Bilbraborn

Growing up in Bilborough

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4 hours ago, Trevor Askew said:

 

If you visited the station, as I did on many occasions, you'll remember they had a snooker table and canteen to the side of the main building.

    

My father served during the war period and left soon after hostilities ended in 1945 but I’m not sure exactly when. I didn’t come along until the mid 50’s so I never visited.

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@Trevor Askew  I think you are only about a year older than me.  MOST of the  regular contributors  on here are younger than us, but definitely not all.   I love the way you describe things btw.  Have you looked through other topics on here?   There's  some interesting reading.... Keep posting.

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Hi Margie,

 

Thank you for your kind comments.  Where our ages are concerned, and judging from your photo, that makes me 27!

 

I must confess I'm very new to this "posting" but it's driven by a sudden and unusual urge to reminisce about Nottingham.  I can't explain or rationalise it, although it I'm sure it has something to do with age creeping stealthily up upon me. No, no, its not creeping stealthily it's bounding toward me with quite unwelcome alacrity, but I'm just about keeping ahead of it. But only just.

 

I have tried one other site - for Forest Fields Grammar School - under a rather lame pseudonym which has prompted a little response,  and I would also like to reach anyone who worked in the EMEB (East Midlands Electricity Board) showrooms in Carrington Street under Fred Gardner,  West Bridgford under George Crow, or in Hucknall (under me, poor devils) in the early sixties.

 

I moved on from there to the SWaEB (South Wales Electricity Board) and so if anyone who worked in their showrooms (later renamed shops) in N.E. Glam in the mid-70s  would like to get in touch, I'd be delighted to hear from them too.

 

I realise at this point that N.E. Glam might need some explanation. It does NOT refer to the glamour and excitement of Tees-side, vibrant and enduring though I'm sure it is. No, it refers to North East Glamorgan District which encompassed The Rhondda, Rhymney and Cynon Valleys, Pontypridd , Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly and Aberdare.  All of whom had their own allure, glamour, and somewhat idiosyncratic and strangely delayed welcome to an interloping Englishman stepping in to the shoes of a retiring Welshman.

 

I should add that I'm no longer part of the electricity industry - which may of course explain why you haven't had a power cut for years - and that despite the aforesaid references to age, I'm still working, although almost entirely from home now.  I do go to see my office staff sometimes and strangely they seem to remember me, despite my leaving a note saying "If the boss calls, get his name" .  Fortunately I can Skype them and I'm sure they dread the jaunty little tune that announces I'm calling them, but they do put on a lovely smile - or is it a grimace through gritted teeth - when my grizzled visage looms out at them?

 

But enough of this persiflage (whatever happened to Percy Flage?).  My Good Lady calls sweetly from the kitchen to advise me - rather stridently I thought - that dinner is ready and so I had better go and light the candelabra, check the chaffing dishes and tuck in to yet another culinary masterpiece.  Fish and Chips anyone?

 

Toodle pip!

 

Trevor 

 

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I love reading your posts - and my avatar was taken a couple of years ago when I was 74!   I'm still about 26 in my head, though... like lots of others on here.  :rotfl:

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Right on Margie.  I never even thought I'd reach 75.  Dad died young, early fifties.  Like you, I still feel mid to late twenties inside.  Poor old bod' is teling me differently though  can't really complain, I've had a good life.  outlived a few dogs.  :biggrin:

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5 hours ago, JT Wakes said:

Hi Margie,

 

Thank you for your kind comments.  Where our ages are concerned, and judging from your photo, that makes me 27!

 

I must confess I'm very new to this "posting" but it's driven by a sudden and unusual urge to reminisce about Nottingham.  I can't explain or rationalise it, although it I'm sure it has something to do with age creeping stealthily up upon me. No, no, its not creeping stealthily it's bounding toward me with quite unwelcome alacrity, but I'm just about keeping ahead of it. But only just.

