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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:-   10 July 2006

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THEflower power’ generation who grew up in the 60s are 3 times more likely to exaggerate and lie about their youthful experiences than their younger counterparts who grew up in the 70s or 80s according to a new study released this week.  The survey of 3,000 adults was specially commissioned by UKTV History to celebrate their forthcoming series, ‘The Beatles Decade’, which explores the social changes that took place during the 60s. The research uncovers the hitherto unexplored phenomenon of ‘generational gazumping’ - the practice of exaggerating your experiences in the decade of your youth to gain kudos with family and younger generations.

Comparing the experiences of those growing up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, the survey revealed 34% of respondents growing up in the 60s conceded that at one time or another that they have embroidered their past in order to gain the respect of their friends and family. A quarter of these respondents claimed that they were flexible with the truth in order to appear ‘cool’ to their children. Yet only 15% of those growing up in the 70s and a mere 5% of those growing up in the 80s admit to lying about their past.

The findings reveal that those growing up in the 60’s were most likely to exaggerate their ‘beat generation’ credentials, with a quarter of those questioned claiming that they were a part of or had associations with the hippy movement when in reality a mere 6% could really lay claim to this being true.  1 in 5 who grew up in the 60s admitted lying about the drugs they had taken. A whopping 22% of those questioned admitted that they had used the line ‘I was too stoned to remember the 60s’ whereas in reality a mere 8% had tried cannabis and 1% had tried acid.

Claiming to have attended rock festivals and seen popular bands such as The Beatles live was also popular tall tale for the 60s generation with 9% claiming to have been at famous concerts when in reality they actually saw the footage on TV.  11% of the 60s respondents claimed that they knew people who had attended a ‘love-in’, and 9% claimed that they had been invited to one. But in actual fact these were fabrications, with just 4% knowing someone and 1% actually invited to attend a ‘love-in’. Claims to have met famous people from the 60s decade were also revealed to be lies, 12% of those questioned had ‘made up’ an encounter with someone famous to impress their friends!

Astonishingly, 48 respondents from the 60s admitted to claiming to have been at the momentous final in 1966 when England won the World Cup. However, as this represents almost 370,000 people, equivalent to 4 times the capacity crowd at Wembley Stadium, it suggests that many of those who claim to have been there are actually fibbing! The majority of respondents (75%) were more truthful, claiming to have watched the1966 final on TV.

For the 70s children of the revolution, the overwhelming reason for lying about their past experiences was ill-advised fashion decisions, associations with famous people and a misguided love of indulgent Prog Rock. It seems the 80s were also worth keeping quiet about with many generation X respondents now ashamed of their political stance, shoulder pads and their ‘uncool’ fixation with the royal family.

Professor Sheila Whiteley, an expert in pop culture from Salford University, comments:- “It is certainly common for people to look back on their younger, rock and roll days through rose-tinted glasses, in reality however the experience of growing up in the sixties for many people would seem to be more akin to Cliff Richard than Keith Richards! Conversely, those who grew up in the 70s and 80s prefer to tone down their youthful antics, probably due to embarrassment at their fashion faux pas’, political leanings and taste in music.”

60s storytellers’ top lies:-

1. Was a hippy – 27%

2. Experimenting with soft drugs – 20%

3. Meeting someone famous from the Beat generation – 12%

4. Knowing someone who took part in a love-in – 11%

5. Seeing the Beatles live – 9%

Top 70s tall tales:-

1. Regularly in the disco – 33%

2. Wore platform shoes – 17%

3. Hated Prog Rock 11%

4. Meeting someone famous – 11%

5. Avoided orange or brown interior furnishings 9%

Top 80s embellishments:-

1. Didn’t watch Charles and Diana’s wedding on TV – 35%

2. Didn’t wear shoulder pads – 29%

3. Didn’t vote Tory – 15%

4. Owned a computer – 11%

5. Attended Live Aid – 2%

‘The Beatles Decade’
premieres on Monday 10 July on UKTV History at 9pm and runs all week.

