DUNCAN BARKES: So lovely to hear Perry Como on the airwaves

THERE was a time when I used to mock nostalgia.

I thought that looking back at history achieved very little apart from confirming our own often distorted and rose-tinted view of the past.

I now realise that I was wrong.

I have previously mentioned my increasing enjoyment of a radio station called ‘Angel’.

This community station based in Havant has proved so popular that the team there have invested in DAB digital radio so their shows can now be heard right across our patch.

Even if you cannot receive it on a traditional radio, a quick internet search soon tracks it down.

The beauty of this station is that it only plays music recorded before 1959.

In these days of massively-overproduced pop songs it is a welcome addition to the airwaves.

Hearing Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Dean Martin, plus some mellow jazz of the 1950s makes me realise how important the past is. Were it not for Angel then many people would be denied the chance to hear the music they grew up with.

I was also delighted to read about the celebrations due to take place at the Brighton Toy and Model Museum to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frank Hornby.

The museum has been given a lottery grant to celebrate the life of Frank and his massive contribution to popular culture.

Aside from the railway sets that bear his name, he was also responsible for Meccano and Dinky toys, all of which have given endless pleasure to children and adults across the decades.

I wonder how many of you still have a Hornby train set tucked away, or a Dinky toy in the loft that you have forgotten about.

Nostalgia allows us to revisit the past and remember when life was sweeter; less frenetic and simpler.

There should be no crime in this, yet in modern times it seems deeply unfashionable.

Fashion may currently be embracing ‘vintage’ as a style, but is very picky about what that includes.

The music and memories of the past enjoy a renaissance only on the say-so of fashion’s movers and shakers.

History’s trends and attitudes can teach us a great deal and should not be ignored. Music, manners and fortitude are just some of the finer points of our heritage. We should celebrate them.