 

I have tried one other site - for Forest Fields Grammar School - under a rather lame pseudonym which has prompted a little response,  and I would also like to reach anyone who worked in the EMEB (East Midlands Electricity Board) showrooms in Carrington Street under Fred Gardner,  West Bridgford under George Crow, or in Hucknall (under me, poor devils) in the early sixties.

 

I moved on from there to the SWaEB (South Wales Electricity Board) and so if anyone who worked in their showrooms (later renamed shops) in N.E. Glam in the mid-70s  would like to get in touch, I'd be delighted to hear from them too.

 

I realise at this point that N.E. Glam might need some explanation. It does NOT refer to the glamour and excitement of Tees-side, vibrant and enduring though I'm sure it is. No, it refers to North East Glamorgan District which encompassed The Rhondda, Rhymney and Cynon Valleys, Pontypridd , Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly and Aberdare.  All of whom had their own allure, glamour, and somewhat idiosyncratic and strangely delayed welcome to an interloping Englishman stepping in to the shoes of a retiring Welshman.

 

I should add that I'm no longer part of the electricity industry - which may of course explain why you haven't had a power cut for years - and that despite the aforesaid references to age, I'm still working, although almost entirely from home now.  I do go to see my office staff sometimes and strangely they seem to remember me, despite my leaving a note saying "If the boss calls, get his name" .  Fortunately I can Skype them and I'm sure they dread the jaunty little tune that announces I'm calling them, but they do put on a lovely smile - or is it a grimace through gritted teeth - when my grizzled visage looms out at them?

 

But enough of this persiflage (whatever happened to Percy Flage?).  My Good Lady calls sweetly from the kitchen to advise me - rather stridently I thought - that dinner is ready and so I had better go and light the candelabra, check the chaffing dishes and tuck in to yet another culinary masterpiece.  Fish and Chips anyone?

 

Toodle pip!

 

Trevor 

 

 

Love it!!! 

Pray continue to regale us with the exuberance of your verbosity!

 

I remain.. etc...

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Dear Friends (if I may be so bold as to address you thus on such a short acquaintanceship)

 

I feel I owe you an apology.

 

Whilst I began by correctly addressing the rare privilege and unalloyed pleasure of being brought up in Bilborough, I fear I strayed unthinkingly into the unchartered territory of EMEB showroom colleagues, N.E. Glam and FFGS (Forest Fields Grammar School to the uninitiated – and who wouldn’t want to be? – uninitiated I mean).

Nevertheless, it would be helpful to know what are my Bilborough boundaries.  Am I for instance allowed to stumble inadvertently into Aspley? Or Wollaton? Or Bramcote (not much fear of that however as I have only the haziest recollection of Bramcote and the possibility that Roger Moore lived there at one time.  Probably during his posing for knitting pattern days as opposed to being a Saint).

 

I mentioned Aspley because I started my working life in the Government Offices there, although the Google map now shows the site to be a war museum (strangely appropriate considering the internecine conflict between departments, especially over appointments for the on-site barber), and because my parents moved from Beechdale Road to Robins Wood Road.  Gosh we moved in elevated circles in those days. We sometimes didn’t have bread and butter with our tinned peaches and stopped having bread and dripping on Mondays.  

I must stress however I never moved to Robins Wood Road.  No, I flew the nest with the intention of feathering my own with my then-bride to Hucknall – but there I go again, straying out of Bilborough.

 

Referring back once again to the Google map, I see that what was once the library at the end of Beechdale Road and almost on Western Boulevard, is now a temple.  Of course for us, the library was also a temple. A temple of learning where we regularly proffered our tickets in exchange for a fortnight’s devoted reading of the great classics of literature - Biggles Flies North, Gimlet, Biggles Flies East, Forever Amber (racy), Biggles Flies West and …well a lot of Biggles.  Fortunately, the ambulance station was just up the road on the other side and ready to provide us with assistance if the weight of books proved too much for our short trousered legs and jaunty school caps to bear.

