or top spinning..LOL thanks for the trip down memory lane Nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 24, 2017:

Thanks Genna, and great to see you!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on November 24, 2017:

Oh Nell,I loved this! Especially the importance of little things -- like people actually knowing how to use a landline phone, those little gadgets that are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Well done...thank you for that lovely trip down a few memory lanes. :-)

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 21, 2017:

Yes it definitely has Isabella. Too much info, to much TV Internet and so on. Sometimes I wish we only knew the stuff in and around our country or county like old days. Thanks for reading.

Bella Allred on November 21, 2017:

This is awesome! I'm not old enough quite yet to remember times like this, but reading about it makes me wish for the return of times like these. Unfortunately, the world has become a much scarier place since then.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 12, 2017:

Thanks Zulma, yes I think I would do that too if I lived there. We used to have a chest freezer when we lived quite a long way from a town a few years ago. No car, just the train so we would get a taxi and stock up! thanks for coming back.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on November 12, 2017:

Lucky you, Nell. The local butcher shop closed down here years ago. We found another place that's really good. But it's a ten-minute drive from us. Thankfully, we do have a chest freezer so we go once a month and buy in bulk. Again, a little more expensive but it's quality meat and the butchers' are knowledgeable and can prepare the meat just the way you want it right on the spot. I don't mind paying extra for that.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 12, 2017:

Hi Zulma, I love the old fruit and veg shops, and we are having a new butches from next week! that will be cool, I love going into the old shops or familiar ones. And yes I totally understand what you mean about a pleasant shopping experience. Thanks for reading.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 12, 2017:

Hi Jo, yes you might be right there! so many things are better these days, thanks so much for reading.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on November 12, 2017:

Wow, so many memories. When we first moved to our village, there was a bakery, a butcher, a barber shop etc. Over the years these shops either disappeared or were replaced by something modern. (sigh)

A few years back, someone opened a proper fruit and veg shop. I'm happy to say it's not only still operating but expanding. Yes, it's a tad more expensive but the local supermarket just can't compete with the quality of their produce. Plus, it's such a pleasant shopping experience. The owner is polite, chatty and he doesn't take cards. Cash only.

I know that sounds odd but for some reason, it feels right to me.

Thanks for this hub, Nell.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on November 10, 2017:

I have many fond memories about growing up, but, all in all, I believe the human race is improving, not vice versa. Every generation longs for the good old days and complains about changes, but if you take the long view, I believe we're improving. I'm glad we no longer have slavery in our country. I'm glad racial segregation has improved in our country. I'm glad women and gays and blacks have more rights, and so on. I choose to believe this. I'm an optimist at heart.

BTW, my granddaughters play hopscotch, jump rope, etc.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 08, 2017:

Thanks Ms. Dora, I don't think I ever really played Hopscotch but I do remember watching others, don't think I would remember how now! lol!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 08, 2017:

Thanks Devika, always good to see you!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 08, 2017:

Thanks so much Anusha, yes different cultures have and lose many different things from their past, but hopefully they keep the good stuff too, thanks as always.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 08, 2017:

I didn't play hopscotch as a child; now I play it with my grand kids. Apart from that, I miss almost all of the other things you mentioned. Thanks for the pleasant walk down memory lane.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 08, 2017:

Interesting! What we were once used to and have in most parts of the world have forgotten or never had. I like the topic idea.

Anusha Jain from Delhi, India on November 07, 2017:

That was an interesting read, and it had me thinking about something. The things we lose and gain are different from one culture to another, one country to another. What you've lost we might still have (like the winks), or we might have never experienced it! (Like the grass darts)

How funny it is that a global audience can bring everything into context, and push everything out of it. :)

Awesome writing, like always.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 07, 2017:

Thanks Peggy, yes it was so much more fun back then, thanks for reading.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 06, 2017:

I can relate to much of what you wrote Nell. There are a few exceptions but for the most part I miss those days too.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 06, 2017:

Hi Chitrangada, yes the letters! I had forgotten them! I used to love writing letters, and waiting for the post to get a reply! we kept them for ages didn't we?

