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The kid must be poor or weird because they don't have a phone or a bike

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  • The kid must be poor or weird because they don't have a phone or a bike

    A bit of a strange question…

    They say that kids are spoilt and have everything these days!

    In approximately what year was a primary school age kid considered poor (or weird) if they didn't have the following at home:

    1. A landline telephone.

    2. A colour TV.

    3. A video recorder.

    4. A bike.

    5. A game console.

    I assume it was quite normal for a kid in 1970 to have none of these. 3 and 5 didn't exist and 2 was very new and expensive. If a kid didn't have all five at home in 1999 then they would be considered poor or weird, so the year where they were expected to have these products was somewhere in this 30 year period.

  • #2
    I don't remember ever knowing anyone without a landline in their home, but their own seperate from their parents? Never... though I'm sure in some more affluent areas kids had them. I still don't have/refuse to have a cel phone etc. and am considered extremely eccentric for it. But yes, I'm sure kids whine and whinge about needing the latest device regardless of the cost. We had certain brands of clothing and shoes at one school I went to in the early '80s that were considered cheap or for losers. After a year and a half I went to the poor school in the bad area with the nursery in the basement, and they didn't have that there.

    There were in the '70s/early '80s kids with bikes and kids without. I was a without. I always walked to my schools. I briefly had one but didn't take to it (I had ear-balance issues though). Sadly there seemed a to be a kid killed on their bike every third year or so. Now it seems almost all kids get driven to schools if there isn't a bus involved.

    I think I lived in the time before most of those other things listed were common; we only had a B&W television up to 1977 I think, so maybe by 1978 is was the norm?
    My virtual jigsaws: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/beccabear67/Original-photo-puzzles

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    • #3
      There was some difficulty with getting a phone line set up for us (no idea why, we were on a housing estate), so we had to have a 'party line' with the neighbours, essentially the same as having an 2 separate extensions on the same line. That was sometime in the mid 70s I guess. Before that we didn't have one at all.

      Back then it was the norm to rent the phone instead of owning it. Bizarre now when you think about it.

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      • #4
        The line rental was cheaper with a party line, my Dad's parents had one when they got a phone in the early 1960s.
        The Trickster On The Roof

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        • #5
          There were kids that didn't have a game console at my primary school but almost every kid had the other four items at home. I didn't encounter any kids that had their own landline with a different number from their parents although a few had an extension phone in their room. Some kids had their own TV in their room (often for a game console) and a few even had DVD players.

          It was quite normal for kids not to have a computer at home.

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          • #6
            Personally i had none of the above, i was happy with my johnny seven, bow and arrow, and my marbles
            Ejector seat?...your jokin!

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            • #7
              I have been informed that it was 1983 for a colour TV, 1985 for a bike, and 1989 for a video recorder. After 1990 it was generally assumed that every primary school age kid had a bike and at least one colour TV at home, and they would now be considered weird by their classmates rather than poor if they didn't have one.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by catflap View Post
                There was some difficulty with getting a phone line set up for us (no idea why, we were on a housing estate), so we had to have a 'party line' with the neighbours, essentially the same as having an 2 separate extensions on the same line. That was sometime in the mid 70s I guess. Before that we didn't have one at all.

                Back then it was the norm to rent the phone instead of owning it. Bizarre now when you think about it.
                We rented a phone into the late '80s or early '90s. Just did not know any better and didn't think of buying one. It was when my brother had a home business as a mobile DJ that we had to rent a phone with a second line. It would ring and whoever was home would press the button for that line and take bookings and info down, I even got into talking people through certain details such as for wedding receptions, things they might want the DJ, my brother, to announce and special request songs to make sure we had them in stock (one wanted a Dr. Hook song on an LP we didn't have and I had to get to town and find a copy within a few days).

                It was after we no longer needed the second line phone anymore that we learned we could buy and not rent the phone (and even add on extensions to other parts of the house and I got a cheap 'banana' phone in my room (but learned to turn the ringer on it off).

                As for video recorder... I'm thinking 1986 we got a cheap but naff one that didn't last long; seemed to depend on a rubber band which became warped! Then we got a decent Sony one in 1989, so in a way that fits.
                Last edited by beccabear67; 11-02-2021, 02:38.
                My virtual jigsaws: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/beccabear67/Original-photo-puzzles

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                • #9
                  My family didn't have a telephone or a VCR before 1989, but that was only because my parents came from an old-fashioned upbringing - not much to do with being poor.
                  I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                  There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                  I'm having so much fun
                  My lucky number's one
                  Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

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                  • #10
                    My parents waited until late 1987 to get a video, even after the format wars had died down & prices were more affordable.
                    The Trickster On The Roof

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                    • #11
                      I have wondered if south Asian families were early adopters of video recorders in order to watch videos of their cultural programmes. By about 1983ish every town with a south Asian community had its own video shop and they lasted well into the 1990s.

                      South Asian parents were also more likely to record BBC and ITV schools programmes to watch at home than white British families were. Some of them even took the video tapes over to the Subcontinent.

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                      • #12
                        My Dad remembers there were a few Bollywood cinemas in the Manchester area into the 1980s, but closed soon after Asians in the area started to buy them on videotape.
                        The Trickster On The Roof

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                        • #13
                          Slight mistake in #5. There was a lot of (mostly Pakistani) Asian kids at my primary school. The boys all seemed to have bikes - certainly by Y3/Y4 - but some of the girls didn't have a bike if they didn't have an older brother.

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                          • #14
                            Oh yeah, I remember seeing Asian video rental shops in the early '80s! I guess now they can get specialty channels instead. I remember at video rental services you could rent video players by the day or rent toward own (hire-purchase). Before we owned a machine ourselves we did get a player with whatever the tapes were we were getting. oddly enough the best deal was out of a corner shop, not the specialist video store, although they would've had more selection in movies. I think in early '80s Coronation Street The Kabin shop was shown doing the same sort of side business.
                            My virtual jigsaws: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/beccabear67/Original-photo-puzzles

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                            • #15
                              I remember a few odd shops renting video tapes in the 1980s when buying them outright was expensive.
                              The Trickster On The Roof

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