 

Is the ambulance station still there? And will I have to pay a huge fine for not returning my Boys Bumper Book of Things to Do on a Rainy Day to the library?  I never got past page 107 and the diagram for making an origami kettle. I mean, I could see that was a disaster in the making if you put it on a gas ring.  Hang on though….was that in a Rupert Annual instead?  Either way, I’m darned sure Biggles would have made short work of it with the help of his pals Ginger and Algy.

 

I tell you what though, we did do a lot of making dens in the so-called waste ground opposite us. Dens had to be below ground, waterproof and capable of containing a small fire guaranteed to smoke you out when someone put pieces of lino on the flames.  Dens often collapsed of course or were the subject of raids by “The Wooders” a rival gang from over the railway bridge in Radford Bridge Road.

 

What’s that?  The bell-like tones of my beloved floats down to me in my little study (we live in a three-storey house), enquiring what do I think I’m playing at, spending all day tapping away. We’ve had a new boiler installed over the last two days and we’re only just beginning to get heat back on, and I know she feels the cold more than me.

 

“What’s that Dear Heart, Moon of my Night and Sun of my Day?”   “Yes of course I’ll come and turn the thermostat up”.  No chance.  It’s keyed to my mobile phone and the plumber showed me just how easy it was to operate and change the settings. Did I take it all in?  Did I h…!  Just like stopping to ask for directions from a stranger. In one ear and out…….who knows where. No idea what to do. Can’t play it by ear though because that was the ear into which he poured the wisdom of a lifetime in boiler installation and operation.

Better go and put a few bits of lino on the fire. “Coming dearest”.

 

Say good night to the Bilborough Babes and Boys and ask them to forgive you.

 

OK. 

 

Toodle pip!

 

Trevor

 

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Sorry I haven't welcomed you on board before , whatever you do don't stop posting. You posts bring a ray of sunshine to this dismal life of mine. Seeing as you once resided I Hucknall you are doubly welcomed. Have no fear of going off topic everyone else does , some times I think it is compulsory,  anything you post about Nottingham will be most welcome, I look forward to some more interesting posts.

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Trevor, you spoke of stumbling into places other than Bilborough while writing your posts... please don't worry about that.   Some threads are like magical mystery tours and you never know where they might end up!

You  could start with the market square and end up hearing about  a certain person's escapades in Mansfield or Bulwell or anywhere really.  

I'm digressing now.   

I see you've only posted in 'Growing up in Bilborough' and the FFGS threads.  Have you explored any others?   Just click on Forums.

Hope you've turned up that thermostat now

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Topic straying. That’s doesn’t happen here often does it!!!!!!!!!. You’re a natural here Trevor.

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Dear Fiends - sorry, Friends

 

Well another bright, shiny day in paradise!

 

And Happy Valentines Day! Thank you for all the cards, many of which would make a Bishop blush.

 

Do Bishops blush? Or do they merely glow with a kind of celestial radiance?  We need to know these things.

 

Here I am again, looking out over the rain sodden, gale blown vista of Lyme Bay (actually I can’t see it unless I stand up – not something to be attempted lightly at my age – but I know it’s there. Unless the latest amber-warning gusts have swept it away) and tapping away on my laptop.

 

Yes, it’s a laptop day today.  My main computer is “working on updates” and is at 30% and so it’s time to blow the dust off the laptop, turn the clockwork key to fire it up, listen to the grinding of cogs and the hiss of steam and see the latest headlines on the screen.  What’s this….?  Thank heavens, Mafeking has been relieved!  I do love to get the latest news on these bright new technological breakthroughs. No doubt Kitchener will bring the lads home soon. Where’s my Union Flag (notice, not Union Jack, for the purists) to wave from the window? “Nurse, he’s out of bed again” Who said that?  Is there no peace in this mausoleum?

 

But yes, I hear you say, but what about memories of being brought up in Bilborough?  Alright, I’m getting there.

 

New readers begin here. 

