posted on Jun, 30 2017 @ 09:18 PM
a reply to: stormcell
The smoking thing was outrageous, even by the standards of the day. My lower school (for US readers, education between the ages of 5 and 9) was
opposite a village post office, and they still sold individual cigarettes, a practice that seems to have died out in the 1960s everywhere else. This
only encouraged naughty children to try to slip out of school grounds during 'playtime', buy a cigarette, and smoke it rebelliously.
I have no recollection of the above feat ever being pulled off by any of my schoolmates, but it was a regular source of planning and plotting. The
rest of the time, we made do with pretending to smoke paper drinking straws (or occasionally buying
Well into the 1980s, our local Debenhams department store (a chain which was then considered quite upmarket, and vaguely foreign in some mysterious
way) was a smoking-friendly establishment. The only place you weren't allowed to smoke was the customer service elevator - there were those tall and
elegant ashtrays-on-a-steel-pedestal, one on either side of the lift's doors, on each level, so you could politely stub your smoke before entering.
The open-plan office I was working in until 1997 was a smoking-friendly one, and so were most cinemas. We knew the tide was turning, though, in the
mid-1980s when smoking was gradually restricted to the seats at the back of the auditorium. so punters didn't have to watch their movies filtered
through unexpected plumes of smoke drifting up into the darkness.
This verse from The Beatles' "A Day in the Life" -
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.
- must be nearly nonsensical to anyone under the age of 30, because it seems to jump-cut from catching a bus to being back home again, since there is
nowhere else you could go upstairs for a smoke.