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 06, 2017:

Sorry to hear that Anna, that must have been horrible for you. As for the accents, I do think most of them still exist, but we have this horrible hybrid one that makes my teeth go on edge! lol!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 06, 2017:

LOL! yes that accent! horrible! I do miss the milkman, maybe they do still do so parts of England, but not down here. Thanks Mary!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 06, 2017:

Hi Linda, yes! I remember those pencil trolls! I have no idea why I liked them, but at this moment in time I have 'red troll' staring at me as I type! LOL! some things never change!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 06, 2017:

In plain English, its horrible! LOL! I could scream when I hear it! thanks Paula!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 05, 2017:

Wonderful list of things, we miss nowadays! You brought many childhood memories back through this well written and thoughtful article.

I miss the hand written letters too. Technology has simplified life, no doubt, but we really miss some of those small and lovely pleasures of life.

Your article made me nostalgic Nell! Thanks for sharing!

Anna Haun from USA on November 05, 2017:

Thank you for commenting back, guess I got carried away with old forgotten memories. Losing my mother at 11 yrs old then my father a year later those cherished memories were never forgotten just buried for a time. I'm not familiar with the South London accent but it must have been grand in its time before the present took it away. Thank you for reminding of a time so lost.

Mary Wickison from USA on November 05, 2017:

I used to love hearing the milkman early in the morning. The squeak of the gate, the clank of the bottles and then the hum of his electric milk float. I knew I hadn't died in the night. LOL

That South London accent video had my toes curling. I think I'd need a translator.

You've rekindled a lot of memories.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 05, 2017:

I remember many of the things that you describe, Nell. Thank you for sharing them. They were a happy part of my childhood. I didn't have a full size troll, though some of my friends did. Putting a troll on our school desks was a popular trend for a while. My troll was a small one that fitted over the eraser end of a pencil. I remember that it made me feel part of the group, which was important to me at the time.

Suzie from Carson City on November 05, 2017:'s less about an "accent" and much more about a slaughter of a language! Terrible. I hope it's just an ignorant phase!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

Hi Kari, yes being paid weekly was awesome! Waiting for a month is a real pain! lol! thanks for reading!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

Thank you Anna, you certainly took notice of all the things here! lol! yes those cars these days are awful! I remember watching Perry Como when I was a small child on a Saturday evening! thanks so much for commenting.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 05, 2017:

Ahhh, the good old days. I had forgotten about getting paid in cash. Also, how many weekly pay employers are left. I love getting paid weekly. And just being outside. I love being outside. :)

Anna Haun from USA on November 05, 2017:

Great article, really enjoyed reading, brought back forgotten memories of long ago. I can remember in school starting the day out with a passage from the Bible and then the Pledge Of Alliance. In school, you might have to write sentences if you were bad or get smacked on the hand with that ruler. Today's children are brought without being taught good manners, however; there still are some taught good manners. In todays world more single moms are raising kids on their own while the father either has little to do with their offspring or plays no part in their growing up. Back then it was considered a disgrace for a young girl to be pregnant out of wedlock. Family values have been lost thru the years. Rap music is horrible, drives me nuts, makes me nervous. I can remember shows like the Donna Reed Show, Red Skelton, Perry Como, and others. Amazing how much time thru the years has changed. Even back then cars were built of real heavy steel, unlike today where they are made as cheap as possible and don't have the nice style they had back then.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

LOL! exactly Paula! its a horrible accent isn't it? drives me totally insane! I grind my teeth when I hear it! lol! thanks as always.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

I miss them too Glenn. I may have only been tiny in the 60's but the memories are so vivid, thanks.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

LOL! sorry Linda, I suppose I was doing my life time really, but yes of course so many things were farther back than that! thanks for reading.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

Thanks Martie, I do think that is a lot of the trouble round the world. the hate etc, purely because we can'talk' to people in countries where we would never ever know anyone. thanks as always.

Suzie from Carson City on November 05, 2017:

Nell.....You've awakened my memory, taken me back and given me so much to think about! I have sorely missed the '60's, all these years. It was simply an extremely impressive time in my life.....entering adulthood, falling in love, forming some lifelong friendships and creating a lifestyle that pretty much stayed with me to this day.

