For some time lately, I've been toying with the idea of covering this subject and writing the previous blog made my mind up for me. So, for the time being, I'll start it off as a blog and, perhaps, create a new page if/when it warrants it.
There used to be a time when I thought that my father's generation must have been the most privileged since time began because they had witnessed such diversity in their own lifetime. He was born just before WW1 - at a time when a horse and cart was the normal mode of transport. Few of his contemporaries could have imagined that, by the time they passed away, almost every family in the United Kingdom would own a car, air travel would be commonplace, and man would have stood on the moon.
Recently, however, I have begun to form the opinion that my own generation has been even more fortunate - because, impressive though the changes were during my father's lifetime, perhaps the most significant of them occurred after I was born (just before WW2). Furthermore, many of the conditions which were in evidence when he was young, still existed when I was a child. For instance, the horse and cart was still an everyday form of transport. Even in towns and cities, a fair proportion of goods and services were still being delivered by this means and, in some areas (large ports, for example) commercial vehicles powered by steam were still more common than those with diesel or internal combustion engines which operate nowadays.
Since those times, almost all forms of transport have developed beyond anything which might have been imagined when my dad was a lad. The improvements have been so profound that singling one example out wouldn't serve any purpose from the point of view of the argument I'm putting forward. That is to say, the advances made during the second half of the last century were far more significant than the first. So, perhaps, after all, it may be reasonable to assume that my generation have experienced more changes than any other - up to now.
Turning, now, to other examples (apart from transport) - and speaking on a purely personal level - as I was evacuated to a comparatively remote region during the war, my own experiences of change have been rather more extreme than for many. For instance, my grandparents' smallholding in north Wales didn't have access to mains water until the late forties - which was about the same time as they were connected to The National Grid electricy system. As a consequence, night-time illumination for my cousin and I was provided by paraffin lamps or candles and we were required to collect water from a well several times a day.
So far as I can recall, this water was used, primarily, for cooking - whereas rainwater (collected in large barrels underneath almost every available drainpipe) was used for washing purposes. I have vivid memories of the kitchen being stripped bare each Monday morning and the women in the family doing the weekly wash at one end of the room and my grandfather churning milk to make butter at the other end (to this day, although not to everyone's taste, llaeth enwyn remains a particular favourite drink of mine) and my cousin and I, with a bucket in each hand, were constantly (or so it seemed) running down to the well before trudging back up again.
Finally, I realise it's asking the bleeding obvious - but, why on earth are wells always located at the bottom of hills? It would be far easier to carry an empty bucket up a hill than a full one.
More to follow....