Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Of a time between Christmas and New Year .............. Lausanne Road 1958

We have reached that in between time, by which I mean that time after the presents have been opened and before the New Year bash begins.

That said back in Lausanne Road there was no long break from Boxing Bay to New Years Day.

Dad was back at work on the morning after Boxing Day, the milk and papers arrived on time and from memory the trains were running and the buses passed along Queens Road.

To all intent and purposes December 27 was a normal day and only if it fell on a Sunday was it a quiet time.

Of course school didn’t begin up again until early January so for us it was still a holiday but that sense that life was on hold for everyone else was not the case.

Now I know that there are plenty who have gone back to work as the procession of people past our door from just after half six onwards testify.

And given the disastrous floods across the North this year there will be plenty more on standby, helping the unlucky or just cleaning up after their own personal tragedies.

But for many the week between Christmas and New Year is a week to take off or at the very least to extend the holiday on till December 29 or later, making a seamless stretch from Christmas Eve to January 2.

All of which takes me back to Lausanne Road in the 1950s and 60s and the run up to the New Year.

Not that we celebrated the coming of the New Year over much.  We didn’t indulge in parties, no one with a lump of coal was invited in and New Year resolutions were seen as silly, after all why resolve to be different on January 1 when either the decision was forgotten a week later or was important enough to have been taken in June.

So for us the week passed quietly and was marked more by Uncle George’s trip up “West” to the January Sales than a rowdy night of fun and booze.

There was a special but more modest meal to mark the event and the obligatory late night session with Jimmy Stewart and the White Heather Club but that was it which given that our family were Scottish was all the more remarkable

And that I suspect is why I have never really given New Year much house room.  For me and as it has turned out my lads, you are either a Christmas or New Year person and I have always settled for Christmas, with all that comes with it from a big tree, to the joy of the cards and of course the magic of the day.

By contrast apart from a few very drunken events in my 20s and 30s the night passes off with little fuss.
A few decades ago it would have been marked by the ships sirens from the docks which carried across the still night air and were not drowned by the noise of endless fireworks.

But as hard as I try I can’t now remember if back in Lausanne Road that was the case but I suppose we were just too far away and like so many memories this will be one that sits in my imagination unless someone can verify it.

What is all the more surprising is that we are now midway between the two events.

Tina has gone back to work, one of our lads has headed back to Sheffield, another flies out for a week in Morocco and a third will see it in somewhere in New York with his Polish partner.

And a full 59 years after the White Heather Club in Lausanne Road we will pass the evening with Jools Holland and may be just maybe will be woken up by the fireworks to wish each other a Happy New Year.

We shall see.

Pictures; from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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