Every so often, you get a sense that the times, they are indeed, a-changing.
Wistful memories of times past sprang to mind with the news that the Jaguar Sports and Social Club had bitten the dust after nearly 50 years.
The club closed on the Castle Bromwich factory site in January when Jaguar decided it needed the space for its expansion plans to accommodate new models and more than 1,000 new jobs.
A slice of Birmingham social history had gone. The Jag club had opened its doors back in September 1964, and was one of the biggest of its kind in the area, boasting around 3,000 members. On the last night revellers linked arms and swayed along tearfully to Vera Lynn’s stirring wartime melody, We’ll Meet Again...
But they won’t be meeting again, at least not under the Jaguar Sports and Social Club banner. The committee failed to find suitable alternative premises and has now called time on the club, with staff made redundant.
You can’t argue with Jaguar’s decision to bulldoze the building to create new jobs, especially at such a volatile time for the economy. But something special has been lost.
Back in the 60s and 70s, there was a thriving social club on every corner, so it seemed. There were clubs in police stations, fire stations, newspaper offices.
All have gone, swamped by a tidal wave of puritanism, so-called progress and political correctness. Drinking in working hours became a pariah pastime as a combination of Thatcherism and the march of technology took a frightful toll on the workplace.
Suddenly, everyone was jogging or going to the gym. Long liquid lunches became obsolete as the 1980s dawned, with the decade’s yuppies, power-dressers and monochrome music.
Survivors from the 60s and 70s who had grown up in more innocent times suddenly found themselves in a strange land where lunch was for wimps and Wham or Duran Duran had usurped the Stones and the Who. It was a triumph for shallow style over substance. And that was long before the X-Factor, Twitter and Celebrity Big Brother....