You're right. So much is gone...just faded away. Is this progress? I'm not sure.

By the way~~ the video in your intro~~why on earth would the South London accent take hold or become popular?? They took a beautiful language and made it garbage....the sounds of a ghetto!!

Great article Nell. You never disappoint. Peace, Paula

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on November 05, 2017:

Wow, this really brought back a lot of childhood memories.

I remember waking up sometimes in the middle of the night and looking out the window just when the milkman would happen to make his delivery. I would watch him take the empty bottles and place new milk in the milklbox that was on the front stoop. He even placed a large junk of ice in the milkbox.

And those TV shows... You didn't mentioned it, but you made me remember the family shows like Father Knows Best and Ozzie and Harriet. They portrayed such as simpler life, but where parents actually taught their children well.

The other memories you mentioned made me realize that I forgot how simple and wonderful those days were. I miss those days.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on November 05, 2017:

Oh, what a trip down memory lane. There are a few things on your list that are best forgotten (I'm certain the coal of years ago was the cause of London smog and open-air burning is banned where I live depending on the weather condtions). Thankfully we still have the milkman, neighborhood shops, and I am a FIRM believer in the home-cooked meal.

Your question about "favorite decade" doesn't go back far enough. My fave was the 50's LOL.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on November 05, 2017:

What a lovely enjoyable hub!

The video about the Southern accent was fascinating.

You reminded me of things I have almost forgotten, Nell! I feel quite sad about some of our losses.

Due to Internet and TV satellites we indeed have the whole damn world on our doorstep.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

Sounds lovely Bill! I do wish we still had one, but it was a while ago that they got rid of them, sadly. thanks as always.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

Hi Linda, thanks for stopping by, always good to see you!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2017:

We still have a milkman and I love it when he delivers the milk...takes me back to my childhood and the clink of bottles on the porch on delivery day. :)

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 05, 2017:

I still do a lot of these things. A lot I never heard of. But a great list of memories and awesome reminders!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

Hiya Jackie, yes I was just thinking yesterday and there was the hub! lol! I felt the need to write quickly instead of constantly doing stuff I have to research, as well as the fact that my book is a graphic picture book, so no writing!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 05, 2017:

So right on so much. I have to say living in the south manners are still here (except from people moved here from other places) but I know those will soon be gone too. Strange we have to let go of all the good. Sad, too.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

LOL! Liz! I actually find the new accent horrible, but....LOL! it does drive me insane! but its history in the making isn't it? I particularly hate the way they say 'mobile phone!' it comes out as 'mobel fon! LOLO!

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 05, 2017:

Thanks James, oh yes star wars! how could I forget that one? first in line at the cinema! and then there was our local cinema that sadly closed too. thanks

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on November 04, 2017:

Had to laugh and reminisce along with you about most of these things!

Got a kick out of the "South London accent." It would seem they toss around "yeah," the way the Canadians toss around "eh?" ... LOL How do you spell Canada? "C-eh? N-eh? d-eh?"

James Timothy Peters from Hammond, Indiana on November 04, 2017:

A very interesting Hub, thank you.

I enjoyed the (late) '70's because of Big Wheels, Slinky, Silly Putty, Schwinn Bicycles and Boo-Berry Cereal, but mostly because of Star Wars.

I remember standing outside the movie theater waiting to go in to see this sci-fi wonder.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 04, 2017:

Thanks Demas, of course you are right. I was just writing it from my perspective. I can imagine that there were so many other good things back then. Maybe you can show us? thanks for reading.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on November 04, 2017:

Suggestion: Us older folks might like some of the even earlier time periods, and it's not a stretch to say that many of the things you enjoyed and miss now were common earlier than the 1960's.

Nell Rose (author) from England on November 04, 2017:

Thanks Flourish, yes I had forgotten the antique stores. we had two in our town, I used to love browsing through them. Thanks for commenting, nell

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 04, 2017:

This brought back the memories, Nell. Although the US has plenty of pawn shops, much of the rest resonated. I do notice that a lot of the antique stores are going away, at least where I live. Lots of stuff online now.

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