May I be so indulgent,as to ask what it was like for you guys, growing up where you come from?. I grew up in a town that had nothing going for it, since I moved away, there has been a Multi-Million Dollar dairy products factory built at Clandeboye, just north of where I come from. I come from a Engineering background, my GrandFather was a Black-Smith, and my Father is a Qualified Engineer in Boilers and Fitting/Welding. I remember the abuse that I was subjected to, when I told my Father I did not want to be an Engineer, but a FireFighter(Get a real job, boy!) He was some what pacified, when I came out of my time as a Line Mechanic, but the hate is still there. What is your story?
I was born in North London, but moved out to Luton, about 30 miles north, when I was 5. That was in 1971, and I think at that time the town had a population of around 100,000.
The area in which we lived was quite reasonable, and I think that in many ways I was probably lucky to be growing up at the very end of the "decent" era. People of my parents generation would certainly say that things were going downhill then, but nothing compared to what was to follow.
By 1980, however, my family decided they'd had enough of the place. Over the years it had deteriorated rapidly, the congestion was getting terrible, and crime was on the increase. One of the final straws was when a 4-year-old girl was murdered in the church yard opposite, and the killer turned out to be a 12-year-old boy.
We packed up and moved to a small village in Cornwall (far southwest of England) where I finished my schooling and went to work. I lived there until 1986.
Since then, I've lived only in small towns and rural areas (Lincolnshire, Nebraska, Norfolk). Nothing would induce me to go back to living in a big city or even an average sized town. The last time I visisted Luton the place had changed so much I barely recognized it. Areas that when I lived there were quite pleasant neighborhoods now look run-down and threatening in places.
I kind of envy people who have always lived in the same place, are happy there, and feel that that is the place they call home. One thing is certain: The places in which I spent my childhood could never feel like home again.
I agree with Sparky....
Cue song: "Down In the Boondocks...."
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 04-06-2003).]
Re: How was it for you?#136516 04/06/0306:40 AM04/06/0306:40 AM
I grew up in a serene neighbourhood in Vienna, suburban, but only 15 minutes by tram from downtown. Lots of green, many small old houses. My dad is a psychotherapist, but he studied chemistry and is very interested in technical things, so he always taught me things. I got interested in electricity at the age of three (!), and since then he taught me how to do things safely and nice. When i was six I had my first encounter with fixed wiring after having played with cords for years, I relocated a light switch. Since then I have rewired several rooms including an entire apartment and i still love doing electrical work. Now I'm close to my final exams of our equivalent to high school and think of studying electrical engineering. I really love Vienna, it has changed much but it still is a beautiful city to live in.
Re: How was it for you?#136517 04/06/0311:41 AM04/06/0311:41 AM
As a child, living in "less than nice" buildings with substandard wiring helped me develop a healthy respect for electricty and interest in building wiring and also other areas of domestic preservation (keeping the joint from collapsing around you).
I confess that my mom was frequently forced to resort to makeshift and jury-rigged wiring, such as #16 zip cord stapled to walls with bakelite surface-mount receptacles and tumbler switches screwed into the walls for rooms with no electrical servic.
We even ran wires into the hall and hung lampholders scavenged from useless wall sconces from them in order to light up stairs that had no lights - the landlord had cut out the lights to the hallway!
Sure it was unsafe and definitely against code but it taught me the basics of wiring up simple and basic devices. Thank god we never had a fire or other disaster - it was a wooden building with tar-paper siding.
We even learned how to restart an old gas boiler after an NYC Housing Department inspector showed us (the only remaining tenant in this three-family building) how to do it.
She saw the condition of the place, the lack of heat and hot water and taught us how to restart the boiler (turn this valve, throw this switch and wait till the water in this glass tube rises to this level - put two fingers on the tube so you know what the level is) after the landlord would sneak in in the early mornings and shut the beast off.
There was no electricity in that basement - it had been cut ages ago. We'd have to go down there with a candle sometimes...
My grandmother was happy when we moved into a relatively modern (1950s) housing project apartment (council flat) - she and my mom had gone to see the apartment that was assigned to us.
We would finally have steam heat, lots of hot water and A LIFT!!!!
Gran even added that this was going to bring end to my little electric cook-ups and wires hanging all over the place, especially since the walls were concrete instead of wood!
Re: How was it for you?#136520 04/09/0303:39 AM04/09/0303:39 AM
SvenNYC, Now THAT is a rough upbringing!. How on earth did you get by?. Still, it goes to show what can be done with a little imagination and you've had a really good grounding in the basics of Electricity, borne out of necessity. Thanks for that story, mate!.
Re: How was it for you?#136521 04/09/0309:55 AM04/09/0309:55 AM
Are you kidding??? as a child I never saw it as rough. In fact, it was fun for me.
Rough is when you don't have clothes on your back and no food in your guts and no roof over your head - and those are three things I plenty of. We just had to make sure not to let that roof collapse on us.
And living in buildings like that are the probably the same problems that any newly arrived immigrant to any country has to face.
In fact I think I had lots of fun back then ... because my mom was plumber, carpenter, electrician, painter all rolled into one and she always let me help and would teach me how to work with tools and there were frequent trips to the hardware stores to pick this or that.
Hardware and fix-it shops with their piles of junk were probably the most facinating places for me.
I can still remember her struggling with the leaky faucets in the bathroom sink replacing washers and stuff and periodic trips to the basement to start that boiler and one night down there when she ran across a stack of warped Linoleum floor tiles and the can of that black tar to glue them down. We chiseled out and replaced all the cracked tiles in the kitchen. She straighened out all the warped tiles using low heat in the gas oven.
We laugh about it every time we talk about that stuff.
I just wish my younger brother would have the same type of enthusiasm for mechanical type things....
Re: How was it for you?#136522 05/05/0305:56 AM05/05/0305:56 AM
well i got emigrated to new zealand aged 4,grew up there in various places ,parents were teachers so i moved round a lot,did my first apprenticeship there (fitter and turner) left to see the world,suvived being a commercial diver ,went to aystralia via south africa and israel, did mt electrical apprenticeship, also did mt security (alarm systems) and austel licences,now run my own co mostly installing comms systems,mobile infrastructure ,large scale intercom systems etc