What use is an old, cheap lens?

I've been playing with old lenses on my camera for a few weeks now. And yesterday I spent a massive 19 pounds on another one. This is an elderly, but still excellent, Canon zoom lens, probably from the 1980's. It has that lovely zoom action where you pull the barrel towards you to zoom in. One of the things that a long focal length lens will do for you is compress perspective, flatting everything together. You can see the effect at work above, where the church, which is actually quite a lot further away than the other items in the picture, looks a lot more prominent in this picture of Cottingham lights. Great fun. 

The lens also took a pretty good picture of part of our tree.