10/09/2016

[Newspaper Column] Imperial

Each week the Romford Recorder has the Steve Allen column. And now you can find it in the Ilford Recorder too. If you're around East London and West Essex you can buy the newspaper every Thursday/Friday, or follow @mrstevenallen to see the columns on Twitter. You can also read the archive of past ones, which can be found here.





You can click the image to zoom in on the paper, or read the column below.


In radio nostalgia is an important part. People like to remember what they were doing when Whigfield's Saturday Night was in the charts way more than they like to actually hear Whigfield's Saturday Night.

A fondness for how things used to be may have been tied into the Brexit vote back in June. Months later there's a pressure group trying to bring back the old measures. They want shops to be able to sell things by the pound.

You can go into a shop and ask for a pound of apples, and they'll give you 0.45kg of apples, as long as that shop sells apples, so this is more of a protest against the metric system.

I'm torn because the metric system is mathematically superior but the imperial system has more style. No one even maliciously said, “You wanna watch her. Give her 2.54 centimetres and she'll take 1.61 kilometres.”

But there are so many old measurements that I don't think it's fair to try to bring back the ones you like without bringing back the other ones. Like a rod, that's 5½ yards. Or a Pole, that's also 5½ yards. And a Perch, that's 5½ yards. Wow, was everything 5½ yards long in the old days?

If you want to bring back the old measurements you have to be willing to serve me if I order an 8th of a bushel of corn flakes.

And what about the young people who have grown up with metres and litres? I had some calls to the radio show from young people and most didn't know what a furlong was. They thought an acre is when you've stubbed your toe.

I asked one what an ounce was. He said, “That'd cost you about £400.”

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