Now and Then Magazine

An Independant regional magazine that is circulated into 78,000 selected homes

Latest Edition: February 2019

Included in this magazine...

- The mountain of shame

- A costly decision

- Welcome home Teesside Airport

- Were the Aussies conned?

- Academia

- Digest

Browse the Magazine

Peter Cook

the editor

These days, having reached a certain age, I find myself in quieter moments enjoying a little nostalgia, and taking pleasure in recalling past happy memories. I am now finding that the past always appears to be more rosy than the future.
I recall once seeing graffiti on a gents’ toilet that read: ‘nostalgia is not what it was, but it will be one day.’ How true.
The problem with nostalgia, however, is that it tends to concentrate on just the happy times, bad memories are conveniently ignored. Yet looking backwards is important if we are to learn lessons for the future.
If the Now&Then post box is any guide, it does seem that many readers share this desire to enter our tardis and travel back into the past rather than contemplate the uncertainity of the future.
I put it down to our increasing sense of inadequacy. We find ourselves being propelled forward at a frightening speed into a world we find difficult to comprehend. Modern technology mystifies us. We shake our heads watching robots building a motor car in minutes, while another is taking out our appendices in an operating theatre.
We struggle to keep up with modern communication. Where once we relied on a red telephone box to make a call, we are now expected to carry a mobile phone, the workings of which we don’t have a clue. We find we do not have any banks to cash our cheques anymore and instead we are guided to on-line banking with all its attendant terrors. We can now all have the choice of changing our sex even if some of us mistakenly think gender fluid is some sort of engine oil. Where will it all end, we ask, and no one can give us an answer. So as an antidote, we prefer our thoughts to wander back to an era that we did comprehend.
But another problem with nostalgia is that it serves as a dampener on change, and we know deep down that change is inevitable; nothing stands still forever.
I found myself talking to a 70-year-old the other day, who was berating Middlesbrough Council for ruining the town. When I asked him to explain, he cited the town centre where he could recall Linthorpe and Newport roads lined with a wide choice of individual shops and all the offices in Albert road.
All had been replaced with fast-food outlets and charity shops. For those who grew up during that era, therein lies the dilemma. They agree with much of that man’s sentiments, but they now see that the internet has succeeded in closing hundreds, if not thousands, of these small businesses and they know the internet is not going away.
Now I am not saying that all is well with the town we remember back in our childhood. That man I spoke to however, now lived in a relatively new house, drove a car, and lived in a pollution-free atmosphere; he had cured his leg pain by having a new hip replacement, thanks to the advances in medical science. So perhaps we should keep nostalgia in perspective. We all can recall and enjoy those happy memories of bygone years, but let’s not forget that one day in the future someone will look back on our problems today with great affection.

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Peter Cook – Editor-in-Chief