hippo girl

christmas memories

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As the festive time is now upon us, thought it would be nice to share our christmas memories of nottingham........I remember xmas 1971 when the penny farthing club on wollaton street was open december 25th and none of us had a care in the world!!!!!!!!!!

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All childhood memories were much more enjoyable and relaxed.......everything is just too hectic now adays.....I dont celebrate Christmas and havent for many many years now.

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This is perfectly true,-ask my wife if you doubt me.(I think I posted it some months ago) One of my happiest was 2 years ago in Nottingham. We had visited the Theatre Royal for a superb panto. (the previous night it had been a visit to the Royal centre). On the way back to the hotel we walked through a beautifully lit and decorated square, with a Christmas Market .

The thing I found odd on the way home was the hords of people streaming home from a pop concert somewhere near Hockley. Imagine my wife`s surprise in this freezing cold weather we were amazed to see dozens of of nubile young women dressed only in bra and pants. NO I am not imagining it. I told my wife this was quite normal in Nottingham.

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I remember that night well Stan as, just before meeting up with you , Mrs Stan and Mr and Mrs Frank I popped into the square and got a photo of the tree with a few flakes of snow in the air , very Christmassy.

As a kid , dragging our pillow cases through to mum and dads bedroom and seeing what Santa had bought , cup of tea and a 'special' Christmas biscuit in their bed.

Down stairs for any more presents lurking under the tree, dinner at 1.30pm then the last bus (39 at about 4.00pm) over to my Mama and Grandpas in Lenton, it usually terminated at "The CooP" on Upper Parliament Street, and we had to walk from there (A good walk when you only have stuby little legs!!)

Buffet tea (Cold cuts and pickalilli !!!!) all 15 (Aunts uncles cousins) of us sat round Mamas table on all the odd sized chairs and stools, al la Peter Kay!!!

My dad having a Mackeson my mum and us kids having a'Snowball' then Grandpa and uncle Frank taking it in turn to tickle me half to death!!

Out come the nuts , figs , dates and those rings of jelly slices of Orange and Lemon, and maybe (Just maybe ,) a few Quality Street.

Finding Mamas old wind up gramaphone (Complete with it's 'big horn') and playing her 78 of Harry Belafonte singing "Marys Boy child",

before getting my "Matchbox " cars out and using the gramaphone as a motorway !!!! sorry mama.

Then, half asleep, getting a lift home from grandpa, before being carried to my bed by my dad, that moment of unconditional and total love you feel for your parents as you kiss them good night and thank them for a lovely day, and then sleep, to dream of all the fun to come in the next few days playing with the new woodwork set !!

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My childhood memories are very similar to Beefy's - distinct memories of the "big" tree in Market Square and going to "Griffins" to visit Santa!

Perhaps the best recent memory was a couple of years ago taking Mary to the Panto at the Theatre Royal. She had no idea what she was in for (Americans are much too sophisticated for such sillyness) - but she LOVED it! All the back-chat, shouting and getting the kids involved was totally amazing - made better by a lad of about five sitting in our row who stood up when the curtain went up, and remained standing, totally mesmerized, for the entire performance - magic!

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One memory from way back, how dead the streets were on Christmas day, no pubs open, or very few opened! Never did find one near me that opened though. But still think back to how empty the streets were!

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My childhood memories are few for Christmas, but I do remember having a Christmas party each year in the infants. You'd take your plate, and cutlery all with a sticking plaster on, with your name written on that. Mums had to make something for us to take, be it cakes, trifles, jellies, blancmanges, sandwiches. I remember going to see Santa at the 'big Co-op' on the top floor, and going through his grotto. I remember getting a wooden pencil case one year which I loved. The kind where you slid the lid to one side then swung the top half away from the bottom half. Heaven [it didn't take much to entertain us in those days] Christmas morning I always had a pillow case at the bottom of the bed, of books, toys, clothing, and sweets. Grandma had usually made me a pair of flanelette pyjamas, aunty had knitted me a jumper.Some things I got were to do me for both birthday and Christmas, the drawback of having a birthday 10 days before! Typical toys were a post office, a sweet shop, compendium of games, always a 'classic' book, and other books and crayons and colouring books. I had a Bako set one year and played with it a lot. Sometimes we'd go to my aunt's on Bailey Street in Basford for the day, walking of course from Amesbury Circus.

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The tree on Slab Square during the fifties.

I see many of you, had a pillow case instead of a stocking. Great idea, I always thought a stocking far too small for what I wanted.

No fancy electronic goodies like today though. A book or two, some candies, an orange etc. Then a party to follow at grandma's house.

"Partying" did not seem to mean then what it means today. Just a fancy tea, some party games for the adults followed by some beer from the Beer Off'

Funny thing was everybody seemed to be much happier then in spite of the austerity still being felt after WW2.

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Don't forget the pork pie for breakfast on Xmas morning.

I don't recall that we went out at all on Xmas day, my brother, then I, usually had something for the Hornby Dublo trainset at Xmas and the layout, on a board, had to be brought out of the shed, put down on the floor and the new stuff run around.

