It’s a funny old world.....

First of all - - - - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HILDIE!!!!

From the photos you sent, it seems that a good time was had by all. Next year, can I come as well?

I’m serious about that last question, by the way. Now that The Nightshiftlet (or whatever) is drawing to a close, I’ve had some ideas and thoughts about us all sticking together as friends - but on an equal footing. To me, you are no longer my ‘audience’ or my ‘listeners’; you are my friends. And I hope you will allow me to be yours.

Despite my protracted absence from the blog (which Lawrence has charitably explained in a comment to blog 117) I would very much like us all to keep in touch if we possibly can. There’s lots to discuss, of course, but please bear that in mind over the next few days and weeks.

Perhaps a good place to start would be our End of an Era get-together. I know that The Keelman in Newburn has been suggested for the first convocation. Is anyone prepared to take the arrangement forward? Suggest times? Dates? Other venues? As you know, after next Wednesday, I’m fully flexible!

Once the awful pressure of saying my on-air goodbyes is over, I would really love to meet as many of my faithful truckshunters as possible. Those who can’t make the first Council Meeting could always come to the second. We could even arrange some ‘Shuntings’ - days out in the Spring and Summer for those who are prepared to join me in trying to grow old disgracefully, adventurously - and yet somehow sedately!

Tell your friends and mates. And tell Inga, who seems to have fallen by the wayside. I guess she has the momentous and wonderful events at home to occupy her!!!

Second of all......a huge vote of thanks from me to Lawrence, who has virtually been my representative on Earth for the last few weeks. His help through an extraordinarily difficult time has been invaluable. You’ll be hearing his voice again before the final curtain falls.

And thirdly....I guess you must be getting tired of, and/or bored with, my compliments by now but I have to say a highly emotional 'thankyou' for all of your good wishes and support since my redundancy was decided in December. You know very well that I mean it when I say I could not have survived the trauma in one piece without the help and support of the friends who have already contributed so much else to the last 18 months or so of my life.

You have enabled me to believe that this is not the end. Indeed, it could just be the beginning of a new and highly unusual development in presenter/listener relationships!

Come on. Let's make history.

How lucky I am.

Post comments on this blog or contact me in any one (or more) of these ways....
text 07786 200954 (while the programme is on-air)
call (between about 0545 and 0630 Monday to Friday) 0191 232 6565
Ian Robinson, The Nightshift, BBC Radio Newcastle, Spital Tongues, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE99 1RN

Please bear in mind that the views expressed in this blog are my own and NOT the views of the BBC.


Sid said...

WOW..what a great surprise this is. Well done Ian, its just the kind of pick me up that I, for one, needed.
A good day just turned into a Fabulous one.

Maureen said...

Great to hear from you Ian. You mightn't think it now but this will be a good thing, it makes you reassess what you want out of life, just like your 60th, we know that you've got so much more to give. We're all standing by to see what you'll be up to next!

Hildie said...

Ian ... hello and welcome back,
it's truly lovely to hear from you! About next year's birthdays -
certainly, yes, you can come to mine if I can come to yours!!
I'll be on my own but I'm going to try to be brave and come to The End of an Era Get Together. The timing, though, may not work out for me as my son, and chauffeur, Liam,is going on holiday 9th -16th February and it's a long walk from Dipton. I'll have to wait and see which date is settled upon. I don't drive, you see.
I'm liking the sound of some of your plans for us lot.
By the way, what was the title of the Quirkology book? It sounds just the sort of thing we truckshunters would enjoy.
Keep your chin up,
p.s. Thanks for posting those birthday pics, I had a brilliant night.

Vivienne said...

Hi Ian,

It's great to have you back with us again. We are adrift and rudderless when you're not around. Then the paranoia sets in!

Hildie, many thanks for your emails and photos which I've just found. It looks like you had a super party. My offer of a lift to our get-together still stands, but we need to determine when we are all available to meet up. I'm off to the Lakes for a week from 31st Jan (Sat to Sat), but should be available either during the days or evenings before and after that week.

I'm willing to book us into the Keelman if everyone states their preferred dates and times.

Ian, we do understand how you're feeling, as most of us have faced similar situations. I accepted voluntary redundancy 6 months before my 60th birthday. I felt rejection. I was no longer needed (and valued?), but also felt elation at being free from all the stresses and pressures at work. Judging by the Christmas cards I didn't receive from my ex-colleagues this year, I've already been forgotten! Most were from the ex-colleagues who like me had retired, or moved on to other jobs. Perhaps there is an element of jealousy that they still have to work!

