Tonight's Prom's main work has just started: Dvorak's 8th. I am remembering how and when I heard it first.
In 1973 the unifying forces of local government reorganisation produced, prior to the dismemberment of the county system, a unified bus system for what was still not the County of Greater Manchester. It was called Selnec (South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire), as that is what the County was originally intended to be called, though somebody without cloth ears realised eventually what was going on. (There is a "compare and contrast" lesson with the Bugnini reforms to be made here, but I have neither the time nor the inclination.)
We had socialist bus fares: under 16s paid 2p for any journey. That meant 4p return.
The Halle Orchestra held its Proms over what I remember as a three week season in May or June. Its promenading tickets (standing at the back of the stalls of the Free Trade Hall) cost 10p each. I had a Saturday job at Lewis's: it paid £2.08. That meant I could go to every concert during the season, and that year, I did.
It changed my musical tastes completely; it changed me completely. (Though unlike the Prommers tonight, I didn't applaud after the First Movement.)
(The percipient will wonder how the remaining £1.20 was spent: a lot of pubs were happy to serve people under age, or you could get a blob at Yates' for 10p; a couple of nights of abstinence meant a couple of blobs at Yates'!)
And Dvorak remains (however sentimentally) a favourite.
6 hours ago