Transported directly back to this week in 1974

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English: A Pulsar Touch/Command Ladies' LED wa...

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This article on LED digital watches has taken me immediately back to this week in 1974 – as they were what all the cool kids (read: boys with indulgent parents) were showing off in the hut that was my Primary Four classroom in Holy Child School, Andersonstown, Belfast.

(My family were not poor at all, but Andytown back then was at the heart of what was probably one of the greatest concentrations of poverty in Northern Europe, but there were always also people with more money than sense about!)

Being just eight at the time I was not too impressed – as the article describes, users had to press a button to see the time come up on a red LED. In primary school I never really had any great desire to own a watch in any case – it was only when, in 1977, I moved on to secondary school and the day was divided into ‘periods’ of lessons with different teachers, that time took on a real significance.

So that Christmas I asked my parents for a watch and got a wind up Timex.

Later, digital watches moved on to LCD displays and all seemed to beep on the hour. It’s a good few years since I last heard that – it was going strong at ‘O’ level exam time (1982) and still for ‘A’ levels in 1984 but though it was still to be heard at the time of my university finals in 1987, it was clearly in decline by then.