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Working class vs middle class

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  • #31
    My parents had really "primary industry" occupations such as bricklayer and machinist - as I said before, I did wish that they were tertiary industry people, but I wasn't descended from Royalty, I am afraid. When it comes to fashion, school uniform are often seen by the working classes as a life-saver, and so can National Health glasses, even if it meant that one was not popular enough at playtime.
    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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    • #32
      Originally posted by beccabear67 View Post
      I just remembered, when Dad moved up in employment we did get slightly more expensive eye wear frames and regular dentistry.
      Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
      and so can National Health glasses, even if it meant that one was not popular enough at playtime.
      Did you have NHS glasses because your parents genuinely couldn't afford decent looking glasses, or because they were too stingy to buy decent looking glasses, or because they wanted something in return for the taxes that they had paid?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
        My parents had really "primary industry" occupations such as bricklayer and machinist - as I said before, I did wish that they were tertiary industry people
        Tradesmen are making tons of money these days. Plumbers and electricians are known to earn as much as 50k a year, and even plasterers can easily earn over 30k.

        On the other hand, most service sector jobs pay lousy salaries.

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        • #34
          According to The Guardian, the majority of us have identified as middle class since the year 2000.

          https://www.theguardian.com/news/dat...lass-2000-data

          I guess that is because most of the blue collar "trouble at' mill" jobs have long since gone.

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          • #35
            Unfortunately, the manual vs non-manual jobs is no longer a reliable demarcation line. As I previously stated, tradesmen are making tons of money these days despite their jobs being manual, whilst a new working class with low skilled low paid jobs has emerged in the service sector.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Arran View Post

              Did you have NHS glasses because your parents genuinely couldn't afford decent looking glasses, or because they were too stingy to buy decent looking glasses, or because they wanted something in return for the taxes that they had paid?
              I had NHS glasses because my sight was not too good (or so indeed what line of the Snellen chart that I could read back in 1981 when I accessed my medical records). My parents were not very rich for reasons that I won't go into on here - my late father used to wear them as well. I think that back in the day, NHS glasses were the norm especially in the 1970s and early 1980s - even celebrities like Ronnie Corbett, Denis Norden and Eric Sykes (who used his as an hearing aid) also had them as well. I would rather not wear glasses at all even if I could choose some designer frames as in those "made in an hour by Vision Express" type of glasses .

              Anyway, in around 1987 I switched to metal frames and since the mid 1990s I stopped wearing them altogether - mostly to be incognito to anyone that I used to go to school with that I might bump into in the street - and it worked.
              Last edited by George 1978; 2 weeks ago.
              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!

              Comment


              • #37
                If you buy a bottle of wine - and don't drink it the same day, you're middle class!

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                  I had NHS glasses because my sight was not too good (or so indeed what line of the the Snellen chart that I could read back in 1981 when I accessed my medical records). My parents were not very rich for reasons that I won't go into on here - my late father used to wear them as well. I think that back in the day, NHS glasses were the norm especially in the 1970s and early 1980s - even celebrities like Ronnie Corbett, Denis Norden and Eric Sykes (who used his as an hearing aid) also had them as well. I would rather not wear glasses at all even if I could choose some designer frames as in those "made in an hour by Vision Express" type of glasses.
                  Do you think that celebrities wearing NHS glasses increased their popularity with the British public? Was there any correlation between NHS glasses for children and social class?

                  NHS glasses ceased some time in 1986 and were replaced by a voucher for privately manufactured frames. It resulted in a near demise of frame manufacturing in Britain as almost all frames nowadays are imported.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Arran View Post

                    Do you think that celebrities wearing NHS glasses increased their popularity with the British public? Was there any correlation between NHS glasses for children and social class?

                    NHS glasses ceased some time in 1986 and were replaced by a voucher for privately manufactured frames. It resulted in a near demise of frame manufacturing in Britain as almost all frames nowadays are imported.
                    Interesting question - I think that most people simply wore glasses because they needed to - back then, for most people it wasn't a fashion accessory but the fact that their sight meant that they needed to wear them. We don't have hearing aids or walking sticks which are fashion statements, do we?