I recall a fantastic Xmas at my uncles at Edwinstowe, we went up there on the bus and it snowed like hell, it was great as a kid to do something different, probably my favourite Xmas memory, drying out from snowball fights with the local kids in front of their roaring fire in the kitchen, I remember it as if it was yesterday, even though it was over 50 years ago.

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There were no Christmas’s in our house; maybe that explains why I’m so sick and twisted.

Joking apart I remember very little of my Christmas’s apart from the pillowcase at bottom of bed filled to overflowing with nowt I really wanted apart from sugar pig at bottom.

There are several I do remember thou, one is when I got an electric train set, a blue and yellow Diesel with several carriages, the track was a loop so basically it didn’t go very far, that soon was discarded with all the other rubbish I got…

Bip.

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I well remember the Christmas of 71 , 'cause it was white and we had had bikes for 'Big' pressies that year. We were out on the new section of Foxhill road (The bit that comes out next to the new cop shop ) my elder sister still learning how to ride one with out stabilizers, she was nearly 13!!

It still (Believe it or not) niggles me to this day that she couldn't ride, didn't even ask for one, and didn't even want one, yet she got one. I had been riding friends bikes for (What seemed like)years , probably more like 6 months!! I was only 10 !!

It was a very similar story re wrist watches a couple of years earlier, I had asked for a watch and mum said I couldn't have one till I learned to tell the time , obvious really, so the next day I came home from school totally fluent in time telling !!! Come Christmas , sure enough good old Santa supplied said Chronometer, but shock, horror, probe, yes you've guessed it , my elder sister got one two (This time I was 6 she was 9) and again you've guessed it she still couldn't tell the time.

Doesn't exactly set you on a path of righteousness for life does it !!!

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Christmas always meant the latest 'Rupert' annual for me. I still buy the odd one or two at second hand book shops;illustrated by Alfred Bestall of course!

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Me too, always a Rupert annual, and usually 1 or 2 others.

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Same here! The highlight of the day was sitting on Gran`s knee having `Rupert' read to me from the Daily express and the annual at Christmas.

Am I happier with all the `THINGS' we are forced to buy at Christmas? I think not!

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Agreed there Stan - and somewhat frustrated by the onslaught that begins in the stores at the beginning of October!

Funny thing is, Americans don't seem to understand Christmas at all - they will put their tree up at the end of November, but take it down on December 26th! I ask them when Christmas starts and ends, but get a blank stare - and THEY go to church! I was always led to understand there were 12 days of Christmas - and the first day is Christmas Day!

Back home my dad wouldn't let us put up decorations until Christmas Eve, and they came down on 12th night - I was told it was bad luck to have them up after that!

I had forgotten sugar pigs!

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Hated Christmas from an early age! Parents got divorced and every christmas got shunted from one side of the family to the other etc visiting prople I didn't "know" and had no interest in. That said had a good one 1963 when "reinforced" by several dinner time drinks (as was the custom then) when I went back to work made a play for an older girl there who I'd fancied for ages but considered out of my league, much to my surprise a romance developed, till I messed it up! so since then Christmas memories worse than before! ( ties rope to light fitting, stands on chair, places rope round neck, jumps off chair, gets hit on head by ripped out light fitting)! !sickly!

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My wife and I getting divorced had the complete reverse affect on my son. He was quite young at the time,7, and I was quite worried how he'd react to his first strange Xmas. Fortunately, at that time, madam and I were reasonably friendly for his sake, and shared custody, she agreed that he could stay with me for the first Xmas, I did make an effort and have a little dinner for us all, but was concerned about how he'd react to not spending the rest of the day with his mothers family, which was the usual thing. not a bit of it, we were going up to Nottingham for my brothers Xmas party, he couldn't wait because his cousins would be there, and that was that, he was waiting for me in the car before I'd finished packing. He always said he thought it great to have two Xmas's in two homes, as he said, he knew we both loved him equally, so what was the problem, there was never any bickering over it.

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Just thought of something else, we always 'trimmed up' at Christmas, with decorations that went from the corners of the living room to the light fitting in the middle. I remember the Christmas tree had candles on the end of the branches. And the smell of port and lemon sends me back to my childhood, I was always given a small one as a treat as a kid. That was the only time we had a bottle of port and a bottle of sherry in the house.

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LOL - I remember being "allowed" a very weak "Port & Lemon" at Christmas! If we were very lucky, we would get a taste of Advokaat too! (Can you sing the TV jingle?)

Had to laugh a couple of weeks ago - Mary was talking about her ex mother-in-law, a woman she greatly admired, and for some reason the subject of what she drank came up. "She always drank Port & Seven-Up" was the reply! Boy, that brought back memories!

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Advokaat, Advokaat, Warnicks Advokaat. We have a bottle in our bar just in case I get the urge for a Snowball. Had to bring it back from the UK as we've never seen it over here.

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Now, THAT is serious! I make do with Egg Nog laced with brandy - skip the lemonade! !cheers!

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I find eggnogg addictive! I try not to buy it because I could down the whole container in one go. Burp.

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