Here today – gone tomorrow! Anyone who delves into the past knows just how true these words are.
We’ve all wandered down a street somewhere and suddenly had the feeling that there’s something different about the place.
And then we realise that something – a shop, a building or whatever – has vanished.
And what really makes it worse is that sometimes we can’t quite remember just what was there before.
It’s the same when you flick through any old publication and your eye lights on a report or an image of something that is no more – often something you’d long forgotten about.
Just take a page or two of an old Times & Star – and it doesn’t have to be that old.
A 1975 issue carried adverts for The Rendezvous, Trader Bill’s Bar and The Bierkeller – and the entertainers booked at the Rendezvous – were booked for the whole week.
The week beginning October 20 featured The Fourmost, billed as “one of Britain’s top harmony groups.”
The support act was The Bee Stings, billed as “three lovely girl vocalists.”
I often wonder what became of them and all the other supporting acts which toured the clubs at that time.
This was a time when clubs were springing up all over the country, a great many of which have long since closed down.
Then there was The Slypt Disc.
This made special provision once a week for the under-12s, on Tuesdays at 6pm.
Were you ever one of this club’s youthful patrons?
When I came to Workington in the late 1960s, I seem to remember that the town had three – or was it four? – cinemas.
Only one problem, I can’t remember what they were all called.
But I remember being amazed that a town the size of Workington had so many cinemas and two theatres.
Did you attend Newlands – or Salterbeck School?
I wonder just how long it will be before any memory of either of these has faded into obscurity.
Older readers might remember Saturday night dances at the Albert Hall, Workington, which also held roller skating sessions in the late 1940s and 1950s.
So when did these roller skating sessions end?
I have only mentioned a very few Workington-based organisations and buildings which have ceased to exist.
I feel sure that you will be able to remember a lot more about the buildings which used to exist in your own town or village.
Memories are important and they deserve recording.
You will have noted that, from time to time, I ask you if you can supply me with various items of information.
Once printed, they become part of history. Memories fade but print is permanent.
Even more permanent than print is china, which is why Workington Corporation decided to celebrate the visit to the town in 1927 of Edward, Prince of Wales, by issuing commemorative china mugs to the children of the town.
Prince Edward was here to formally open the Prince of Wales Dock.
According to a report in the West Cumberland Times, a souvenir programme of the day’s proceedings was to be published.
The mayor of the town, Alderman T Baines, proposed presenting souvenir mugs to the children of Workington.
The estimated cost of buying these mugs was, reportedly, £125. The mayor made an appeal for members of the public to contribute to this cost.
The paper reported, some three weeks before the event, that his appeal had “been generously responded to.”
Half of that sum had already been given – and “one gentleman alone gave £20.”
In 1927, this was not an inconsiderable amount of money!
The mayor had also “hoped that sufficient money would be forthcoming to provide the town’s 5,000 schoolchildren with a tea.”
If these figures were correct and each child was given a commemorative mug, that’s a lot of mugs!
I know it’s a long time ago, but some of these mugs must have survived.
So have you got one perched on a shelf somewhere in your house?
It should have on one side, a portrait of the prince, and on the reverse, the date of his visit, which was June 30, 1927.
Being an offcomer, I have never clapped eyes on one of these mugs – but I feel sure they must exist in abundance – somewhere!
Also, I have never seen a copy of the souvenir programme.
Again, somebody must have one stashed away somewhere!