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Thinking back 60 years
2:30pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Letters
IT appears that this year coincides with events that began over 60 years ago.
At the end of the War, thousands of servicemen and women wanted their jobs back.
To ensure that there was not a run on these jobs by younger people, the powers in charge decided to employ them in a military capacity, and they called it National Service.
Lasting two years, many of the lads were enrolled in local regiments. Over a 100,000 served in the Korean War and 70,000 in Malaya. My wage was £1.45 per week.
Furthermore, on being demobbed my employer did not have to give me back my job. I was unemployed and this situation applied to quite a number of National Service men. I had been apprenticed as a shop fitter/joiner, so it was a shock to find myself looking for a position.
I eventually found employment with the Co-op, received an hourly rate of 20p per hour, or £9.90 per week. You certainly had to watch what you spent your money on.
I am intrigued by the increase in families going to food banks. There must be a large number of the older generation who confronted the prospect of rationing during the War and had to survive on limited quantities of food. Bread rationing was introduced and families were issued with bread unit coupons.
The 65th anniversary of the NHS was a milestone in its progress.
It gave people a realistic opportunity to have hospital treatment at source, instead of relying on the old Hospital Fund for treatment.
The recent deluge of people going to A&E departments was brought about by Labour ministers, who besides allowing doctors to opt out of ‘out-of-hours’ visiting, also increased their salaries.
JOHN OLIVER Hartford
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