 

Previously our hero had wandered into Browns Woodyard on his way to Wollaton Hall and was startled to see our heroine (played with such pathos but feisty resolution by Miss Ann Droid) strapped helpless to a saw bench whilst a huge circular saw edged closer and closer to  her struggling form. Feeling an instant flood of recognition because he had once been in a struggling form, specifically Lower 4b at Glaisdale Secondary Modern  before being called to higher things at FFGS,  he sprang into action and immediately phoned the Health and Safety Inspectorate to report a serious breach of operational regulations. They in turn promised to look into it within the next 14 working days.

Pausing only to reassure our heroine that such a serious safety breach had not gone unreported, our hero continued cheerfully on his way to Wollaton Park.

 

Now read on…………

 

You see, you said I could stray into other areas.  It’s your fault.  No doubt you were thinking of that old hymn “Perverse and foolish oft I strayed and yet…” , but as our hero is on his way to Wollaton, in this case he was carrying a Grundig TK30 tape recorder, we must perforce enquire why.  Well, apart from remembering that the Nottingham City Police had their stables there and the gorilla mentioned in earlier epistles stood by the main entrance, he may in this instance be carrying his Grundig TK30 to the home of his then girl-friend, later fiancé and even later, first wife.

 

Why? I hear you cry, (you did cry, didn’t you? I’m sure I heard something. Sort of a strangled gurgle? Oh, well, never mind) is he carrying that huge and very heavy appliance up Beechdale Road, up Hollington Road, through Browns Woodyard, all the way to Wollaton?  And then presumably {yes, you’re correct to presume it) all the way back.

Because dear reader, in those days, if we were fortunate enough to own such an appliance, paid for on HP over several years - am I still paying for that I wonder? -  we placed the microphone in front of the wireless (for younger readers, and surely they have better things to do than read this tosh), a “wireless” was what we called a radio. 

 

Yes, yes I know they still had wires and that the transistor was just a twinkle in some Japanese gentleman’s eye, but that’s what we called them. They carried seminal works across the airwaves to us, such as Dick Barton, Special Agent – did anyone ever explain why he was a “special” agent as opposed to a secret agent or an estate agent? I mean Jock and Snowy were always getting him free from some smoke-filled room, and they were much more special.  Cheerful, resolute, never wavering in their….oh, never mind. They or course were replaced by the Archers, an everyday story of country folk.   I ask you!    I knew that would never catch on as I said at the time. And where are they now?  Don’t answer that.  Then there was Educating Archie, Mrs. Dales Diary, Workers Playtime, Music while you work, and of course Top of the Pops. 

 

 

With the microphone in front of the wireless – oh, alright, radio – we recorded the latest pop records, making sure everyone in the room was quiet, stopping and starting the tape when Alan Freeman or Tony Blackburn made a comment, then further editing by splicing the tape – yes, with a razor blade. Health and Safety gone mad.  They didn’t call me three-fingered Jack for nothing.  Actually, they charged quite bit for calling me that because my name wasn’t Jack and I still had all my fingers. But we did have a three hour tape spool of non-stop rubbish – sorry - the greatest era of popular music ever. Agree?  I should add that the continued editing was unfortunately necessary because Porty, our parakeet, often chimed in with a few well chosen squawks as Helen, Marion, Cilla, Frankie, Johnny or Marty warbled on.

 

So, then to carry this dead weight – sorry – cornucopia of music to the girl-friend’s house in Wollaton with the aim of sitting around listening to it all with her in blissful enjoyment.  Only to find that they only had a 5 amp three-pin socket available and the TK30 tape recorder was fitted with a 15 amp plug.  And me without my Boy Scouts jack knife with a spike for getting stones out of horses hooves.

 

Ah well, such is the nostalgia of another Bilborough day and a misspent youth.

 

Perhaps I’ll remember more next time.

 

Now, whatever happened to those Archers?

 

Toodle pip!

 

Trevor

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Brilliant Trevor, absolutely brilliant. Keep posting please. 

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Are you a professional writer/author, Trevor?  If not, why not?   What WAS your day job?

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We now have two brilliant wordsmiths on this forum, any chance you are related to the other the young Jill Sparrow , the younger sister of Beekay. Please keep posting .

