Monday, 22 February 2010


If you've arrived on this page hoping to learn about ancient Greek history then it is time to hit the backspace button. However, if you are regular readers of this blog then today I'm taking you on a trip back towards the middle of the twentieth century. Well mid 1960's to mid 1970's to be more precise.

Somewhile ago I scanned a number of my old Kodachrome slides into digital format. Then more recently I photographed a number of old photographs in my parent's album. I've just been looking at them again and I thought I'd use a few of them in a blog about the early days of Troy.

Here's me, with my sister when I'm about 10 and she's about 6. We are at Sewerby Park in Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast.

The next photo is taken towards the end of August 1966 when I'm eleven years old and about to start at the local Grammar School. I've always looked younger than my age and the short trousers in this picture don't help matters. Most of the boys in the first year at the Grammar School (now called Year 7) wore short trousers. It contrasts with Troy Junior, who has worn long trousers in winter and short trousers in summer to school since the age of seven or eight. Note too my school cap! It must be realised here that I'm proudly wearing the full uniform including the cap as the photo is taken just prior to me starting at the school. Later of course, I wouldn't be seen dead in a school cap although the prefects tried to enforce the uniform policy. Also, array of pens in blazer pocket (cringe!).

It's a photo of a photo and not very clear, but you get the general picture.

The next photo is taken about eight or nine years later. Away from the parental home I've grown my hair long in the style of Dave Davies from one of my favourite bands, The Kinks. Here, I'm running the shop in my university hall of residence. As we were fully catered with three meals a day, the shop just supplied the extras; chocolate bars, peanuts, biscuits, coffee, tea, sugar as well as things like washing powder. Looking at the photo, I'm also surprised to see cigarettes as I have absolutely no recollection from the time that we ever sold them.

Being elected "Shop Manager" by our Junior Common Room was, so far, my one and only election success in life. I won it by a landslide. My favourite memory of running this shop involved coffee speculation. In December there was an article in the newspaper regarding very poor coffee harvests. So at Christmas, instead of running down the stock and banking the money over the holiday, I instead used virtually all our funds to buy coffee from the cash-and-carry. In January we were short of most stock but the price of coffee had gone up about 80%. I was selling jars of coffee below supermarket prices but still making a substantial profit. When I was asked how we could undercut Sainsburys, my response was simply "bulk buying".

I have many happy memories of my time at the University of Nottingham. I'll leave you with a couple of photos taken on the campus, one in summer, one in winter.


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Those are fab photos.

I can remember moaning that our school uniform didn't allow girls to wear trousers like some do today. Saying that, my daughter has to wear a skirt, so I shouldn't really grumble.

How clever to bulk buy and make such a good profit. I can't imagine my son doing that at his age.

Kitty said...

Looking back at old photos is always a hoot. I've been looking through quite a few of late for various reasons.

You're looking a touch 'Neil Young' in that middle shot :p

Troy said...

Debs - it was your early family photo that inspired me to do this blog although I've been so busy it has taken me a few days to get round to it.
I suspect Sainsburys actually had better bulk buying power than I did.

Kitty - unlike Neil Young, I was a Northern Man. And that picture was definitely "before the goldrush".

Ladybird World Mother said...

Oh, bless your little heart and knees! Particularly impressed by the coffee selling in the hall of residence shop... thats what I call business acumen.
Come on, now we want the next few years...

Unknown said...

I love old piccies and you know you really have not changed much, short pants though I hope are in the past!

Love the coffee line lol! And I dated a guy at Notts Uni and so this all looks very familiar too.

Lane Mathias said...

I love old photos. Looking at them throw up all sorts of memories otherwise forgotten.

Love little Troy in his uniform, pens at the ready:-)

And business savvy so young (with the coffee)! I'm impressed.

Joe Stein said...

Ah, those days of yore! (Your what, exactly, I think we’ll maybe gloss over.)
But that Uni shop photo is great. All the requirements for studentship, bar the alcohol. Rich Tea biscuits, Milky Ways, Marlboros, KP nuts and Toffets. Toffets!!!
Not sure about the Persil Automatic, but then I probably had to hand wash all my stuff in the tin bath.
I was trying to work out what the yellow packet on the top shelf is?

Troy said...

LWM - another installment will be produce in due course.

Sarah - I wear shorts and polo shirts in the summer, so not much change from the first photo over forty years later!

Lane - always happy to impress the ladies.

Joe - The "Bar Manager" took care of the alcohol. I'm not sure what the yellow packets on the top shelf are - some kind of biscuits but not sure which. My favourite biscuits, Abbey Crunch, are on a lower shelf.
Its a shame the Price List is out of focus.

Anonymous said...

You haven't changed a bit! I recognised you as soon as I saw the short trousers...

CJ xx

cheshire wife said...

I guessed that you had gone to Nottinghan Uni before I read it - my brother went there. I was trying to work out which school you had gone to as I was brought up in East Yorkshire. I know that you did not go to my school as it was all girls!

Troy said...

CJ - you are very kindly overlooking the hair loss!

cheshire wife - when did you brother go to Nottingham. I was there 1973-6. Who knows, sometimes its a small world. School is Harrogate Grammar School.

Suzanne Ross Jones said...

What wonderful photos. The boys at my daughter's school wear short trousers winter and summer until the age of 9 or 10 - which I think's only fair as the girls have to wear pianfores or kilts. But the sight of those little purple legs in sub zero conditions would break your heart.

cheshire wife said...

My brother read physics at Nottingham Uni 1772-75 and was in Lincoln Hall.

cheshire wife said...

Sorry that should be 1972-75!

DJ Kirkby said...

Great photos, so surprised by the one of you with long hair!

Troy said...

Suzanne - thanks for leaving a comment. Break my heart? Nah! Toughen them up I say!

cheshire wife - for one moment I got excited as my great, great, great, great, great grandfather (on my mother's father's mother's side) was there in 1774-7. Reading alchemy and latin (joint honours).

DJ - most of us went through that phase in our lives.