                    On the other hand, have a look at celebrities such as Christopher Biggins (who stopped wearing his by the 1990s), Timmy Mallet, Su Pollard, Dennis Taylor (fair enough, his was for his snooker), Mike "Radio 1" Read, Steve "Pyramid Game" Jones, and even soap characters like Reg Holdsworth, and all those 1980s celebrities who used to wear stylish designer frames which were a fashion statement - the same with the Yuppie stereotype of the late 1980s with executives wearing matching red braces and red glasses - compare that with Shaw Taylor, Ronnie Corbett, some Thatcher-era MPs like my own back then etc, who wore NHS glasses. Notice that they were not "adult youngsters" and were born in the 1920s and 1930s, compared to those who wore stylish frames who were born after the War. The only youngsters who wore NHS glasses were those who were seen as being unfashionable - Roland Browning from Grange Hill and Tristram out of George and Mildred for example.

                    The fact that NHS glasses ceased in around 1986 coincides more or less with when I stopped wearing them - I was the only person in my class until comprehensive school to wear them. One good thing about wearing them was that I had the odd Monday afternoon off school at my local Dolland and Aitchison's. NHS was not about fashion at the end of the day.
                    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!

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Was the popularity of NHS glasses more a result of large numbers of people wanting something in return for the taxes that they had paid as opposed to genuinely being unable to pay for them without incurring financial hardship?

                      When my mother was at secondary school back in the early 1980s a big fuss erupted about students having to buy their own safety glasses if they took chemistry for O Level. The issue was less about the cost of the safety glasses, and whether they would be unaffordable to parents, but more about having to pay for them ran counter to the principle of free education. This was despite the fact that the safety glasses were personal property of the student and they could use them outside of school.

                      She decided it was really a big fuss over nothing, and many parents who were complaining didn't have issues about buying designer school bags and coats that were just fashion statements. The fuss was one of ideology rather than affordability. It seemed like most parents didn't have any problems buying their children toys, designer clothes, and Hi-Fis, but they were loathe to spend a penny on anything educational, because they ideologically believed that the school (and ultimately the taxpayer) should pay for it. In the end, she bought some safety glasses from Payless DIY - remember them - and signed up for the chemistry O Level.

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                      • #41
                        I remember one of my friends had NHS glasses and his family were certainly comfortably well off like my parents.
                        The Trickster On The Roof

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                        • #42
                          I wore NHS glasses until I was about 14 before changing to metal frames, I think it was the amount of times I broke my glasses that held my parents back in getting me non NHS glasses. There was quite a stigma around them in secondary school and you were open to stick/leg pulling about them so no doubt I put pressure on my parents to change my glasses to non NHS.

                          As I have quite a high prescription I turned to contact lenses at 18 and have just reverted to wearing glasses most of the time in the last couple of years as my near vision for reading deteriorated.
                          The only thing to look forward to is the past

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                          • #43
                            My mother used to think that NHS glasses for children were a bit naff back in the 1970s and 80s. The limited number of styles available were not attractive and they had not been updated since the 1940s. This was interpreted as how rigid and conservative the NHS really was, and their failure to adapt to meet the needs and requirements of consumers. There was probably some novelty surrounding NHS glasses in the 1940s, but a lot of kids hated wearing them in the 1970s, and were known to snap them up or throw them in the bin. They would get another pair, courtesy of the taxpayer, and the cycle would often repeat. NHS glasses for children probably weren't very good value for money in the 1970s and 80s, and the Thatcher government did the right thing replacing them with a voucher even if it was a case of privatising the NHS via the back door.

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                            • #44
                              Are free school meals a sign of being working class or a sign of being poor?

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Cartimand View Post
                                If you buy a bottle of wine - and don't drink it the same day, you're middle class!
                                It took me three weeks to finish a bottle of sherry - I must be upper-middle class.
                                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!

                                Comment

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