Yesterday's talk about litter and your replies reminded me of a story I have not thought about for many, many years and which does make me realise that it is not only a 'modern' problem. In around 1956, when my first husband and I lived with our young son in the wilds of Lincolnshire, a group of the village men, including my husband, got together as volunteers to refurbish our village hall. One day, when they were at work repainting the inside, my husband looked through the window just in time to see a family in a car stop and walk towards the village hall with a load of fish and chip papers from the picnic meal they had just been enjoying in the car. As they began to stuff all the papers in the hedge bottom my husband (never one to tolerate any form of injustice) rushed out, grabbed the papers and passed them. When he got back to the car he opened the back door and stuffed all the papers on the back seat, told them he would report their number plate to the police if they tried anything like that again and told them in no uncertain terms to take their rubbish home. Without a word they got back in and drove off. Henceforth he was rather regarded as a local hero.
But I do also think that shops and take away establishments have also contributed to the problem. We never had take aways - I don't think my parents ever ate other than home-cooked food at home. I certainly never remember dining out as a child. Fish and chips occasionally was as far as it went. Now things like pizzas and take away meals served in plastic 'throw away' cartons are everywhere.
Good Friday today. Not a lot of religious significance is put on Easter week-end any more and I have no doubt many people, and most children, have no knowledge of what it means these days. When I was a child nothing opened on Good Friday. Now, friends who often do a bit of fresh shopping for me on our Friday market, went down yesterday expecting the market to be a day early. But no - it is open today as usual. Yesterday of course, when I went for my scan, was Maundy Thursday. How many people realised that or thought about it and considered what the significance was. And I am not at all religious - far from it. It is just a relic left from my childhood, when everybody knew - certainly in villages.
I can remember when I was little, probably 10 ish, going to the local bakers shop on Good Friday to buy the hot cross buns. Of course the shops not there any more. I've always taken part in a walk of faith on Good Friday, it was a big gathering of all the churches in Billericay where I moved from 3 1/2 years ago. I've miss my active church life with covid.
I remember in the 60's that after we'd been to church on Good Friday morning we'd then walk into town and the fishmonger would be open so Mum would buy the fish for tea that evening. But that was the only shop open and nomally only till lunchtime.
Many things are closed here on Good Friday and Easter Sunday and all transit systems are on holiday service. My Church had a Maundy Thursday supper and service via Zoom and the Good Friday service has gone out via Youtube and the Easter service will be done the same way. I did the stats yesterday on how many views we are getting online and the weekly average is about twice as many as attend in person - and many views are from long distance viewers.
Litter drives me mad! My dad always taught us - what you take in - you bring out! I was absolutely shocked seeing all the photos of the crowds in the UK and then the mess they left behind. What I couldn't help but notice was the vast majority seemed to be very young - the same group who lecture us oldies about being "green" and what a terrible job we've done when it comes to the environment! What a joke - I - and none of my friends - wold ever behave like this!
We reported a builder who was stupid enough to leave some old invoices amongst the rubbish he dumped in our yard. He was fined £8000. Very pleasing.
At our little village school the Easter story is taught and celebrated. Most village schools around here are C of E so the liturgical year is followed. Our village church also holds a vigil on Sat eve complete with bonfire and this year we are fortunate enough to have a service on Easter Sunday. The churches from all denominations around here run the food banks and community kitchens (when allowed). Litter is a huge problem on local by pass but volunteers just get together and sort it out, no waiting for the council or whoever to do so, we are quite self sufficient down here in the south west. Sarah B.
I once challenged litter louts in a car park. We were parked and the car in front with four young people eating from the local McDonald. Then their car windows were opened and the rubbish chucked out. So I got out, chickened out of saying anything, but picked up all the rubbish, threw it into the bin and walked by their car with a nod, they looked a bit shamefaced ;)
I blame Eastenders. Parents, teachers, strangers in the street, used to tell young people to pick up litter if they threw it down then Eastenders came along and enter answering back and assertive, knowy, aggressive children who couldn't be told anything and scared the living daylights out of ordinary human beings. Then it became wrong to tick them off because of human rights and lo and behold you have a nation of falling standards and litter louts.
A friend from Eastbourne just posted on Facebook that yesterday, while walking the dog, she saw three teenage uniformed schoolgirls leave their picnic litter in the park. Stuffing the litter in the bin, she became increasingly incensed and took off after the girls. Dog in tow and waving her phone/camera in her other hand, she followed them and called after them letting everyone nearby know what they had done. They fled terrified she would get them on camera! Hopefully they will clean up their litter next time.
Easter once meant Easter Sunday at church, everybody wearing hats and special outfits. The Easter family dinner ritual followed. Litter seems less problematic here. Our issue is people not picking up after their dogs and some not controlling their dogs. Often dogs off leash running to greet strangers; strangers that fear dogs or simply do not want a greeting and dog owners claiming, "my dog is friendly."
Goodness you certainly attract a wide range of commenters some days! Its becoming fashionable here to pick up litter in connection with walks or jogs, certainly a positive social development. A few years ago my husband and I started carrying a couple trash bags and plastic gloves on walks to our local park and picking up litter there - near by convenience and fast food places were clear contributors to that litter load, as were litter bins that were not emptied enough to accept the things brought to the park (as many have said, why not carry the empties home?). We noticed that once there was no litter around due to a pick up the next lot was slower to accumulate.
ANYWAY I hope you have an enjoyable weekend with good weather - we had snow flurries yesterday so we feel that a bit of spring would not be amiss.
Bravo for your husband for doing things most people only imagine doing.
I always dreaded Easter Sunday. Some families would don their Easter finery. My little friends with new patent-leather shoes, white socks with lace around the cuff, new dresses, pretty little hats and sometimes gloves. That image remains to this day. The have's and the have-nots was never more evident.