Inga said...

Posting 117:
Inga 13 - Ian 0
Who did you say has fallen by the wayside? :-))

Loz said...

Hi Gang,

Riotous morning in there today - mostly off air lol... just as well or whole station might have been taken off air.... very funny stuff.

A friend of mine pointed out in my last postinf in 117 I had used a phrase innocently and without realising had a hilarious double-entendre quality.

Mentioned this to Ian off-air and he was virtually incapable of speach for ages with his histerics.

And the phrase with the hidden double meaning that caused the huge bout of laughing???

The last line in the following....

"keep tabs on Ian... and watch a live clock counting down to Mike Parr.... pressured but fun... my cheeks always ache after a doorstep session with Ian."

Oh the embarrament... but very funny, my cheeks are all blushed and reddened now... thats the facial ones.... before anyone picks up another double meaning.

lol Love the English lanuage.


Sid said...

That one went straight past me Lawrence, but its given me a laugh tonight, thanks.
I enjoyed this mornings show, those trolley buses...how smooth, quick and quiet. At the intersections for the powered cables, always a wire rod with a handle. The conductors job was to pull this down to change the points so that the trolley bus could change direction. Mischievous kids could send the 'booms' in the opposite direction to the bus. Oh how we laughed...No ASBO's in those days.

Ian Robinson said...

Dates...I can make 30 January. Then, if we leave out the week that Vivienne (and thus Hildie) can't make it (31 January to 7 February) and look at the weeks after that...I can make it on 10 February or almost any day from 15 February onward. Any good?

Ian Robinson said...

Welcome back Inga. And congratulations on the extraordinary wisdom you and your compatriots have shown in your choice of President. Now then, if the offer still stands, we need to talk about meeting up - there or here.

Vivienne said...

Hi Ian,

I can make all the dates you've given above for a get-together. How about everyone else?


Hildie said...

Lawrence, how did I miss that?!
No wonder Ian lost the power of speech! Wonderfully funny!
I could do 30th. January.
I could do 10th February but I would need to call upon Vivienne's offer of a lift on that night.
I can't do 15th. February but could do any date after that.
Anybody making sense of all these dates we are throwing around?

Loz said...

Fri 30th is good for me..... as is Feb 10.... no prob.

Glad you liked the laugh.... Ian, did you like the cat in the piano pics?

Right.... nearly 1am.... got up yesterday morning at 4.... I need sleep.



Vivienne said...

Hi friends,

Shall we aim to meet on 30th Jan? Hildie and Maureen, what about you two? Are you available? Sid, perhaps you could bring Jean and Gillian with you? It would be lovely to meet your family as well as meeting you, especially if it means you could be there. So far we've all just been pen pals. It will be really special to meet you face to face; our first family gathering! I'm sad that our cousin Inga can't be with us, but we may be able to send her some 'family' party photos. Please let's all try to be there.

If anyone has a problem with 30th Jan then we can change the date. I really would love to meet you all. Is anyone in touch with our Gilly? It would be lovely if she could come too.

What time do you wish to meet up? Ian, as it's your leaving do I think you should say what time suits you. Once we agree a date and time, please spread the word about our gathering. It will be super to have as many Truckshunters there as possible, and also folk from Radio Newcastle.

Vivienne said...

Hi Loz,

Sorry I didn't mention you, but I'm assuming you can make 30th too? You've got to be there!

Vivienne said...

Oops! back again!

Hildie, I'd missed your comment until now about your availability. I see you can make it on 30th. We just need Maureen and Lawrence to confirm, and agree a time.

Vivienne said...

Hi everyone!

As you are coming to the end of your time at Radio Newcastle Ian, perhaps it's time to reflect back on the good old days. The text below gives us all something to ponder over. I have to admit I remember the lot!

How's This For Nostalgia?

All the girls wore ugly gym slips and navy-blue knickers!

If you were rich enough to own one, it took five minutes for the TV to warm up.

Nearly everyone's Mum was at home when the kids got home from school.

Nobody owned a thoroughbred dog.

When 3d was a decent allowance.

You'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. (I still do!)

Your Mother wore nylons that came in two pieces, and had seams down the back. (I wore them too!)

All your male teachers wore ties and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels.

You got your windscreen cleaned, oil checked, and petrol served, without asking, all for free, every time, and you didn't pay for air and, you got trading
stamps to boot!

Washing Powder had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.

It was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

They threatened to keep children back a year if they failed. . . and they did it!

When a Ford Zephyr was everyone's dream car...

and people went 'steady.'

