Link to http://newimages.fotopic.net/?iid=ylb9y7&outx=910&quality=70
A typical bunch of early to mid 1980s bashers : note the tweed sports jackets, as usually donned by "top men" from deltics , 40s, 46s and whizzos. Stylish...Suave.
What appealled about bashing to me was not just the "thrash" but as for most bashers, it was the game and the cameradery.
It is certainly an unhealty past time phsiologically: Long time sitting, junk food, too much coffee and cola. Ales midweek for the older lads if something produced. But what is there to gain?
Well of course there is entertainment value : I mean 1982-1985 was a great chess board, a "mouse trap" game of moves and shadowy "'gen' " about what was dropping. It was hilarious often: I mean like "all change at Glen Douglas" for example....dreadfiul
It wa all an absoltuely dreadful-flap.
But apart from being a real life equivalent to playstation, what benefits came from bashing?
Firstly independence: or rather the movement away from the womb into a much wider, much more fre, losse family to decide to follow: usually the "moves" would have a gathering of some neds you would know and a top man or two, so you could just turn up: in fact often you hoped to get a move other "men" missed and come in with a line in the book, especially in 1984 and 85 in the days of the huge NBs and the swansong of the 40s.
Travel is fun and refreshing when you are a teenager. I teaches you in fact that the vast majority of people in the UK are actually nice or at least not dangerous. I went places I would not want to go today without any trouble. In fact I think we never had any real trouble with "chavs" or anything, even the Oban Drunks were tame.
I learnt a lot about logistics and thinking that way about connections and "if shit happen
s" back up plkans: changing course quickly to correct mistakes, which is a good thing in life and business. Also to communicate, discuss, propose, debate etc.
A few bashers were into cycling and walkign, combining it with "viewing" and "photting", tunring up with bikes or boots on occasion. Gricing...all stemmed from a basher-spotter hillwalk near Glossop.
For me I came from a tory area and bashing helped me see beyond my own nose ( although most of my mates since 1980 were wo'kin' class come to think of it) and become both egalitarian and able to see the value of public services, and the hard labour and love employees had for "T' Railway". So socio politically it widened my horizons too.
I look back and regret I did not do more physical exercise when I was an early to mid teenage basher: my ideal jobs when I reached twenty were either Royal Marine or tour-de-france rider (grand tour pro), neither of which I was built enough for from the important early teen spring board in body development. Other things I could have done were playing rugger in the class team but they were all too dull for me in the team anyway.
Sod it, basher I was, and after all, life is all about a mis-spent youth and growing old disgracefully....