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Why, thank you, young Trogg.

 

Trevor didn't learn his wordsmithing at The Manning...and neither did I! I merely found plenty of subjects on which to sharpen it. ;)

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We had a wireless.  ( pronounced whyless)   I offten wondered why they called it that.  I saw it's innards once and it was full of wires.  ;)

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Dear Hearts,

How very kind some of you are.

 

At least three kind postings have flooded in and I’m overwhelmed (do we know of anyone, anywhere that has ever been underwhelmed – and what is a whelm anyway?) with the encouragement and warmth of your responses.

 

Perhaps it would help if I nailed my colours more firmly to the mast.  Although I should add that I don’t always remember to separate my colours from my delicates (steady!) and whites.  Of course this in turn produces some rather patchy dyeing on various garments, but with the added benefit of what would appear, at least to the public eye, to be an ever-changing wardrobe of colourful clothing.

 

So much so that I have recently been offered a flute-and-away-day-package to Hamelin to assist with some sort of problem there. How they came to hear about me, I’ll never know.  Unless of course someone ratted on me.

 

But to return to matters of colours and masts. Incidentally, why are the colours always nailed?  Surely these days super-glue would be more appropriate and less harmful to the fabric. Or perhaps Velcro?....Anyway, to answer a question flatteringly put, no I’m not an author or writer, and yes, I’ve had a variety of interesting careers.

 

As must be self-evident from earlier postings that included my later schooling at Forest Fields Grammar School on Stanley Road, (and from where we lads, who were also wee lads, could still catch an occasional glimpse of netball practice at the Manning School), I am rather too close for comfort to being an octogenarian.  For the avoidance of doubt, this does not mean I exist solely on a diet of octopus (octopuses?, octopi?), rather it means that this April I shall be saying goodbye to rather a large number of trombones and saying a spirited hello to the speed of an old fashioned LP.

 

Oh, come on, surely you can work that out!

 

And in regard to my background – apart from being brought up in Bubbling and Bountiful Bilborough, of which more anon, my earlier posts (where I’m affixing my colours as opposed to nailing them to a mast) have alluded to my time in the Civil Service - where I achieved the rare distinction of being asked politely but firmly to resign as they had never, ever, fired anyone before - followed by brief unemployment (and thereby hangs a tale with which I may regale you at a later date. But only if you’re very, very good), then the EMEB, where I worked in Carrington Street, West Bridgford and Hucknall, and where I met my first wife and mother of my two sons, of whom I’m inordinately and quite justifiably proud.

 

Again, as previously posted, I moved to the South Wales Electricity Board covering N.E. Glam. (remember, we established before that this did not refer to the exciting lifestyle of Newcastle or Gateshead), thence to their HQ      at St. Mellons outside Cardiff. During that time I met my present lovely wife of nearly 40 years at Bangor University, and together we moved to Brighton when I was appointed the town’s Tourism and Development Manager.

 

Dear Reader, to avoid terminal boredom at this stage please feel free to go and make a cup of restorative tea or coffee - or indeed pour a large glass of something short - during which I will drone on to your empty chair…..

 

In Brighton my responsibilities included, amongst other things, the world’s oldest electric railway, the campsite, the deckchair service, the London to Brighton rally, the beach patrol, an ancient and a much-revered lift and several other challenging events and activities. My principle responsibility however was the marketing and publicizing of Brighton as a tourist destination to both home and international markets, including touring the USA and presenting to American travel operators in various states.

 

I’m told that after hearing me, many of them were. In various states that is. Both mental and physical.

 

Leaving Brighton, we moved to here in Torquay where I opened my own business, Devon Home Care Ltd., for which I’m still the MD. For more about our company, and to while away a rainy afternoon if the TV offers nothing better, you can visit our website www.devonhomecare.com. 

 

So, here endeth my CV.  There have of course been several interesting diversions along that career path, including marketing for three charities and WW1 battlefield tours, representing and chairing organisations, and from time to time being interviewed on television and radio. Apparently without, I’m given to understand, frightening the horses.