No one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked.

Lying on your back in the grass with your friends and saying things like, 'That cloud looks like a... '

Playing cricket with no adults to help the children with the rules of the game.

Bottles came from the corner shop without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.

And with all our progress, don't you wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savour the slower pace, and share it with the children of today.

When being sent to the head's study was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home!

Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was greater than the threat.

As well as summers filled with bike rides, cricket, Hula Hoops, skate hockey and visits to the pool, and eating lemonade powder/ lemon crystals with liquorice sticks.

Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, 'Yes, I remember that'?

And remember that the perfect age is somewhere between old enough to know better and too young to care.

Share this with those who can still remember Mr Pastry, 6.5 Special, The Army Game, Sunday Night at the London Palladium, Emergency Ward 10, the Lone Ranger, Hancock's Half hour, Trigger and Sgt Bilko.

How Many Of These Do You Remember?

Sweet cigarettes

Coca Cola in bottles.

You're never alone with a Strand.

Coffee shops with Table Side Jukeboxes.

Blackjacks and bubblegums.

Home milk delivery in glass bottles with tinfoil tops.

Newsreels before the film.

Telephone numbers with a word prefix...( Mayfair 3489). Party lines. (My Aunt's number was Crookham 267)


Andy Pandy.

Hi-Fi's & 45 RPM records.

78 RPM records!

Green Shield Stamps.

Adding Machines.


Do You Remember a Time When..

Decisions were made by going 'eeny-meeny-miney-moe'?
'Race issue' meant arguing about who ran the fastest? Catching tiddlers could happily occupy an entire day?

It wasn't odd to have two or three 'Best Friends'?

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was 'chickenpox'?

Having a Weapon in School meant being caught with a catapault?

Saturday morning television wasn't 30-minute commercials for action figures?

Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles?
The Worst Embarrassment was being picked last for a team?

War was a card game?

Cigarette cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?

Taking drugs meant orange - flavored chewable aspirin?

Water balloons were the ultimate weapon?

If you can remember most or all of these, Then You Have Lived!!!!!!!

Sid said...

Nice one Vivienne, I remember playing with car tyres for what must have been a week at least. During the summer holidays it was, bowled them all over the place. All cross plys mind, non of the fancy radials, they were still on the drawing board.
If a packet of chips on the way home from the pictures, is the same as a trip to a restaurant, then I have done all of the above...and proud of it.

Maureen said...

Loved the nostalgia trip, Vivienne.
Speaking of restaurants, can anyone remember Bowers, opposite the Central Station? I gave them all a laugh at work recently by telling them about the first time I was taken out for a meal by a boy. He took me there and we had egg and chips, served in oval stainless steel dishes. (I didn't have an ice cream after as I wasn't sure if he could afford it!) I felt quite sophisticated and he even walked me to Worswick St and saw me on to my bus. He lived at Dunston, which might as well have been abroad to me. I hadn't a clue where that was, and anyway, he had to be home by 11.30!
By the way, thanks for including me in your 'night out' arrangements but it's really not my kind of thing. I hope that you all have a lovely time and tell me all about it when you get back though!

Loz said...

Hi Vivienne,

Yes 30th fine by me.... time - I'm felxi.


Inga said...

Vivienne, I think I would have lost the will to live juggling all of those dates around! At the same time I sincerely regret that my dating needs did not cause any additional juggling.
Rest assured if we ever make it over your way - it won't be in the winter. I think you should all join us in Florida. That's were we will be during the last 2 weeks in February - well, I am jealous about your Get-Together, so now it's your turn :-))
So, if you feel like walking for hours on a beach which was voted the best 2 years in a row, well, YOU All COME ! If that doesn't sound good, there's always Memphis in May!

Sid said...

Inga, that sounds lovely. We have a beach at Cresswell in Northumberland that's my favourite. If the sea is rough, and the wind is from a southerly direction then mother nature deposits very fine coal onto the beach. It has been known for folks to collect this coal and use it at home....despite living in a smokeless area.
I should add that most of the time the beach consists only of sand and seaweed.

Inga said...

Sid, to the right of this beach are enormous white sand dunes covered in sea oats, and various other plants which survive in sand. In order to get a good photo one needs to climb on top of these dunes but there are restrictions because environmentalists have seen how easy these are destroyed by man. But they are accessible from some points which are difficult to get to - but permissible. I am determined to get to these this year and get the photos I am after.

Sid said...

That sounds so good Inga, I can almost feel the sand between my toes. Will you be sending some photos to Ian, they would look great on here.