Compulsory redundancies

INA SERIES of face-to-face briefings with staff the Trusts Chief Executive, Jonathan Parry, has announced that regrettably there will be a number of compulsory redundancies. 

Earlier this year the Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust announced that as part of its financial recovery plan it would need to shed posts. A vigorous vacancy freeze that had been ongoing for some time was stepped up and staff were also offered the opportunity of applying for voluntary early retirement or voluntary redundancy. These initiatives are ongoing and between them they have already helped us to save £750k.

However this level of savings is still not sufficient to ensure that the Trust delivers its recovery plan and balances its books and as a consequence we will now be making 33 posts compulsory redundant. It is estimated that a further 50 posts will need to be identified for compulsory redundancy over the coming months to achieve our overall total of £2.5 million on staff savings.

With the exception of ward based nursing staff, staff at all levels within the Trust have been considered and the list affects a range of jobs and grades. Those staff who have been identified as at risk will now be seen by their managers over the next few days to have the selection process explained to them.

Jonathan Parry said:- "This is not something that the Trust is proud of and we will continue to do all that we can to limit the number of staff affected. The vacancy freeze will continue to be strictly imposed and I would encourage anyone who may wish to leave voluntarily to contact us to discuss whether this is possible. The Trust has a £14 million recovery plan to deliver over a 2-year period. Given that some 70% of the Trust's running costs go on paying our staff it is inevitable that some of our plans will affect staff. The Trade Unions have been fully consulted at every stage of the process and they will be available to support their members through this difficult period. This is a sad day for the Trust and we very much regret having to do this but it is essential that we take whatever action we must to achieve financial balance"


A POEM about someone or something in your home town could win you £1,000.00 in a poetry competition.  All you have to do is write a poem about someone you know or someone famous from your home town, or even write a poem about your home town. £1,000 goes to the winner of the competition which closes at the end of this year.

The competition is open to poets of all ages and is designed to encourage new poets to get more involved in writing poetry.

“Poetry is one of the most accessible art forms and more people should be writing poems. You can write a poem on the back of your shopping list when you are sitting on the bus. Poetry is that easy to do and so many new poets are unearthed by competitions like this,” said Peter Quinn, Managing Director of United Press which is running the competition.

You can send up to 3 entries for the competition. They must all have a maximum of 160 words and 20 lines each. You can find out more about last year’s winner by visiting the website and also find out more about this competition.

Send your entries (with a LOOSE stamp if you want to be sure of a reply after the competition has closed) to United Press, Admail 3735, London, EC1B 1JB.

Last year’s winner was a poem all about his home town – Billinge – Lancashire – by new poet Owen Lowery who has since been featured in the media and has given poetry readings. Owen has also been selected by United Press to be an assistant editor on its webzine, Voice.

Transport Boost for Cheshire & Warrington

A NEW transport schemes in Cheshire and Warrington were given a boost on 6 July 2006, following the announcement of the Government’s broad acceptance of the region’s advice on transport priorities, which CWEA and its partners provided significant input into.

Cheshire & Warrington Economic Alliance, the partnership tasked with improving the economic development of the area, welcomed the announcement. Chief Executive, Martin Lee says:- “The schemes put forward for funding will have a tremendous impact on businesses and residents in the area. For instance the Alderley Edge bypass will benefit many companies, including AstraZeneca, one of our most successful businesses, by improving links to Manchester Airport and access for its workforce. This is also great news for residents who have endured serious traffic congestion.”

Other schemes in Cheshire and Warrington put forward for approval are:-

• The South East Manchester Relief Road which will improve links from East Cheshire to Manchester.

• The Crewe Green Link Road which will improve connections from the motorway and the strategic development site at Basford with Crewe Town Centre.

• Crewe Rail Gateway which will regenerate the railway and surrounding area of the town.

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