 

And on a purely personal note, I should perhaps add that we have nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren – so far. All of whom of course are fabulous.

 

Ah, you’re back.  Feeling better? Good. Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll continue…..

 

So, with colours well and truly affixed and ensuring, hopefully, that you are all now fully whelmed, I’m going to conclude this Epistle to the Bilboroughans by asking “Who started it?”

 

Cast your mind back dear reader to those golden schooldays around Bilborough and remember the crazes.  You know the kind of thing I mean.  Suddenly everyone was playing the latest craze, albeit conkers or making bamboo spears with cigarette-packet-flights, (these bamboo sticks were usually liberated from their use for training peas on the allotments. It was a kindness really, I mean just how much training does a pea need before it can stand up for itself?) or whips and tops…..No, no not that sort of activity with a whip. Or indeed a top. Steady now, remember the blood pressure…alright, feeling better? Good. No, I mean the short stick with string attached that made the whip, and the wooden spinning tops that you had to whip to make them spin. 

 

Surely you remember? Didn’t you draw patterns with coloured chalk on the top of the top. Oh, alright, for the pedants, on the upper flat surface of the top. And of course you ended up with the chalk all over the knee with which you had had to hold the top upright, before sharply pulling away the string, previously wound as tightly as possible around the top……..Hang on.  Now I’m getting confused (not an unusual phenomena) are we confusing this whipping and topping with Dream Topping.  No, no, no, that’s just you getting your just desserts.

 

Anyway, from memory there were two types of tops which we called either turnip tops or window breakers, the latter nomenclature quite obviously deriving from the result of an over-vigorous whipping (Steady, steady… ) and the former because of their distinctive shape. That particular activity seemed to arrive around Lent of Whitsun, but who started it?  And what has happened to Dream Topping. Or Mansion Polish. Or blue bags of sugar…

 

Sorry, I drifted off there for moment….

 

Then there was the sudden craze for putting fag (sorry, cigarette) packets on your bike wheels to make a clattering noise as you pedaled along. Or a sudden resurgence of marbles.  Or making matchbox guns by fixing a lolly stick to the end of the matchbox with strong elastic bands, inserting a matchstick between the end of the matchbox and the lolly stick, then pulling the bottom half of the lolly stick to fire the matchstick…….But why am I telling you all this?  Surely you too must have used your own Archie Andrews lolly sticks in a similar way?  Or joined the sudden urge to be the same as everyone else who had the I-Spy books, or to go back to trainspotting looking for a “namer”. 

 

For the latter there was of course both the Midland and the Victoria stations in those days where you could get as soot and grime encrusted as you wanted whilst you coughed, sodden, through the smoke and steam at the end of a windswept, bleak and empty platform clutching your Ian Allen spotters book.  Such fun.

 

So come on, join Uncle Trevor in this jog or stumble down memory lane and tell me about the crazes that suddenly appeared in your part of Bilborough.  And if possible, “who started it?”. But no clackers please. Too many bruised feelings and other parts of the anatomy to be reminded of them.

Oh, and if you have been, thank you for reading.

 

Toodle pip!

 

Trevor

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Keep it going. Everyone will gradually tune in to your wavelength.

 

I don't think we've ever had anyone like you before ;)

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Great reading, thanks.

You must have been at the EMEB when Mr. Lightbown (spelling?) was the boss.   I worked for them first in Talbot street doing installations.  Later out of Bilboro' doing appliance repairs.  Really enjoyed my time there before emigrating.

You've brought back some good memories, Trevor. I hope you stay with our merry crowd.

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Trevor, I will be leaving behind my 'large number of trombones' in March, a bit ahead of you!  But I thought I would be entering 'Sunset Strip'... not having anything to do with old LPs because I thought they were 33?

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Margie, the newer LPs are that speed. The older ones are double that plus twelve. Unless like me, you're only 45 :rolleyes:

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I'm not even a 78 yet, but they stopped them before I ever reached a 45.  ;)

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