The Last Overlapping Generations Of The 20th Century

August 23, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Roger Mayne



Hazel Speed

Having listened to a broadcast discussion about pensioners of today being the first in history not to have worked until they dropped, but are now enjoying the fruits of their labours while most probably still going to live for another 20-30 years, I was intrigued to digest more of the conversation.

There are modern phrases for each era from the austerity of the 1950s and trust me, they were, through to the ‘sandwich generation’ people in their 40s and 50s still Bank of Mum and Dad to their children whilst also caring for elderly Parents, who either live with them, near them, or who are in a care home.

I was born in 1950 so remember the austere decade but it was almost worth it for the great fun times of the 1960s when colour, fun, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and all the great groups entered our lives. The latter part of the 1960s I lived in Toronto which was a great time too.

The values of the 50s set us up for life with etiquette when playing with friends “now don’t forget before you take your sweets out of your pocket, count the number of friends with you first and if you do not think you have enough sweets to go round then you go without and leave them in your pocket.” Imagine the reply one would receive to that in this day and age. I can guess the first word in response.

I remember we went to a ‘posh’ neighbour in the same or adjacent street, together with many others, so we could watch Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation live, albeit the tv was only broadcasting in black and white. Like all our friends, it was years before we could afford our own television or car.

The point is that I recall hearing stories of generations who lived years before and stories of the First and Second World Wars often by those who survived.

One person told me of serving refreshments on the troop trains. I had known this lady for years before she mentioned this in passing.

I heard of stories of the evacuation of children from London during the years the air raids on the City were bad.

Others spoke of Polish refugees and Polish fighters or pilots as well as those from other countries.

Ironically, they used to say the Scottish language was the easiest dialect to assist them in learning good English. It is said the Inverness accent is indeed a prime example.

When my generation has all died off there will no longer be the Overlapping generations from the 1950s or before.

It is, in my view, most important therefore that the now older generations, children of the 1940s/50s or those from even earlier decades, pass details of what they experienced in their lives and edify the next generations of all the important histories, values, etc., as the youth of today may have Google and such forever, but the same cannot be said of their Grand-Parents, Parents, and other relatives.

We are indeed the last of the overlapping generations and although each generation should advance from the previous one, I have yet to meet anyone from my generation, the last of The Overlapping Generation who doesn’t wish it was the 1960s still and also, none of us can explain why or the magic those years possessed. Some things just have to be lived through, good or bad, then words are not necessary.

New generations have so much to look forward to, advances in medicine, technology and lots more but that all belongs to them, each thing has its time and purpose.

First there was the era of The Roaring Twenties (1920s), the Flappers who danced The Charleston, then The Swinging Sixties, so a new era and title for that must be born soon for those to whom it belongs.

Make the most of it as you will only have it once!

Not to brag, though, it was my generation who won The World Cup in 1966!  Beat that (grin).








Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing states of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short:

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