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Poetry D Jour by Beryl McMullen coming December, 2010

Notice: The forum is being looked after by Garden Gerald, Nick and Townie.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
 on: Today at 10:45:59 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by townie
Kandor I have read your post and for the life of me can only imagine what you went through. Was there nobody outside who could of helped you? After being blown up I have no idea how you managed to get home it must have been a second life kicking in. Do you still have flash backs and have all your injuries healed up? If your son had not married an Irish girl would your feeling towards the Irish still be the same? At least your still here to share your story, that's one good thing to come out of an atrocity.

All the best Kandor keep smiling. Smiley   

 on: Today at 10:23:34 AM 
Started by townie - Last post by townie
A couple of pubs in Kingshurst.
The Mountford

The Punchbowl.

 on: Today at 06:26:36 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Twm Sion soon as I saw the date as the title of your post, I knew what it was about. The date is indelibly etched on my mind. You have actually brought tears to my eyes this morning on reading your experience.

I was not a town goer but had been in the Tavern on a few occasions with some biker friends at around that time. That night my girlfriend and I had decided to go yo the pictures. The Capitol, I think it's in or was in Ward End. We came out of the pictures at about 9:30pm. The atmosphere in the street was not right. Then I heard something about people being injured, blood, death, a bomb, two bombs!

I eventually got home that night. My mom and dad were distraught as they didn't know where I was, they had contacted folks to see if anyone had seen me. I was safe at least.

It was a difficult time in Brum after that, not to mention your experience. I too had Irish friends, my brothers wife was Irish. We all carried on being friends.

Twn Sion

 on: Today at 03:34:02 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Kandor
As usual, me and Steve Cox were standing in Steve Grater's house waiting for him to come downstairs.
Steve Grater was a nightmare, if even a single hair was out of place, he would re-wash it, dry it with a hair dryer and start all over again..sometime we were kept waiting for an hour..
Hallelujah! Steve G comes downstairs, dressed and ready to go.
Steve lives about 50 yards from the bus stop near Revesby Walk  and as bus arrives just a few minutes later, by 7. 50 pm, we're on our way to town.
It's a cold November night, but being young, we didn't feel the cold, at least I didn't.
Steve Cox is wearing a long black trenchcoat, Steve Grater is wearing what he always brown leather jacket.
At 8pm the 55 bus pulls up outside the Cabin Pub, Steve Cox suggests having a quick beer in the Costermongers, he's desperate to have a go on the Shuffle board recently fitted in there, me and Steve Grater can't be bothered and carry on down to our pub.
It's now 8.10pm and I'm standing at the bar, I order and pay for 3 pints of Lager, it's 25p a pint and there is nothing better than your first beer of night sliding easily down.
I carry the beers over to where the two Steve's are.

Steve Cox has put some money in a new game called a 'Pong', we know it as the 'Bat and ball machine' the game was two white paddles controlled by seperate joysticks and you hit a small white dot backwards and forwards..
By todays standards, boring and rubbish, back then? wow!

All my life I'd been a bad loser..and I'm losing badly..

Steve Cox is already up 11-4 and the winner only needs 14..
I punch the machine in temper and walk away into the centre of the pub.....
Steve calls out for me to come back..
for the first time in my life I listen to him and walk back to our game..
As I touch the left hand control, my world crashes into darkness.

With a noise like I've never heard before, I'm lifted up and half somersaulting, I'm thrown into the wall.
My eardrums are burst, I've lost all my hair, my eyebrows and lashes are burned off and my sweater has melted to my body..
I'm lying in the rubble, that was seconds before...The Tavern in the Town.

There are no lights left working and when I put my hand on the wall, what's left of the phone is hanging down and I know where I am,

I've been blown to the bottom of the stairs,
I remember with my eyes wide open that I couldn't see a single first thought was 'I'm blind, I can't live like this'
Trying to gain my senses, I'm thinking it's the game that I was playing has somehow exploded..

