This still exists?? Your moments right out of the past.

About a week ago a few of us visited friends in Canterbury, fifty or sixty miles South East of London. We went out to a village pub for lunch, driving out in two cars.

As we drove into the village, we were stopped by a closed level crossing. And as we sat and waited, Mrs Trep realised something remarkable. This level crossing was not barriered (you know, an up-and-down barrier), it was gated (a pair of real gates that swung closed like doors). Perplexed I got out to take a look - how on earth did the mechanism work to open and close the gate?

I strolled up to the lead car to chat about this oddity; and as I did, I heard a voice behind me say “I’m the mechanism” - and a woman in railway uniform emerged from a crossing keeper’s box (or whatever the correct term is) to explain that, four times an hour, every hour, she had to descend from her post and manually close the level crossing, swinging the gates shut, wait for the train to pass and then swing them open them again. And that’s exactly what she did.

Really?? I assumed these crossings all had been replaced with automated barriers in the (nineteen) sixties, but someone still has a job as a level crossing keeper (!). And this wasn’t a preserved railway – it was a main railway line.

So: your chance to report on weird anachronisms you have unexpectedly seen alive and well.


This is a thing in Maine, USA too! I recently saw a story about it on the national news. It’s not for a railroad, though, it’s for a river lock. The Barters Island Bridge. It’s slated to be replaced in “fall of 2018” but I don’t know if they finished it yet.,ss:44&prmd=sinv&prds=epd:16976025882242790636,paur:ClkAsKraXwFlBUX4rQRX4quh7lI5fpyKG4I-fqJH8EYxGswNZCl08KKu1xvGc10Mrg4vdP5b9azQv7N_rSPol82eQyShWC0KURMBPU39fgqvhaWKvW4FJRu_cxIZAFPVH70OcGFTRBgxFuCTd0yw74G71YToig,cdl:1,prmr:1,cs:1&ved=0ahUKEwj6-uiAt4ffAhVaCjQIHbqAD3AQgTYIsAQ

Mr.Wrekker brought home some weird brand of spam type canned meat with the key on it. I thought they did away with that years ago. I looked for a sell-by date thinking he bought it at some out-of-the-way Mom and Pop joint that had it on their shelves a few years. I ain’t eatin’ it.

I would love the return of pull top tabs on sodas. The joy of putting it back in the can and forgetting about it until it ends up on your mouth on the last gulp! :smack: PRICELESS!

Opened up a spot welder today to troubleshoot and the damn thing was running on vacuum tubes. Like twenty of them. I’ve worked on some old machines but never anything that ran on tubes. I’m glad it was a power loss problem or I’d have been lost.

About 10 years ago when I was living in Japan, my employer gave me tickets to travel from my small town to a bigger city. The train platform was a small concrete pad, sans building, in the middle of a corn field. When the train came, it was one car with a diesel motor. I was the only passenger for about an hour until we reached the trunk line. All I could think was ‘I am the world’s luckiest introvert.’ I would bet that line is still running but I can’t remember the name.

Hand gates like this one?

Apparently that one didn’t go (well, it’s still there actually, they just permanently closed the road) until 1997! It’s in a well-travelled inner suburb too.

On the series Stan Against Evil, the deliberately cheap-prop-looking beer cans are pull-tops.

Here is a similar one.

Or drop it on the ground. Step on it barefoot and gash your foot open. Yikes!!

Or saving them for various craft projects? Just last weekend, I was at an estate sale, and a box of strings of them linked together was available for sale. One of the people looking at it, a 20-something, didn’t know what they were.

Mallomars are only available in cool-weather months, because they melt in the heat.

In the 80s we saved the ring part and used them to jam parking meters. The statute of limitations has hopefully passed.

I recently visited a hardware store run by an elderly lady and her cat.

There was cat hair on the merchandise. LOL

Don’t see many pets at stores anymore. I remember it used to be pretty common to see a cat or dog hanging out. Sometimes it was a stray that found a warm home.

Coming home from a wedding a few years ago, I accidentally got Google Maps set to “walking” directions and we happened upon the last inland ferry in North Carolina. The explanation the ferryman gave us took longer than the trip across the river. Apparently, folks around there just really don’t want a bridge.

While Washington has good reason to have a lot of ferries in the Puget Sound area it’s surprising that there are still some river ferries in Oregon. (Plus one ferry between OR and WA.) There are 3 ferries on the Willamette which isn’t all that wide in those areas. Just put in a bridge. It’s $5 to cross at Canby! And the free I-5 bridge is 3 miles away.

I remember those days. We heard stories about people putting the tab in the can and swallowing it, but never knew of anyone actually doing it. It was always the kids in <insert name of area “known” to be populated by stupid people>.

I’m suddenly reminded of a joke about if so-and-so moved to Oklahoma it would raise the average IQ in two states at once.

OP again.

I was feeling guilty about not being able to remember the name of the village, so I tried to figure it out and check the result on google maps. It’s Chartham, just outside of Canterbury, and look at this:

The google maps image actually catches a level crossing keeper in the act!!

(Though not the one we met :().

I mean, what are the chances of* that*?


Forcing you to cruise on back home.

For some reason cats and used bookstores seem to go together so I used to see this a lot. It’s been over five years since I’ve been to a used bookstore so I’m not sure if this is still true.