11 things to bring back before imperial measures


It was recently announced that the UK government would try to boost the use of Imperial measures in the UK, ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Britain currently uses a mix of imperial and metric measurements – with speed limits in miles per hour rather than kilometers, and milk and beer bought in pints. Only three other countries – the United States, Myanmar and Liberia – use the imperial system on a daily basis. Traders have been legally required to use metric units when selling fresh produce by weight or measure since 2000, when the EU Weights and Measures Directive came into force. It is still legal to price goods in pounds and ounces, but these must be displayed alongside the price in grams and kilograms.

But British government officials say returning to the imperial system would apparently bring “some of our national culture and heritage back to shop shelves”. Mr Johnson is expected to make an announcement this Friday to coincide with the royal event.

Read more: Why Metric Is So Much Better Than Imperial

Critics say Tory ministers in London are trying to ‘weaponise nostalgia’ among Brexit voters. General public reaction to the plans has been lukewarm at best. So with that in mind, we’ve created a list of other things we’d like to see return.

1. Boaty McBoatface

The RRS Sir David Attenborough – the UK’s most advanced polar research vessel

OK, OK, Boaty McBoatface has technically never been a boat, but it dates back to a time when the biggest scandal was that the public vote for a ship’s name was overruled by ministers. In 2016, the public was invited to suggest and vote for the name of a new polar research vessel. The name Boaty McBoatface topped the #NameOurShip online poll with 124,109 votes. However, Jo Johnson – then UK Universities and Science Minister (and brother of Boris Johnson) announced in October of the same year that the ship would be named Sir David Attenborough, after the television naturalist and BBC presenter. Sure, we love Sir David, but come on, Boaty McBoatface was way better.

2. 10p Freddo

Freddo chocolate bars made by Cadbury

In 2005, the little chocolate frog cost only 10p. Remarkably, it had remained at that price since its reintroduction in the 1990s. Nowadays a bar of Freddo chocolate will cost the princely sum of 30p. Similar price increases have been introduced for Transform A Snack and Space Invaders chips. Let’s hope no one dares touch the candy.

3. Woolworths

Woolworths in Pentrbane Street, Caerphilly – June 1962

Woolworths was the place to go when you were a kid. Choose and mix, toys and discounts in the entertainment section thanks to the bargain bin. It was also popular among parents – especially at the end of August – among the mad panic to stock up on school clothes and stationery. The woolly ones unfortunately disappeared from our shopping streets in 2008.

4. A time when we didn’t need food banks

Empty shelves illustrate the pressure the cost of living crisis continues to put on families in Wales

Do you remember when there were more real banks than food banks? Food banks are of course doing a fantastic job of helping families and those less fortunate, but the increase in the number of people who have to rely on them (around 2.17 million people across the UK) is a shameful stain on the British Isles. A food bank in Swansea has been left with bare shelves after delivering the equivalent of 1,176 meals in just two hours. Meanwhile, the number of suitable banks continues to decline – making it difficult for people and businesses living in bankless areas – or for older people who don’t have access to online banking. So, to repeat: real banks, not food banks.

5. Get an NHS dentist

Dentists must do more to ensure patients can be seen quickly if they have urgent care needs to avoid them going to the GP instead, new research suggests

If you thought the daily call to your doctor’s office felt like an uphill struggle, then getting into the books of an NHS dentist is more like a hike to Pen Y Fan. NHS dentistry in Wales is reportedly ‘hanging by a thread’ as record levels of dentists quit NHS work, leaving great difficulty in accessing care. And the wait to be seen, or the inability to afford a private dentist, has seen some people become so desperate they have resorted to pulling their own teeth. Most people prefer a few pounds of NHS dentistry to half a pound of nostalgia a day.

What would you like to see come back? Have your say in the comments below

6. More staffed checkouts than self-service checkouts

Image of a self-service checkout
Petition to bring more manned checkouts back to Tesco supermarkets has over 100,000 signatures

Self-service checkouts can be quick and easy for some. And they have undoubtedly been advantageous for supermarkets in terms of costs (compared to paying an actual human being by the hour). However, they are not always accessible to everyone – and they can be difficult and overwhelming for older people. Plus, having a quick conversation with someone at the checkout—as opposed to a machine blurting out “please remove item from bagging area”—is much more enjoyable. And many people agree that a nationwide petition calling for more checkout staff to help those with physical difficulties with their groceries has garnered more than 100,000 signatures.

7. Gwdihw

Guildford Crescent, Cardiff, prior to demolition of part of the site

Gwdihw used to be a much-loved concert venue in Cardiff, but closed in January 2019. The distinctive, brightly painted venue has helped many up-and-coming bands hone their chops on their way to stardom – like Catfish and the Bottlemen and Boy Azooga – as well as a staple of Cardiff’s live music scene. It closed in 2019 before being reduced to piles of rubble – a move heavily ridiculed by Super Furry Animals main man Gruff Rhys – to make way for new development.

9. Top Pops

Top Pops presenters (left to right): Bruno Brooks, Anthea Turner, Gary Davis

Top of the Pops was a staple at the time, but in 2006 it was canceled – BBC bosses citing poor ratings. At its peak, it was a TV show that featured the best performances from Wales’ David Bowie, Kate Bush, Culture Club, New Order and Manic Street Preachers – who have already had the most complaints in the history of Wales. show for their fire-charged, hooded rendition of the 1994 single Faster.

9.Nokia 3310

The Nokia 3310

A phone brick that changed the way we communicate with friends and family. Who can forget that Snake game you could never win? And sure, it didn’t have a camera or even a color screen, but if you dropped the 3310, you’d never have to worry – because this thing was indestructible.

10. Teletext

Teletext might seem a little clunky and slow to modern tech makers these days, but then and even now, when you think about it, it was revolutionary. Teletext (or the BBC’s Ceefax version) as the world’s first text news service and launched in 1974. Teletext would include everything you needed to know about that football match you missed, news bulletins , weather forecasts and even flight deals and holidays. Virtual quiz host Bamber Boozle also deserves an honorable mention.

11. Affordable Housing

In a report last year, it was announced that future homeowners in parts of Wales would need to borrow more than 10 (!) times the average income to be able to afford a house. WalesOnline’s analysis of UK government figures compared the average household in each ward, which were areas of around 7,200 people, with the average house prices there. Since 2014, it has been revealed that the Bank of England has set the maximum loan ratio at 4.5 times income. At the time of the report, only 15% of all mortgages were allowed to exceed this threshold. Based on this maximum borrowing level, only 27% of neighborhoods in Wales were actually affordable to those who lived there (although it is important to note that the figures did not include any deposit that a buyer would have been able to save).


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