I rise to my feet and fall over again, my balance has gone, along with my eardrums..
There is a roar going through my head like a 100 thunderstorms..the noise is sickening..the odors are even worse,  I need to get out of here.
All of a sudden as I grope around on my hands and knees in the dark, I'm kicked in the face, it splits my top lip, the person who did it never meant to, he or she wouldn't even know I was there.

I can smell bacon cooking, I didn't know it then but that was the smell of burnt and dying people..
I was 10ft away from the Bomb as it went off, and in the smoke and dust filled darkness, there are dead and dying people all around me..later the body count is to total 11, the injured in there number....well...everyone.

I know I can't stay in there, although I'm still not sure what happened, I know that to stay down there is really not a good idea..I start crawling up the stairs, all of a sudden my arm vanishes through a hole in the stairs where the bomb has punched through.
I cut all under my arm on ragged concrete..I can't feel it though, I'm in shock, the real pain was a little gift still to come..

My Dad had always said 'Les, if you're in trouble, tell me'..
Oh my Dad...
I was in trouble.

In my whole life, I'd never been one for giving up, I decided to make my way home to Nechells..looking back it was just like learning to ride a bike again..I'd go a few yards and just slowly, fall over.
Burst eardrums and stolen balance reduced me to a Toddler learning to walk once more.
Town was in uproar, I remember people running everywhere, no one stopped to help me, they probably thought, two bombs had already gone off, there were bound to be more.

Now I'd gotten out into the cold November air, the pain was moving me to a whole new level, blood was running from my right armpit, my lip was split and bleeding, I'd taken shrapnel to my side, something had gone completely through my left knee, my left arm was peppered and bleeding, my hair had all gone and I felt like I'd been hit with a giant hammer.
My eardrums were killing me with earache on a level I had never known and I had blister sacs of fluid on each finger of my left hand and another one running from wrist to elbow..
My sweater had melted to my shoulder and my trousers hung in tatters, the blast wave had gone up both trouser legs and unable to get out of the waistband and literally blew my trousers apart...
I looked quite dapper really.

After what seems like hours, I finally get to the long wall that runs down Curzon St, half a mile gone, half a mile to go.
I begin to cry, not because of the ever growing pain, I start to cry because finally, I can stop myself falling over as I cling along the wall down to the White towers.

Jimmy Kennedy and his girfriend Lucy come running past me..he doesn't know who I am...the blast has half closed my eyes, it's altered all my features and with my hair gone, he can't recognise me.
I call out his name and he stops, he's on his way to Town as his girlfriend's sister was in there too, he doesn't stop, later on, he describes me as 'Looking like a monster'
I console myself by thinking...'It could be worse, I could be a Villa fan'

I dont remember the last 500 yards, I was dragging myself along on adrenaline...and it's starting to run out..
Finally I get to my door, it opens and I fall into the arms of our lodger Arthur..
Next thing I know, I'm at Bath Row being treated by Doctors,
Arthur had knocked on the door of a lovely neighbour, his name was Mr Quinn, Antonio Quinn's dad and he rushes me up to the hospital in his little Mini...

They are triaging the wounded, I'm quickly checked over and I'm given a needle for my's been a living thing for a few hours now, it slowly begins to fade..

A burned and dusty hand comes on to my leg..Arthur later tells me he hears a voice saying 'Help me Arthur' it's my friend Steve Cox, I couldn't recognise him.
Steve Grater's Mom and Stepdad come up to the hospital, They are told that their son Steve is the confusion they have been given the wrong name...the person so mortally injured was a Mr Chaytor....both the Graters begin to cry.

A few people over the years have said 'You must hate the Irish' can I? my older brother is married to a wonderful Irish much loved Nephew and niece are both half Irish...tell me, which part of them should I hate?

 on: Today at 03:22:01 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Kandor

In the Mail a few days ago there was a short article asking , if you could, what letter would you write to your teenage self?

