The Way We Were

A single series of eight programmes, each 30 minutes long and shown on Thursday nights in the Granada region. Various people, including some celebrities, gave their recollections on the weeks topic alongside archive film clips.

Episode 1 Christmas 6th Jan 2005
Episode 2 Work 13th Jan 2005
Episode 3 Royal visits 20th Jan 2005
Episode 4 War 27th Jan 2005
Episode 5 Transport 3rd Feb 2005
Episode 6 Sport 10th Feb 2005
Episode 7 Public Services 24th Feb 2005
Episode 8 Religion 4th Mar 2005

Episode 1 – Christmas

Bobby: You’d think ‘I’m going to stop up all night now and wait for Santa Claus to come’, and you’d wait. And one night I knew my Dad was struggling for money when I were a kid, because I were listening for Santa Claus like that, and I heard this bang, and my Dad come in and said ‘Santa Claus has shot himself’. Well, I knew then we weren’t getting any presents.
Tommy: Is that a joke?
Bobby: That was a joke, that, actually.

Tommy: The excitement of Christmas Eve was fantastic, because although you went to sleep, you can bet your bottom dollar at five o’clock, you were up, and you were probably downstairs before your parents anyway.

Tommy: I think my memory of Christmas is my dad bought me a train set, I had a bicycle, I thought all my dreams had come true in one hit, and my train used to run all the way through the house, from the little lounge into the kitchen with the old stone sink, back round and underneath the old fashioned sideboard with all steam coming out of the engine. I thought it was absolutely fantastic.

Bobby: Mam and Dad could only afford one big present, so they used to take it in turns per year. Like one year I’d get a big Buccanneer gun, and this year our Mavis got a doll, a big walking doll, which the eyes closed, when you put it’s head back it went like that with its eyes.
Tommy: You still have that
Bobby: No, shut up. And I was that jealous I poked its eyes out. And my sister’s never forgiven me from that day.

Tommy: Sprouts… you could only get them at Christmas time. Now you can get them all year round. That’s the truth. And I never had turkey, it was a cows heart. Now I know you’re laughing at that, but its true.

Bonny: I’ll tell you what you used to do, you’d get your presents, you used to play with them for a few hours, which was fantastic, and then you would go out and see what all your mates had got, around you. ‘What have you had for Christmas?’ and all that. And in them days you used to go in each others houses, all the time.
Tommy: That’s right.


Episode 2 – Work

Tommy: I had never seen men crawling about in the bowels of the earth like it in my life. I mean, you couldn’t see for dust. It was just like a fog. And these men were going well, they were going through gaps that were quite frightening. I mean, you just, you felt suffocated. Oh, it was awful. That’s why I’ve got such a respect for lads who work down the mine because I couldn’t do it.

Bobby: The one thing I remember which my mother used to do and all the cotton women used to do is when the buzzer used to go at 5:30 to finish, they used to spit on their hands and take the cotton off their clothes. You remember that, if you go like that cotton will roll.
Tommy: Aye, they used to spend 10 minutes doing that.

Episode 3 – Royal Visits

Bobby: But then when the Queen came it were like the town stopped, it just stopped, you know, particularly in Shaw when the Queen came.
Tommy: Yeah, but that was all over. If the Queen were visiting the town shut, schools got holidays. It would just total stop.
Bobby: And I remember her. She walked past me. And she looked at me and she went. You’re going to be a synchronised swimmer.
Tommy: Did she?
Bobby: She knew. I’m telling you, Tom, I don’t know how she knew that.

The Way We Were screenshot

Episode 4 – War

Tommy: We had a gas meter under the stairs. And every time that went off, a lot of people used to go to shelters. But I always remember my mum shoving me, like, as though we were going to be bombed instantly.

Episode 5 – Transport

Bobby: The first mode of transport I ever remember, milk float. We used to call it the milk float, which was a milk cart, with them big wheels on it. And the horse had a very original name of Dobbin. And he used to come down every Sunday morning, I said. Mum, can I go? Yeah, go on. And I used to run out and jump on the float and I used to go on his milk round with him.

Tommy: Your first car, no matter what it is or whatever, is like the bees knees. The very first one. You can have all the rest. You can have all the good cars after it, but your very first one for some reason it’s, it was special wasn’t it.
Bobby: But when you’re like young, we were only 17 or something, well I were. You just polish it and just sit in it. You don’t have to move. You don’t have to drive it. You just sit in it and keep moving the steering wheel, and pretend. You live in a Walter Mitty world. You know your first car, you know?

Episode 6 – Sport

The duo did not appear in this episode.

Episode 7 – Public Services

Bobby: If the Bobby had said to you right, get home, you’ve been a naughty lad I’m coming to your house tonight, you’d sit in your house, frightened, waiting for that door to tap, because you knew you’d be shouted at off your mum and dad.
Tommy: Oh petrified.

Tommy: We used to play a game called Knock a door runaway, right? There’s still the same game goes today. It’s called Parcel Force. But them days when we used to knock on the door and if PC Webster were around, he’d get hold of you be the scruff of the neck and he’d give you a backhander.

Bobby: In them days, we remember it being straightforward. Police, if you got in trouble, they had you. Oh, and I remember them, Wolesley cars, they used to have black Wolesley cars, with a bell not a siren.

Episode 8 – Religion

Tommy: Then we used to sit on these wooden forms and listen to a lady or a man telling us stories from the Bible, etcetera, etcetera.

Tommy: And I used to go to Tabernacle. If you said to me what does it mean? I don’t know what it means and I don’t know any reason why I went as a child because I don’t particularly remember learning anything, but it was something that we did. We just did it. We went into this room and then we used to sit on these wooden forms and listen to a lady or a man telling us stories from the Bible, etcetera, etcetera. And I did that, I went up until I, I suppose until you start getting a mind of your own and then I suddenly sort of stopped going.