An occasional column by well-known Hastings resident Glenn Veness in which he expresses his opinions in flamboyant style. 

Being 70 years old, I’m frequently told that Kath and I are part of the lucky generation that enjoyed a privileged existence, long before the days of austerity and food banks. This led me to reminisce on the so-called ‘Good Old Days’. 

When Kath and I got married we couldn’t afford a £30,000 wedding. In fact, we didn’t own a camera so haven’t got a single wedding photograph. We had our first daughter Tamara and lived in one room where we shared a toilet and a bath with a few old men. 

If a tap needed mending, or there was a leaking pipe, we fixed it between ourselves. We didn’t keep blaming the landlord like today. People forget that there are good and bad tenants as well as landlords. On a Saturday night our treat was a packet of dry roasted peanuts and a bottle of Blue Nun. We loved it! 

I used to work as a labourer and every night walked home past Adams and Jarrett’s. In the window there was an orange kitchen set that Kath liked. I couldn’t wait for the weekend when I bought one new item out of my pay packet. No instant kitchen for us. 

Kath cooked fresh, cheap, homemade meals. Takeaways were limited to the last Saturday of the month. We took turns to walk the mile to pick it up: even then I believed in equality. Kath and I didn’t smoke and didn’t drink much. We felt eating was more important. 

At 23 we had three children and I worked in Germany and Holland. We had no phone and communicated by postcard!  

But nowadays it’s different. Everyone has to have a mobile phone – including my nine-year-old grandson Johnny. And if you’re short of money, why pay for Sky Sports? If you saved £200 pound EVERY WEEK, it would take 10 YEARS to save what many footballers earn in ONE WEEK! Read that slowly! And yet we idolise these footballers and pay a fortune so our children can wear their shirts! 

While I understand today’s hardships, I don’t really feel much has changed. Ken Loach’s brilliant ‘I Daniel Blake’ has many similarities to his ‘60s masterpiece ‘Cathy Come Home’. Social media has merely highlighted the problems more. Credit cards and a bombardment of 24/7 advertising haven’t helped either. But when we were young, people just didn’t seem so gullible as nowadays. 

Well I’ve got to go. My grandson has just rung me on the new mobile phone I bought him, to say thanks for the latest Liverpool football shirt I gave him for Christmas! 


Do you agree with Glenn that people have unreasonable expectations nowadays? Join the debate online or head to Facebook


We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.