Obviously the paper is assuming that you would be better educated and more worldly wise than you were back then, but I have to say, the whole thing intrigued me, so here we go.

Dear Les,

How I wish I could stand by your side in the years that lie ahead of you.
There are so many wonderful and sad days in your future, there will be so many things I wish you had not done and so many more things I wish you had.

You're an apprentice Plumber right now, I know you have doubts that you wont be as good a tradesman as you'd like to be...dont worry Les, that bit will work out, not always and there will be times you walk away, only for you to return back to your trade over the years...but rest assured, you WILL be a good Plumber.

You will become self employed in your 20's.

This is a bitter sweet thing, yes, you will experience a lifestyle that you never even had the capacity to even dream about, but like all things, there will be a cost.
There will be days when you go to work early in the morning and return back home late at night, and on those days, you will not see your little girls, those days are gone forever, and now in your later years you will realise, no money is worth that.

Your Mom is dying Les, she has just a few short months left to live and your prayers will mean nothing...she will never tell you she loves you, but again, don't worry, she does, she always did, very, very much...

I wish you could understand that torturing yourself over the years about that unspoken love is pointless, there should never have been any doubt, search your heart and you'll know it to be true.
After your Mom dies you will be empty and lonely, grief is a natural part of all this, but you will almost let it consume you, know your mother would never have wanted that of you...ever.

When you're 17 you will argue with your father and in the heat of the moment say to him that you wish it was he who had died and not your that will torture you Les, but don't let it, you loved your Dad very much and he loved you in equal measure, he will show you that 11 years later when he calls you to his house and you and he share his last mortal moments on this earth.
I know he loved you, just as much as you love him.

You will marry a girl called Rosalyn.

Honestly! right now you still pray to a God, you ask him in in your despair that if he truly loves you, then he will show that love by taking you quietly in the night, don't despair, a wonderful life is about to begin.

You will have children, yes, those too, two fantastic girls who will make your heart almost burst with pride and love and with three people you would give your life for, you will travel the world.

By the time you are 45, you will realise all of your dreams, or so you think.

Before you are 50 you will become the grandfather of Katie Green and your heart will swell even more with love for a beautiful girl.
Then in 2009 your grandson Joshua will be born..
Les, although you dont know it, you have won the lottery of life, you will be blessed with the kindest and most wonderful family a man has ever known..
And you know the best thing my young friend? when you're 65 you will know it.

I'd wish you a fantastic life Les, but there's no point, I'm you....and I'm already there.

 on: February 20, 2018, 09:54:53 PM 
Started by townie - Last post by townie
That's it Twm Smiley

 on: February 20, 2018, 08:51:53 PM 
Started by GardenGerald - Last post by Twm Sion
A very nice fruit. I think it belongs to the rose family?


 on: February 20, 2018, 08:48:51 PM 
Started by GardenGerald - Last post by Twm Sion
Have you cleaned up all the tools you put away last year covered in muck and rubbish.
If you do not clean them it is a wonderful way of spreading germs and disease.
The good gardener is a clean gardener.
We import lots of rubbish so please do not add to the problems.
Buy UK to grow in the UK.
Little bit of morning exercise to get you fit. Walk round the garden clockwise then anti clockwise.
What plants did you stop to look at.
What about putting some posts on this forum
I've still got two of my lambs in the garden. They've done a great job of clearing it as it hadn't been Gardened fog years while I've been working away. The ground is sodden up here. Hopefully dry out soon.

 on: February 20, 2018, 08:29:49 PM 
Started by townie - Last post by Twm Sion
Thanks townie, Brownfield, I remember now. Alderpits Rd ran off it to the School.


 on: February 20, 2018, 08:25:51 PM 
Started by townie - Last post by Twm Sion
One of the fairs I went to most years was the Mop Fair at Kings Norton. Held on the first Monday each October. Also went to Stratford Mop once.

I went to a few others, the only one that springs to mind now was on the corner Stratford Rd and Haslocks Green Rd. The CEGB was later built there and recently demolished.


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