Memories From Another Time

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Time waits for no man and it finally caught up with me. During the last two weeks I’ve been cleaning the basement out. It’s needed it for a while and I finally succumbed and did what was required of me.

Last week while digging through my boxes to see what I could throw out I came across various things I decided were no longer worth keeping. After all, if they’d been sitting in the basement for the seven years while I’ve lived at my current apartment, and maybe during the years I lived at my previous apartments, do I really need them?

Some things I kept because they will have a future use and some other things I kept because I have a strong sentimental attachment to them. One such item was my Crystal Palace mirror.

The Crystal Palace mirror. This isn’t my mirror but the one I have is identical.

The mirror has been in my possession since at least 1981, probably a year or two before that. It is a beautiful item which is totally unfit for purpose because it is neigh on impossible to use it as an actual mirror!

Then I found another framed Crystal Palace badge. It is about half the width of the mirror but just as tall. It is a a silver badge on a black background. I have no idea how I got it but it is from the early eighties.

I would never part with either of these items even though I don’t have the space to have them up in my apartment. Once day in the future I will have them up again but they are very much of a time, a time that taste forgot.

This week I was going through bags of clothes. Over the years I have increased in size and I have kept all the clothes in the hope that I would one day be able to fit in them again. I guess I have come to the conclusion that isn’t going to happen.

Roughly ten years ago I disposed of all the medium sized clothes that I had and when I moved in this place the large size were removed. Today wasn’t so much about getting rid of the next size up, extra large, but going through them to see what I could get rid of.

For example, there is little or no use keeping hold of plain t-shirts I bought from Burton but there are plenty of reasons to keep hold of my football shirts.

It’s easy to just dump things in the basement and forget about them then discover you have 12 black sacks of clothes you’ll no longer wear even if you could! However, I did uncover some clothes that took me back down memory lane. Here’s a few of them.

The Shell Top

This has to be one of the most iconic track suit tops of any Palace generation. It is very much of it’s time and I have worn the hell out of it but I’ll never give it away. It’s a treasured item.

The 1989-90 Away Top

I’m not 100% sure if this is correct or not but the last time we wore this top was at Anfield in the 9-0 defeat. It’s certainly the last time I wore it because apart from giving me nightmares I also outgrew it about a year later.

The FA Cup Final Replay Shirt

Apart from the result this shirt is very precious to me and is one of out best tops. You can see how much I’ve worn it by the fact that the red felt on the sponsor has worn away.

For me the quality of the shirt is second to none in that the badge is embroidered into the material and it is the real badge not the terrible version we had on the away top (see above).

Skit Hats

A strange late 80s fad was the ski hat, even when the weather was quite favourable! I had a couple, the remaining two are pictured here. I even had one which I unpicked the stitching in the top part and used it as a neck warmer!

Club Tie and Badge

Back in the day we were issued with a club tie, which was also available to buy from the club shop, and a badge to put on a blazer. Naturally youth players were not issued with a blazer, it cost too much money!

I found a variety of other shirts too along with a couple of tops I wore in games I played for various teams.

What I discovered is that throwing away (or giving them to the charity shop) isn’t so much about accepting that I would not have a use for or be consider that I’d be able to fit into the clothes again. It was more about getting rid of something that had memories attached to it.

For example, I had a Sony MiniDisc recorder. It wasn’t a portable version but the kind that fits in to a Hi-Fi system. I have no need for it, I’ll never use it again but I remember the days when having a decent Hi-Fi was important to me. I was really into my music but today it is all MP3. Instead of a Hi-Fi I just have an amp hooked up to a computer.

I feel like I have lost a part of myself in acknowledging I’ll never have that again.

It’s tough and though my generation and those after us will have more possessions today than any other before we are also losing more of our way of life than any other. Until last week I still have my old video tapes in the basement. My old Palace games, the whole day’s Grandstand from cup final day in 1990.

Things I’ll never see again. I don’t think it is so much about getting old as it is about losing things I had, be it Palace videos or a Hi-Fi with a graphic equaliser and a spectrum analyser.

Times change. It’s about time I accept it.

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