I am currently working on a jigsaw puzzle called 'Gritting the Road' and this got me thinking of my childhood when the gritters would regularly come around putting new road surfaces down with tar and covering the tar with grit.
I'm not sure if this procedure is or was done in other countries but in uk it was a common method of road surface and even the small side roads were regularly repaired in this way.
The only drawback for this was that when we kids fell over, and we often did, the grit would embed itself into our knees or hands and it meant a short break in playing out to let your Mum dig the grit out, plaster the wound with some ointment (note the old word for antiseptic cream, lol) stick a plaster on it an send us on our way.
No thought of bacteria getting in then, just plain old fashioned stuff from the biscuit tin that served as a medical box.
Another memory was making 'tar lollies' with the tar.
We would get old ice lolly sticks and twirl them in the tar to make lollies (none edible of course)
In those first years after the war all of the roads were maintained and even the side roads were kept in good order.
What happened then?
There must be enough money in the coffers now, more than in that time and yet the roads are appalling dotted with pot holes.
And all this post inspired by a jigsaw, lol
your mind must be close to matching my MAD mind. ha ha, from puzzles to tar and grit. one of my least favorite memories was while running to catch the school bus from school to home, i sprawled and when i got home daddy had to pick out the tiny pieces of gravel from both knees and both palms. it HURT. i still remember itReplyDelete
Some would say I am a bit mad Sandra but I don't care if I am.Delete
I am a great fan of the bygone series of jigsaws, they always provoke some wonderful memories.ReplyDelete
That tar probably disinfected the scrapes on your knees. We had a gravel road. The next farm over also had a gravel road and used to pour old engine oil on the road in front of their house to keep the dust down. I reckoned the dust has to be the lesser of 2 evils as the smell was just vile in summer time. (Still we lived about 2 miles away so it wasn't a problem for us)ReplyDelete
I guess we are talking about two kinds of gritting - the "gritting" shown in the jigsaw which is actually rock salt being cast about to prevent vehicles from sliding and the tar gritting that you recall from your childhood. It is funny how our memories work isn't it?ReplyDelete
They did something similar in the South, with tar/oil sprayed on and then grit, like on an asphalt shingle, then scattered on top and a roller sometimes came along and pressed it in but sometimes not. We kids played with the tar in summer, too! We made tar babies and put them on the curbs as "decoration." I am sure our parents and neighbors were thrilled (not!). I am so glad your jigsaw puzzle sparked your memory!ReplyDelete
And we didn't end up with any illnesses from playing in the road, amazing isn't it? lolDelete
Although Im from Leicester...my family is Northern....I will write it as I say it,lol,There were nowt up wee us when we were kids,when we played in the gutter weer lolly sticks.....YP can translate if needed,lol,xxDelete
I remember as a kid watching the big steam roller when the men were laying down the tar on the road outside our house. Great fun!ReplyDelete
I'd forgotten about the steam roller, you're right, don't see many these days.Delete
One thing can often lead to another . . . I start thinking about something and before I know it my mind has traveled in many directions . . . LOL. The puzzle looks fun. I have looked at puzzles lately in the stores and can't believe the prices. They used to be a cheap form of entertainment. What happen?ReplyDelete
We buy all of ours from the charity shop Connie.Delete
That looks like my kind of jigsaw.ReplyDelete
I've never seen this puzzle, how many pieces is it. Looks like it would be fun to work. We have so many potholes here, as well. Seems like every year the roads get more neglected.ReplyDelete
This reminded me of falling on the unsealed driveway just around the corner from our house when I was hurrying to catch the bus to school. As I was close to home I went back with blood running down my leg but my mother said "I am not doing anything with that - go to school" so I had to walk to the bus - about a mile, wait for the next bus (half hourly) and then a half mile walk to school and go to the nurse. I still have all the debris in my knee.ReplyDelete
The process you are describing sounds like what we called tar and chippingReplyDelete
I think the modern day gritting is now called 'dressing' it. They put a drive 5mph limit signage up but nobody ever goes at that speed, and you get sprayed with grit. Horrible stuff. A cheap way of covering up the cracks.ReplyDelete
I wish I'd not gone off doing puzzles as I keep seeing all sorts of good ones at boot sales!ReplyDelete
When Colin was first a roadworker summer meant lots of overtime with the tarring and chipping but goodness me it was a mucky job and it was no good trying to wash overalls in the washing machine as it made the drum all sticky. Happy Days of the 1980's!
You should see the size of the potholes around here! You need a map to drive through them.ReplyDelete
One thing leads to another, as the old saying goes, Briony. Yes, I don't know why the roads aren't maintained like they used to be. Probably because it costs a bazillion times more to do it these days. The cost of things in today's world is out of control. ~Andrea xoxoxoReplyDelete
Austerity happened, I think! And as some commenters have said, things cost so much more nowadays.ReplyDelete
We used to get grit in our knee wounds too. A childhood rite of passage!
Oh the smell of hot tar and the memories it invokes. I must have had a pound of grit in my knees throughout my childhood.... and still lived to tell the tale. And don't get me on to the smell of Dettol... I blimmin love it.ReplyDelete