On the 3rd of August 1914 the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey is said to have remarked “The Lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them Lit again in our lifetime.”
There is numerous posts on social media about turning off the lights on the 4th of August at 10 pm to commemorate Sir Edward Grey saying in this. Not me, apart from being a day late and at the wrong time of day, or evening. Edward Grey said, “Lamps…” Now just think about that, Lamps, not Lights. In 1914 many households were still lit by candles. I can remember in the sixties there were still households in remote areas in England lit by candles. People still ran businesses where there was no electricity. The pub at Geldeston Lock in Norfolk, candle lit, the beer was stored in an outside cellar to keep it cool. People went to bed earlier and got up earlier. Entertainment was the piano in the parlour-if you were middle class, cards by candle light for the poor. Families lived in single rooms. The toilet was more often than not out side. The dog ran of with the daily newspaper not the loo roll. We have come a million miles, gone to the moon, flown faster than sound. We can communicate instantly with people all around the globe. Time to take your blinkers off, turn your eyes to the light. Yes the lamps have gone out, they have been replaced by Light Emitting Diodes, the piano by flat screen television, cramped overcrowded rooms by homes with separate areas for living sleeping eating, cooking , washing and with inside loos. The darkest has gone. We now live in a world beyond the imagination of Edward Grey. Turn the lamps off when we we have all the wonders of the 21st century at our disposal is madness. After a 100 years it is time to turn on the lights, light up your house. There are no Gothas in the sky, you are not going to be knee deep in mud. You do not remember them. Turn the lights on. Light up your life. Turn your light on and show the world. The soldiers are at rest, the sun shines. A kiss is not good bye, stay safe, don’t be a hero, or I might not see you again. A kiss is, we are in love, life is good, light up the world and share it.