The glory days of phone boxes and cassette players | Rick Jackson

I really think my brain needs a rest. What about yours? I understand all about progress but sometimes I’d like to go back to 1985.

By Rick Jackson
Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 6:10 pm
REMEMBER THESE? Inside an old phone box, not very mobile Picture: Shutterstock
REMEMBER THESE? Inside an old phone box, not very mobile Picture: Shutterstock

Just four television channels, two local and four national radio stations, a local newspaper, a choice of national newspapers and that was it.

When the telly or radio was off, you were off. No scrolling through Facebook, Twitter Instagram or TikTok to get your information fix.

Today, we can read news, true or fake, 24 hours a day and on top of all that, we are bombarded with people’s opinions.

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Back in 1985, the only time this happened was on BBC1’s Points of View.

Remember watching that when it seemed that all those people writing in were moaning, grumpy old killjoys? We only had to endure it for 30 minutes or so a week. Now we get it all the time. No wonder anxiety levels are through the roof. Constant images of ‘perfect’ bodies in their underwear on a ‘working trip’ to Dubai.

In 2021, I wonder how many minutes in a day you are free from all connectivity with the outside world. Compare that to 1985.

Who reaches for their phone to check for emails, messages or social media postings before having breakfast?

We kill time at work or waiting in a queue by checking our phones and scrolling through Facebook.

Back in 1985 some mornings the TV was on, but generally it was the radio. Mum liked to hear the local news on Radio Victory.

That was it until 6pm when we’d watch the evening news. The newspaper would be lying about which I’d flick through.

As the news came to and end and the paper scanned, that was it for another day.

If I was desperate to talk to my best mate, I’d have to walk to the nearest phone box with a collection of 10p coins.

There are many benefits to our mega-connected world today, streaming whatever music you want to hear instead of having record/pause selected on your cassette player in case your favourite song comes on the radio, is one positive!

But our fast-paced throwaway culture of 2021 sometimes makes me long for good old 1985 again.

Fickle fingers of fate, and the fans, mean you will never win

Who’d own or run a football club? I certainly wouldn’t. No matter what you did, the fans would be on your back, unless you were winning trophies every season.

Clubs are chastised for sacking managers too quickly, Pompey are chastised for giving ours too long. The owners criticised for not investing enough in the club, even though much money has been spent on the stadium and we have an expensive squad.

Spend too much searching for the big time and you are accused of being reckless and not putting the interests of the club first. Good luck in choosing the next manager Mr Catlin and Mr Eisner for, as you know, whoever you appoint, it will be wrong!

I’ve fallen in love with my favourite sandwich again

I rediscovered one of my all-time favourite sandwiches this week. I know it’s unhealthy and I know you will judge me, but trust me, it’s lush.

Take a slice of soft white bread, you know, the one with no health benefits whatsoever. Add a liberal application of butter; for me, it’s lightly-salted Lurpak. Now open then crush a packet of ready salted crisps – for me it has to be Walkers. Now sprinkle generously over the bread and butter then fold in half.

Add some pressure to the sandwich to compact it slightly, then shovel it into your mouth! Like a good old McDonald’s, it’s something I wouldn’t eat every day, but once in a while it’s a cheap, quick tasty treat.

You’re welcome.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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