Watching our grandchildren open their many gifts yesterday morning, things like Sky Lander Giants???E Readers and other electronic games far beyond my knowledge, got me thinking. In 1952 my father bought me a real leather football, exactly like the ones used by professional teams. It was second hand but that mattered little to me, a real football was what I wanted and it was amazing. A football in the nineteen fifties was constructed from leather panels stitched together, leaving an opening to insert the bladder. The bladder need to be inflated through a long neck which was then folded over and tightly tied to prevent air escaping. It only partially worked, the air slowly leaked out and the ball need to be re-inflated usually monthly. Once the neck was fold and tied it was tucked inside the ball and the opening laced up, (similar to lacing a shoe). The ball could only be used on grass, I didn’t dare use it in the street, the pavement was very hard on the leather. On a football pitch it was great, accept in wet weather, and even though I applied lashings of Dubbin (leather treatment) to the leather it would still absorb water. The ball would become very heavy, and kicking the ball any distance was difficult. However heading a wet ball was even worse and often painful, especially when the lace part was what struck ones head. Football are much better today and much easier to inflate, modern times eh!!! But hey we were up-to-date in 1952, besides a real football, my father bought our first TV. It was a black and white nine inch screen. One channel (BBC) that came on line at 4 pm and ended at 11 pm. My brother-in-law Jackie kept the ladder handy as he often had to climb to the roof to adjust the aerial. Those were the days.
Gos Bless and keep reading.
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