Raised On "The Borrowers" and "Stig of the Dump"

I grew up in the 1960's, in Sarf East London, and whilst not in poverty, my parents both in work as public servants, had limited funds, and therefore very little was wasted. My dad was keen on old cars and bikes, and we heated throughout the winter, our garage and workshop, by burning scap wood and rubbish. He made useful things out of scrap metal and wood offcuts. He also had several sacks hanigng up in the workshop and would sort out all the non ferrous metals for recycling. When a sack of brass, copper, lead or aluminium, was full, it was cashed in and we all had a share of the profit.  By the time I was eight, it was my task on a Sturday (for which I received One Shilling, about 5pence or 5 cents) to take my go-cart to the nearby wood yard and fill it with offcuts, then when that was unloaded, do a similar run to the engineering works about half a mile away, and rummage through their scrap bins (with their permission, as dad often mended their cars or motorbikes and pedal cycles) Thus I grew up indoctrinated in not wasting materials and therefore resources or as we called it then money!  Furthermore Both parents trained me in ergonomics, and the simple expedient of taking back downstairs ,any tool or remnant material no longer required when another item was collected. I can still hear the old mans voice saying " never take a wasted journey or go with an empty hand, lest you end up with an empty pocket" Reinforcing these valuable lessons was good wholesome reading material such as 'The Borrowers'  and 'Stig of the Dump' wherein things were reused and adapted when no longer fit or serving their original purpose.

Cherpee Cherpee
51-55, M
2 Responses Feb 20, 2009

I still cut and save the cord and plug when having to discard a defunct electrical appliance. Saved the nice wood case from mom's old radio, too, and maybe someday will find a use for it ;-) <br />
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I went with my mom back to England when the war ended (1946) and was aware of the shortages. Maybe more so by reading the letters that Mom sent back to Dad in the states asking him to send things like a raincoat for her friend. I have a real time throwing ANYthing away that a little imagine might find of some use .<br />
Repair something? Arrrgh! I learned a hard lesson when I paid over $20 to have a coffee maker repaired. and that was 25 years ago! But still, I'll do almost anything to keep stuff out of a landfill. <br />
Oh, and I remember when a shilling was worth twelve pence, and a sixpence was closer to a nickel -- 5 cents.

I was green since a child , i was often accussed of being a horder , never parting with anything that may be of use , i used to ***** electronic items & store the reusable components , many a repair was exacted from my stock , i had a massive collection of valves , nieghbours , & friends used to bring me stuff or call if they required something , most items had quite basic faults , a dry joint , loose connection , or a blown resistor , it was not about being green , but just common sense why throw something away when it can be used ? much that is manufactured today is delibrately made so it cannot easily be repaired & have a limited life span , made in third world countries for virtually slave labour , so will cost less to replace than repair .

I remember "The Borrowers!" It's a good way to be. "Waste not, want not" was what my mom always said.