Inga said...

I most certainly will. They will be somewhat experimental since I will be taking them with a new digital camera. I've finally succumbed to the advantages of these tech marvels.
I am still trying to figure out how on earth enough coal can collected on a beach for people to heat with! Just can't get my head around that. Where is this coal dust coming from?

Ian Robinson said...

Looks like it's Friday 30 January then :-)) I'm VERY impressed. Time? Venue?
And YES Inga make that a date - Florida or Memphis in '09.

Inga said...

ALL RIGHT !!! Ian - just let us know when you decide.

Sid said...

Inga, the coal mines in the area had worked there way miles out (about 3) under the sea. It is reported that some of the seams of coal are near the surface of the sea bed, and the action of the tides sometimes brings the fine coal onto the beach. I have seen this coal to be 3ft deep. Plans are being made to lay steel grids over the sea bed in an effort to seal off the coal that is coming ashore. Should they still be able to afford this in the current climate remains to be seen.

Inga said...

Good heavens, I've never heard of coal mines under the sea. I think there are efforts underway somewhere to figure out how to burn coal without pollution. Would that be good or bad news for your area?

Sid said...

Inga, that is a question and a half. I think I am right in saying that all of the coalmines in Northumberland are now closed, and have been for a few years. Many owners had said they just weren't profitable, the miners say they just lacked investment.
To give you some idea of the scale of things, the river Tyne now IMPORTS over a million tons of coal a year.
If you search 'Northumberland Coal Mines' you will find enough information to last you a while.

Inga said...

Thanks Sid for all the interesting info. And I'll be looking into - as it were - the coal mines in Northumberland.
We are about to leave for a bite of lunch and some shopping. TTYL

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks,

Ok, Friday 30th it is. I would prefer to meet up mid afternoon, as I think there will be fewer people in the Keelman at that time, and more space for us to sit together. We could book a table but can only do so if we plan to have a meal. If the weather is good we could have a stroll and natter along the riverside. However, Hildie you usually work on Fridays, so I guess it's up to you to specify a time. (I don't want a late night with leaving for the Lakes the next day.)

What does everyone think?

Hildie said...

Vivienne, I am so sorry, it never crossed my mind that we were talking about meeting in the the day time. It is true I'm at school on a Friday. I was imagining meeting in the evening. Heck!
This is a blow. I would rather Ian decided a time that was good for him, i wouldn't like to be the one to say. xx

Vivienne said...

Hi Hildie,

Don't worry. It was just a thought about an afternoon get-together. If we're meeting in the evening I suggest we book a table, as there isn't very much space for non-eaters. We don't have to order a full meal unless we wish to. Perhaps a table upstairs would give us a bit more privacy for our first meeting. I'm willing to have a meal, is anyone else?

I don't wish anyone to feel they have to eat if they have family commitments. As long as two or three of us are ordering then we can justify booking a table. How many folk are coming along? Are you bringing partners, friends etc.
Sid, if Jean and Gilly are coming then a table in the conservatory would be better for Gilly. Food is available until 9pm.

Sid said...

Vivienne, thanks for thinking of us but we will give this one a miss. We hope you all enjoy yourselves, I shall look forward to the reviews on the blog, and of course the photos.

Vivienne said...

Hi Sid,

Thanks for getting back to me. I'm really sorry both you and Maureen can't make it. My worries about numbers may not be a problem after all. It looks like there may only be four of us, Hildie, Ian, Lawrence and me. As Inga will also be missing, is it still worth going?

Loz said...

Hi Vivienne,

How many would be available for Ian's second date of February 10th?

I am available that day.... if we can get 6 of us there on the 10th of Feb maybe we should reschedule for that as we are one group?

So gang - can we take a vote on Feb 10?

Either way it will always be worth our cauldron of active brains getting together.... should be a laugh.



Vivienne said...

Hi Loz,

I'm free on 10th too.

Love, Viviene xxx

Hildie said...

still the 30th is best for me. My friend, Chris, she says she'd like to come too. She was a listener in the Blue Bus days.
Liam can bring us both to wherever on that evening.

The 10th. I cannot do in the afternoon. I can only do the evening - but even so would be without transport as Liam goes on holiday on the 9th.
Now I think about it the 10th isn't looking too good for me, is it?

Anonymous said...

Hi Ian.
Just logged on to say you'll be sadly missed in the mornings...
Thought it was bad form that Mike Parr didn't say goodbye on air on your last day....any-road-up....good luck in your future ventures - bon voyage as you travel through life...
Mr Magoo.