In ‘olden times’ when music was better – and so was the telly

Since he turned 50 last year Darren McCann has been getting all nostalgic and hankering after the “good ol’ days”. In the coming months he’s going to be sharing his memories of some of the things that shaped him growing up and he wants to hear from you… were they really the good old days? Or is Darren just seeing everything through a set of rose-tinted glasses?

So what takes you back to your childhood? Is it a photograph, a certain location, a song, a TV programme, or even in my case at times a smell?

From my roofing days I remember my dad getting me to turn the gas bottle on, put the bitumen in the pot and then watch as it slowly melted, but the smell stuck with me and reminds me of dad, and I love it to this day. And from up on those rooftops I enjoyed some of the most stunning views across the town. 

I remember as a child, living in Farley Bank, being sent to bed along with my two younger brothers, then lying there listening to mum and dad laughing their heads off to the telly.

A Saturday night family tradition – Dads Army

I remember the theme tunes to The SweeneyHill Street BluesDad’s Army, and dad laughing ever so loudly at M.A.S.H. He said M.A.S.H. was a truly brilliant show, laugh out loud one minute and then very upsetting the next. 

Then there were family shows like Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies. He loved Billy Connolly, Spike Milligan, Jasper Carrot and the brilliant Dave Allen. 

M.A.S.H. a great mixture of laughter and saddness.

Then there’s music… every single time I hear an ABBA or Mamas & Papas song it reminds me of my mum as she was always singing around the house and playing ‘records’, remember those black things that were seven of 12 inches in diameter? Who still has a record player with a needle and stylus? Those TV shows, theme tunes, songs and smells all stick with me and are still with me to this day. 

As a youngster I remember watching Mr Benn, The Clangers, Rainbow, Crackerjack, Playschool, Swap Shop, Tiswas, Take Heart with little Morph; Worzel Gummidge and the excellent Grange Hill, Knight Rider, Dukes of Hazard and The A Team.

The unique Morecambe and Wise.

Are there TV shows today that were as good as Morecambe and Wise? How can you compare today’s popular music with its non-lyrics to the likes of Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones? Why were album covers back then pieces of art with amazing graphics when what we have today is just a download?

Doesn’t an album cover say something about the artist? Or is it just me? Am I just stuck in a time warp of ‘the old days’? You can let me know! 

What brings back memories for you? What song? Which holiday with parents? Was it baking with your nan, or watching a certain TV show that brings a smile to your face? Whatever it was, I hope it makes you happy.

Share your memories with Darren by using the comment section below or on our Facebook or Instagram pages, just follow the links below.
Who remembers The Clangers?

About the author

Darren McCann is Hastings born and bred, his family have lived in the town for generations.

He has recently become a glutton for nostalgia: “I think its my age, I recently turned 50…” he says.

In the coming months he’ll be taking a look back not just at TV, music and radio but at the things about his hometown that mean so much to him and he’ll be sharing some of his stunning photography too.

One thought on “In ‘olden times’ when music was better – and so was the telly

  1. I’m a tad older than you (63), but I was also born and bread in Hastings. My childhood memories consist of: The bird aviary in Alexandra Park, The model train under Marina Court that you put a penny in to make it go round, the Lane’s Ice Cream man who sold ice creams from a box on Hastings Beach. His slogan was “There lovely, there nice, plain or choc”. The real motor boats on the Stade boating lake, The cafe in Ecclesbourne Glen, Maidstone and District and East Kent buses, Dengates bus service, the Royal Albert Memorial (which I think should be re-built), The bathing pool, the Sun Lounge and Falaise Hall where you could enjoy Old Tyme and Modern Sequence Dancing, Prince McBride at the organ, Golden Spurs Country & Western club and many more. These are just a few memories, there is so much in the town that has been lost.

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