In the 1970s, over a pint or two at their local on a few Sunday afternoons, my dad and three of his friends were reminiscing about the old days in Warrington.
This poem is the outcome of their conversations.
Please do not share this poem on other websites.
I took a stroll down Memory Lane
To all our yesterdays again,
In and out of streets I paced
Where once as boys and girls we raced.
The neighbours those days clung together
In sunshine or in stormy weather,
Within their hearts a human touch
A splendid thing that meant so much.
Yes, there was sorrow, pain and grief
Good tidings rare, and also brief,
But like the flowers in falling rain
They would blossom out and bloom again.
Through Catherine Street, Watkin Street and School Brow
Where barefoot games are not played now,
No stonies, no spinning tops
No twopenny haircuts or all off crops.
Monday morning hail rain or snow
We would take our bundles to Uncle Joe,
Everalls butchers, Welsby’s coal,
Gandy’s clogs, tipped heel and sole.
Bailey’s fruit stall. Hobley’s Lodge,
Bets at Hayes, cops to dodge,
Fish and chips from Moorcroft’s shop
Then quench your thirst with a swig of pop.
With trundle we would run for miles
Through fields of grass and over stiles,
A paper ball tied up with string
We would improvise with everything.
With bloody knees and hands we played
In worn out shoes and trousers frayed,
Salvation Army Bands came round,
A welcome and inspiring sound.
On Walking Day they would stamp your hand
And you fall in behind the band
To march round town with banners high
Then in Bank Park for an Isaac’s pie.
Some were rich, but most were poor
But there was always that welcome to any door,
We thought the life we lived was sometimes sad
But it’s worse today because the world’s gone mad.
Yes, memories are made of this
Hard to forget and to dismiss,
I leave this Lane of blessings with a sigh
To life long pals like you and I.
Good luck, God bless in all you do
Each hour, each day, the whole year through.
[© GE Gandy and Friends]