Thursday, 5 November 2015
Sitting at the desk during quiet times yesterday I took to reading the 'Kellys Directory' of 1926. These were large nationwide directories that appear to contain everyone and everything about a town anywhere in the nation. These are great helps when looking into the past as they list all the office bearers of all organisations, the local dignitaries and most ofnthe population. A brief description of the town is given, the main buildings, churches, places of interest, then the office bearers, private citizens and tradesmen. An wider number of people are listed at the rear of the book, the 'plebs' I suppose.
Havinggone through the war memorial searching for people I love this book as it lists the relatives of many and other names that crop up in day to day queries at the museum. Some folks relax with drinking, some jogging, others take long walks or spend their money is shops, I find myself reading an out of date directory. What does this say about what my life has become?
Today was the third day in a row I have worked. Not just that but they forced me to work at lifting things also! I only went in to help with the tea and buscuits at the end (all of which this lot of visitors snaffled I must say!). This was a local history group from some distance away who came for a lecture on 'Magna Carta' and a guided tour of the museum. As they were talked down to I was seen humping and carrying things my knees thought too heavy. My back now agrees but the lady in charge merely muttered 'wimp' and 'shut up' quite a lot.
Yesterday was lazier as I went in for the afternoon shift and little of note occurred. That is why I dug out the directory. Such a useful book if looking for people in the past but I fear their uses ended after the war. Modern communication, telephone books for instance I suppose ended their purpose.
They tell us much about the importance of some citizens, and on occasion their self importance. It reveals also how individual shps are replaced by supermarkets and other devices. Trades once common disappear as do streets and all those mentioned. Their descendents however can be seen in the streets if the eye is open.
As I write a battle is occurring outside. Explosions rent the air, acreeching rockets climb into the sky spilling silver or coloured starlets around, larger ones explode like 'Jack Johnsons' from the Great War while nodoubt younger children enjoy the spectacle that takes place in the back garden while their dog and cat hide under the sofa. I await the weekend with trepadation as that is when large organised events wil take place, oh goody.
But as someone observed today why is it now called 'Bonfire Night' instead of 'Guy Fawkes Night?' That was how we knew it for so long, and we used a lot less fireworks in thsoe far off poorer days. Have people forgotten the reason for this needless excitement? This guy Guy tried to blow up the House of Commons when the Kingw as in attendance, an act of terrorism that would be condemned today by the majority. Mind you when Prime Ministers Question Time is taking place maybe, just maybe....
Anyway we would not like such an event to actually occur so why commemorate this one? So many years ago, so many folks who no nothing of the King or his ideas, the intentions of Fawkes and his mates, and probably would have opposed him if they knew him at the time. Still, a few fireworks, a bonfire, and an accident or two are things most people would wish to experience once in their life.