Dansette record player with multi-changer – the same type as the first record player that Anthony J Sargeant had in the late 1950s- 1960s at his family home in South London. It was fine when changing light Vinyl singles, EPs, and LPs but when playing Shellac 78 rpm records the drop of those hefty discs caused the whole record player shook with the vibration.
It is a lifetime ago but in the 1950s there was a genuine fear that nuclear war could happen at any moment. Tony was just 14 at the time but he marched with his friend from school (Haberdashers’ Aske’s) Chris Slater. Chris is standing on the plinth at the base of Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square holding the CND banner.
Jo Gamgee was a friend in 1964 and we went to see this film at the Streatham Odeon
Anthony J Sargeant was born and grew up in South London. The 179 Bus Route then ran from Grove Park through Downham and Bellingham to Catford then Brockley to Blackfriars Bridge on the Thames in Central London. Tony took this bus in 1955 from Bellingham to Brockley when he went with his mother to be interviewed aged 11 for entry into Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School.
In August 1966 Anthony Sargeant and his partner drove across Europe in an Old Austin A35 van (painted Cambridge Blue) to spend weeks in Southern Europe heading for Greece though finally settling in what was then communist Yugoslavia under the control of President Tito. It was a magical summer and it was before the days of mass tourism. In the street markets people would be selling whatever they had produced from their small-holdings. In the front right is somebody selling a small amount of ‘Paradajz’ (fruits of paradise?) = tomatoes.
Anthony Sargeant notes that overcrowding on Southern Region (of what used to be British Railways) is not a new thing. In the 1950s double decker trains were introduced on the Dartford Loop line in an attempt to increase capacity. They were eventually abandoned in the 1960s because they took longer to load and unload passengers. Also the trains were necessarily somewhat taller than standard trains and could only be used on lines without tunnels. 60 years later and Southern Region trains are still overcrowded and instead of addressing that everyday problem the government is committed to an immense ‘Vanity Project’ costing many billions of pounds in building a high speed train line (HS2) which will get passengers from Birmingham to London a few minutes quicker.
On 11th August 1964 Anthony Sargeant, Tony, went to see this film with his girl friend (JG) at the Streatham Odeon in South London. It is interesting to see clips of the film today with its surreal elements. One notes that is billed as the Beatles “first full-length film” (they made five in all).