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Author Topic: Fog in the 50's  (Read 14789 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 11:34:15 »
Those smogs brought about the Clean Air Act: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Air_Act_1956
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Offline CDP

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 11:18:08 »
" I remember it well " There were no cars parked in the roads   , it was  too dangerous to  leave them out in the roads  .I also remember in 1954 when I was attending a course in the Eastend of London the bus travelled very very slowly as the fog was so bad it was almost impossible to see  the shop windows as we passed  them .
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Offline pr1uk

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 10:43:19 »
I can certainly remember the snog being so thick you could hardly see anything in front of you and the smell of coal fumes and soot it used to be so dense that older people and anyone with breathing problems were warned not to go out at all. I remember walking miles to school in it but i suppose we were lucky in as much as there were very few cars about to own a car then you had to be a teacher, doctor or policeman.
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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 10:41:46 »
The fog Was so thick that the Conductor had to walk in front of the Bus  with an open flame lamp showing the yellow reflection in the fog.
The lamp was like a smaller version of a watering can with the cloth wick sticking out of the funnel, soaking up the oil from the can, the flames spluttered as it came in contact with the damp fog.
If you stayed on the Bus you never knew where you had got to it was etter to walk as it was much quicker.

Offline RogerGunkel

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2012, 09:36:29 »
I used to find the smog really exciting, with no visibility and moisture dripping off of everything. I can remember a couple of times in the late 50's trying to cycle to school from River View Park to Gravesend Grammar, when I couldn't find the curb on either side ofthe road, on one occasion turning 180 degrees without knowing it and heading back the way I had come.

If there was a smog at the weekend, I would pack a little tin box with some cheese, bread, a compass and a penknife and head out into the mirk for an adventure. Only a few streets but it would seem like the other side of the world, nobody could see me and I couldn't see them, but I could hear everything so clearly as sound seemed to travel further.

I also had a buble car when I was sixteen, and in the smog, a friend would look out of the top to guide me, while we made our way from Gravesend to Hartley Youth Club. My girlfriend lived at Hartley and youth clib was always on a Friday night.

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jeepilot

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2012, 17:36:37 »
yes the last  fog/smog.....................in the south east  was autumn 1962...................2 days of it............remember it well...........

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2012, 15:57:31 »
Any one from Sittingbourne/Milton area will remember the extra additive to the mixture of sulphurous coal fumes and fog known as Smog. Our Smog was even worse as the additive was the Milton Creek aroma long before the purifyer basin was added. It even stank when there wasnt any fog. If you returned after a while away you noticed the stench as you neared between Newington and Sittingbourne. After a while it went unnoticed . Outsiders entering the towns would ask ,"Whats that smell" ,to be replied with "what smell"  :)
"The Smell", with or without the fog, was commonly referred to as "The Crick" (Milton Creek) and always seemed worse when there was a fog. It must have been pretty dire for people living in the Paper Mill Area. I was told that the smell was caused by the `outfall` from the Mill which, when the tide went out, laid on the mud. When the sun shone on to the mud the smell was ten times worse and you could smell it for miles. I can remember watching the yellowish, sulphurous smelling liquid gushing into the Creek somewhere near to the the `Lion` pub, which is now a private residence. Strangely, it always seemed to be worse on Monday mornings but, of course, everything was worse on Monday in those days  -  washing day, Sunday`s leftovers, the worst school dinner of the week, etc. I remember one foggy Monday morning, a fellow pupil let off a stink bomb during an English lesson. When asked if I knew who the culprit was, I replied "it`s `the crick`Sir", - got the cane for that!

Offline grandarog

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 15:08:24 »
Any one from Sittingbourne/Milton area will remember the extra additive to the mixture of sulphurous coal fumes and fog known as Smog. Our Smog was even worse as the additive was the Milton Creek aroma long before the purifyer basin was added. It even stank when there wasnt any fog. If you returned after a while away you noticed the stench as you neared between Newington and Sittingbourne. After a while it went unnoticed . Outsiders entering the towns would ask ,"Whats that smell" ,to be replied with "what smell"  :)

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 13:56:26 »
I'm probably in the minority but I loved the fog and the atmosphere it created.

Everything seemed so quiet and there was little traffic in those days.  I lived in Canterbury but travelled on steam trains to see family in Bolton, Lancashire.  The fog really did create an atmosphere there.  Railway Stations at night, steam, coal burning, red glow, steam engines appearing at of the fog - brilliant!!!!!


Also use to watch the Golden Arrow in the early mornings heading for Dover as I lived by the railway - fantastic on foggy mornings.

John

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 11:26:44 »
Yes, I can remember buses with the conductor walking alongside the kerb with a torch to guide the driver. There was a story, presumably true, of a bus going along Corporation Street, Rochester, towards Star Hill, and the driver following the kerb into Blue Boar Lane and hitting the low railway bridge.

I can also remember walking home from work down City Way and crossing the road beside a street lamp, then when the lamp became just a glow in the sky I became aware that the road seemed wide - I was walking down the middle of it!

I believe it was the smogs of those days that caused the introduction of the 'Clean Air Act'.
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Offline mmitch

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 09:59:32 »
I remember walking home from school in a daylight peasouper and walking into a (unlit) lampost! Also a couple of times seeing somebody (the conductor?) walking in front of a bus with a bright lamp. As Gravesend is on the river we get fog anyway, but they were far worse then.
mmitch.

Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 09:53:37 »
I remember the fog but we called it 'smog' a kind of mix between fog and smoke, which I suppose is a fair description. I remember it in the very late 50's to early sixties, we sometimes had to walk to school with a hankie over our faces it was so thick and the hankie was filthy where we had been breathing through it. Smokeless fuel zones were created where you had to burn a smokeless fuel such as coalite rather than the old full blooded Anthracite (coal) and the days of the 'smog' seem to dissapear very quickly. I lived on the outskirts of London back then and everyone in that densely populated area burnt coal. A lot of us kids seemed to suffer with bronchitis and the like, probably due to what we were breathing in. Happy days eh :) AND, the smell of the Thames sometimes...well that's another story..

Geoff B

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 09:50:09 »
Yes I remember them also. The fog was yellow some times. Horrible smell as well no doubt all the coal fire smoke mixed in that could not get up above it :)

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 09:21:52 »
I remember hubby ( then boyfriend ) walked home to Rochester from Gillingham across the Lines, but took him ages as he seemed to be just going round in circles , eventually he found Chatham  :) early 60s I think, and my Dad had to walk in front of my B-in-laws car with a white hanky so he could see where he was going on the way to wedding , that was in the 50s. I'm glad they aren't so bad now, I hate fog.
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Offline swiftone

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Re: Fog in the 50's
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 09:03:24 »
Ann, I can also remember those 'peasoupers' in the fifties. I can recall being at my aunt's house in Cornwallis Avenue and you could see a slight haze on the other side of the living room. When we left to walk home we could not see any lamposts until we were within a couple of feet of them. I had a bubble car in the early sixties with a sun roof and my girlfriend ( now my wife) would stand on the bench seat with the top half of her body through the sunroof guiding me in thick fog.

 

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