My daughters know me well!

Today is my birthday, and I’m now 69. To be honest, I don’t feel a year older than I was yesterday, but the numbers don’t lie, do they? I’ve shared a version of this piece in previous years and these have been well received, so I thought I’d do something for this year, too. I’ve shortened it a lot, and have finally found a way of embedding the videos which had previously just been links, to make things easier for you. I’ve also removed much of the extraneous stuff: somehow, it doesn’t feel right this year.

Nine years ago today was the day I officially retired from work although, as it was a Monday that year, my last actual working day was the previous Friday, the 13th – an easy date to remember! To mark my milestone birthday my two wonderful daughters took me out for the day on Saturday 14th, which if you so desire you can read about in A Celebration. On the big day itself I went to an exhibition at the British Museum (rock ‘n’ roll or what!) and also posted a piece on my blog: it has returned a few times since then, and this is the latest edit. I’m aware that many of you may remember me doing this in previous years and apologise for that, but a lot of you have joined me since last year so won’t have seen this – I hope you enjoy it!

I was born in 1953, a year of some momentous occurrences, and that’s before you even consider my birth! I was talking about this with a friend at work a couple of weeks before the original post , and when I told him what I was doing he showed me the wonderful Pathé News website. This is worth repeat visits, as it carries a huge number of historic clips. It’s ideal for anyone who, like me, loves those old newsreel films with the terribly terribly posh voiceovers! The only problem is that the site is aimed at getting you to buy the clips at ridiculous prices, but fortunately I have found some on YouTube, so I can share them with you. For starters, this is their review of the year:

As another taster of what Pathé News was covering that year, and for a glimpse of fashionable home décor, 1953 style, here’s The Queen at the Ideal Homes Exhibition:

One of the major events of the year was Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reaching the summit of Mount Everest (video by The Guardian). Nowadays, people who attempt this climb are armed with all sorts of support which wasn’t available in 1953, which in my eyes makes this an even more incredible achievement:

Important though that was, I think the biggest news of 1953 was the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey, which took place on 2 June. Contrary to popular belief, this did actually happen in colour. It was of course featured in Pathé’s annual review, but here is longer video of the event:

It is especially poignant to be sharing that just a week after Her Majesty’s passing: so much has changed in the world since then, but as I said the other day she was a constant throughout my life.

I thought I would also include a couple of less mainstream clips from Pathé News, to give an insight into life in 1953. The first of these is the Boy Scouts’ Soapbox Derby, which really is from another age!

The second is a group of Carol Singers in Ashford, Kent, which is rather nice (the sound kicks in around halfway):

To an oldie like me this clip of bygone days somehow feels more Christmassy than nowadays, although it is perhaps an unfortunate coincidence that Santa bears an uncanny resemblance to a former BBC DJ who was at one point on trial for some unpleasant offences. He was found not guilty, unlike some of his peers.

As I’m sure you have recognised from my posts I love music and it has always played a very important role in my life. So I thought I’d show you what was top of the hit parade (yes, they did call it that!) when I was born. Charts as we know them today had only been introduced in 1952 – previously they had counted sales of sheet music – and sources differ as to what actually was No.1 at the time. As far as I can make out, though, the No.1 in the UK, for the first of six weeks, was Guy Mitchell, with Look At That Girl:

And in the USA it was Les Paul and Mary Ford with Vaya Con Dios, enjoying the sixth of nine weeks at No.1:

One of my other big loves in life is sport, especially football and cricket, so I couldn’t do 1953 without Stanley Matthews’ FA Cup Final, again courtesy of Pathé News:

And as we won the Ashes that year, for the first time in twenty years, I couldn’t resist this clip:

Watching these has made me nostalgic, and has got me reflecting on what has happened during my 69 years on the planet and during The Queen’s 70 year reign as our Monarch. It was a moving moment to see the clip of her Coronation carriage being taken along some of the same roads on which I watched her coffin being taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday, before her four day period of lying in state began. I’ll be having my usual quiet day, and will enjoy my reflections.

I’ll leave you with my favourite Happy Birthday song:

That one always leaves me feeling happy! See you again on Sunday. 😊


64 thoughts on “69

  1. Pingback: When September Ends | Take It Easy

  2. Happy belated birthday, Clive xxx your birth year was a pretty momentous year it seems…One of my favourite Happy Birthday songs… good choice 🙂 xx…I’m just catching up on your posts as I’m not getting e-mail notifications any more I think WP is too intent on flooding my email inbox with 2 emails from everyone who likes and comments on a post xxxHappy Birthday I hope your cards have arrived now xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carol. It was a fairly big year, wasn’t it! Glad you like the song: one of my favourite birthday songs too.

      Sorry to hear about the notifications issue. That happened to me once, a while back. I’m not sure how I found it but there is a general setting for all blogs you follow, and WP had somehow switched off the ‘notify me’ for all blogs. It was simple to turn it back on, the hard part was finding it!

      I got a bundle of cards on Tuesday and another yesterday, but I know there are at least two more to come. Go figure! 😊 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what with the notifications and the spam they are excelling themselves lately I think Pete is having the same problems too…Yes they seem to be hiding a lot lately I’ll go back in tomorrow and have another look…Sounds like you had lot of cards , Clive xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t seen Pete for a few days so that might be the explanation. Or maybe he just got bored with my blog 🤣

        Good luck. I hope you find a solution. I wrote about when it happened to me, so I’ll try and find the post and see if I said how I did it.

        Enough cards to fill the sideboard, which is nice 😊 xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Tuesday Tunes 122: Celebrate | Take It Easy

  4. Happy Birthday, Clive. I hope you had a wonderful day. listening to music, watching some sports, and having some cake! Great birthday song at the end. I remember some of the clips from last year with the Queen I enjoyed watching the football and cricket clips (although I have no idea what’s going on in the cricket match)!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ♫ Happy Happy (belated) Birthday, Dear Clive!!! ♫ 🎂🎁🎈 You’re just a spring chicken, aren’t you? I particularly loved the video of the Queen’s coronation and watched the entirety of it. I hope your birthday was filled with love & laughter! Big birthday hugs, my friend! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Age is just a number, or so I tell myself! I’m glad you enjoyed that one – British pageantry at its best. I tried to go for a mix of long and short clips to avoid boring people. It was a quiet birthday but I managed to have a chat with my Dad – he is 94 and suffering from dementia but it’s always lovely to hear from him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, they say age is just a number … but when I look in the mirror and wonder who that ol’ hag is, and body parts start giving up the game, I think that maybe there is an expiration date somewhere in the package! I remember you telling me before about your dad … it’s sad, but I’m really glad you got to talk to him and enjoyed it. And here’s to another 31 years when you might awaken on your 100th birthday and see a wolf outside your door … that’ll be me wishing you a Happy Centennial Birthday!!! 🐺

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy birthday, Clive! Remember when we actually liked getting a year older? I must admit sometimes I have to do a math problem to verify my age. Some people act older than their chronological age, while others act younger. I lean more toward the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Pete. To be honest I don’t really think about birthdays all that much, but as the first digit will be changing next year I think that might concentrate my mind a bit. I am sometimes accused of acting younger than my years – like a child, in fact 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • One advantage about turning 70 is you won’t have to sit and wonder, “How old am I?” I take some pride in acting like a child. I’m amused when my wife walks past the computer room, shuts the door, and shakes her head in response to my choice of music. 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll probably be wondering who I am, where I am, and what I was doing before I get to working out my age!

        I live on my own so I can be as childlike as I want without worrying about anyone’s response. Probably just as well 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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