How satisfying that would be, to shame a litterer! Better yet to see justice served. Things have changed in your lifetime to be sure, but it is wonderful that you hold it close to your heart and that you share those memories with us. Thank you. Happy Easter to you!
I was quite cheered today. My sister in law and I went back to a secluded spot in the Wyre Forest where we had seen a huge pile of picnic rubbish, on Wednesday, armed to clear it up. We discovered that someone had got there before us, and every scrap was gone!
It was lovely to hear a church bell tolling yesterday afternoon and be reminded that it was Maunday Thursday; as you said, a reminder of your (my) childhood.
Gosh, swift Karma for THAT crew and well done to your husband! I was digusted to see the litter. Personally, I think it should be left there for the next mass exodus and then perhaps they wouldn't be so keen to go to those same parks they littered last time.
Today I was quite surprised to see all the same shops open in Builth that are open through the week. When we went for our walk along by the river, even the two stalls that are the market there at present were set up for business. I presume Sunday will be the day the Supermarkets shut in honour of Easter?
I guess that after a year of Lockdowns, all the praying in the world won't reduce many businesses debt, the only thing that'll do that is being open on any day that they can.
The trash situation is out of control. I will spend some time picking up litter in the close.
Interesting that some of us oldies remember when Easter meant something and all shops were closed and everyone ate fish on Good Friday. How times have changed.
Huge problems with litter at the riverside in Ilkley as soon as the sun comes out. Volunteers go in each evening to pick it all up, not just food and drink containers but used nappies, drug paraphernalia and worse. A lot of local people agree with Belle that it should be left to discourage these litter louts from returning, I always felt that was a bad idea until I saw this weeks mess in a park in Leeds, now I tend to agree it’s worth a try horrible as it would be.
I remember Easter well as I grew up celebrating it. Easter Sunday was always special and I usually got a new dress to wear to church along with white gloves and a hat. I still acknowledge Easter but don't really celebrate it anymore with the kids and grandkids all grown.
Mainly to do with money. Keeping the economy going 24/7. Convenience everything. It passes the cost of cleaning up the mess from the businesses that create it to the community.
Your story about litter reminded me that 50 years ago we were on holiday with some people my husband knew. Lunch was a picnic on the beach (I think the husbands were talking business)and to my horror and amazement the friends' wife got up and left all their rubbish behind. I didn't know what to say but at least I packed up ours - we each had three small children - and put it all in a litter bin.
Not only do shops seem to open every day of the week now, but sometimes half or all of the night too.
Good for your husband- litter is a modern plague! I well remember Easter in our Yorkshire village. Easter Sunday one year I sang 'My Song is Love Unknown' solo in church and Keith B. made faces to try and put me off. He was a real little rip as they would have said then.Have a happy Easter! X
Your husband was a HERO! If more people did that, the litter problem would cease. And if it was the responsibility of takeaway shops to provide (even if through the local authority) litter bins, it would help.
I do remember being taken to a restaurant once, as a very small child (so late 1950s) but only once, and when I started school in 1957-8 we had fish and chips once a week as a school lunch. But other than the F&C shop, takeaways were unknown. We ate seasonally, and well, and I"m sure the first fruit of the season tasted so much better for its absence for months beforehand!
As for the "Holy days" you're right, my grandchildren wouldn't have a clue. However, they're in for a shock - we're both on duty at 8am service Easter morning, and, as they're staying the night, they will have to come with us. At nearly 6, and just 3, it might be a learning curve for us all! Wish us luck - or should I say, Prayers please!
Yes, all the throw away containers that are throw out car windows instead of thrown out at home. Good for your husband. My parents would have done the same.
Easter is still important...without it heaven knows what would happen. Prayers
About 4 or 5 years ago my supermarket stopped providing plastic bags, and used a sort of biodegradable replacement instead. Now they have reverted to paper bags with a semi transparent strip on one side. It's like going back to my childhood.
Here in Germany, shops are closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and on all Sundays, too(the only exception are bakeries).
As for takeout, up to the seventies in my small town there only was bratwurst in a bun, so no packaging at all. I remember asking for a paper napkin once and being asked if I didn´t have a handkerchief!
Hilde in Germany
Large supermarkets will all be shut on Easter Sunday in England. The only day of the year they cannot open.
And Christmas day.
Such an interesting read from all of you - thank you for participating.
Christmas Day they can open even if they choose not to, as many do. Easter Sunday is the only day they legally cannot open. Small square footage shops can.
Thanks for that information Rachel.
The first "Earth Day" was held in the U.S. in 1970 when I was in high school. It was all we had been talking about for weeks, learning about the environment. They sent us out in buses to pick up litter alongside the freeway, all well-organized and safe. (It wasn't tourist season, so relatively low traffic numbers.) As it happens, I think it was great training for young people, and we felt as if we were contributing to saving the planet.
Bonnie in Minneapolis
It looks like they do have to close on Christmas Day. I just checked the Gov website.
The law was changed in 2004 when it had previously only been Easter Sunday. An MP raised it to say that Christmas Day should also be kept special. I knew I hadn't imagined it, I was just 17 years out of date!
The problem with litter is universal and while I agree absolutely that manufacturers of plastic junk, and the restaurants and businesses that use it, bear a good deal of blame for the problem, it is still a cause for great dismay that the average citizen is so irresponsible and seems will to pollute without end and without regard for the environment. It should be a simple matter to dispose of trash properly. and to really make an effort to minimize all the take-out containers etc. It horrifies me to see the degradation of our world.
Well said David
Yes well said David, So true.
Happy Easter Pat ! The Square Ones send aroooooooos !
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