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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 ... 8 9 [10]
 on: August 05, 2018, 07:42:45 PM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Twm Sion
Well, I can vividly remember my first visit to the barbers. I was just coming up to 3 years old. A dare say mom had cut it at home prior to this visit.

It all ( the trauma) started one afternoon, it must have been a Thursday, as this was the day we visited nan in her prefab near the greet pub. We set off from Nans, walking along the Warwick Rd, over the River Cole bridge by Burbery brick, past the Serc and turned up St Johns Rd. By the time we got to St Johns Rd, my little legs would be aching but the best was yet to come. Just up St Johns Rd was a pet shop, with an Anteater in the window. We always stopped here so I could look at the Anteater. Dragged on by mom, off we would go towards the Stratford Rd to catch the 32 Bus to Hall Green.

As we got to the end of St Johns Rd we would turn left and walk past the Mermaid Pub. The bus stop was a little way up. No bus coming yet. So mom headed for a shop. I thought we don't usually shop here and it wouldn't be sweets on Thursday! We went up a couple of steps to the shop door. It opened and we stepped inside. All of a sudden, this didn't feel right to me. I hung on to mom. Next thing mom tried to put on the board on the barbers chair, that was it, I screamed the place down, I struggled, I fought, I cried, I kicked! Eventually I must have run out of energy and had my hair cut. I not sure why I had that reaction. Was it that in a previous life I had been found guilty of murder in America and put in the electric chair and executed. The barbers chair filled me wth dread. Now child psychologists would say I was going from the terrible two's to the fearful Three's.

About 17 years later I had another daunting moment in the same area, only across the road and a few doors down. I had an appointment at the DENTIST...... first time in probably 12 years, My last visit to a dentist was to the third type of butchers shop in Brum, the SCHOOL DENTIST, near the Glebe.   

On this day I walked down towards where the barbers shop was by the Mermaid. Thinking was I going to freak out again when I needed to sit in the chair! Problem was I had to be a man. I'd got my new girlfriend with me of about 6 weeks. In fact she'd made the bloody appointment for me. I go to this dentist she said, my friend works here.

Heck I thought, this has been planned so she and her mate can have a good laugh. Or this was a test of how hard I was (not very hard re the dentist). As we got near the door, I saw the brass plaque (yes it was still there, not nicked yet) it said DENTAL SURGEON.......I went in, sat down and waited, and waited. My girlfriend was stil sitting next to me. I put my hands in my pocket as not to show my white knuckles.  The door opened and in I went, no escape now. Open wide - you need 8 fillings he said. Gulp I gulped! Can I have an injection please? I felt like I was three years old again. Anyway, no trauma and I must have been hard enough for my new girlfriend, we got married a couple of years later......


 on: August 05, 2018, 06:11:12 PM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by GardenGerald
I have heard Brickie Mentioned. We knew it as the brickyard. Anyone got any history of the place and whats it like now.
Many thanks

 on: August 05, 2018, 04:48:56 PM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by GardenGerald
Hello Boys
Come out of our house and down the street, railings at the end of Cathcart Street.
some we worked loose so we could lift and move sideways. Through the gap and
on to the River Rea brick wall. Go to the left and come to the ladder. Down the ladder
and walk toward Saltley Road. Another ladder, climb that and we were in Saltley gasworks.
Eyes wide open we would look for the tank engines and if it was all quiet we climb aboard
for a few minutes. We were Driver and Fireman.
Back down the ladder and cross the river, walk till you come to the next ladder, climb that and you are in Crawford Street Gasworks. Have a mooch round and see if any shunting engines.
Did the gasworks make their own electricity because inside the gate onto Duddeston Mill Road
there was a cooling tower and we would walk through the mist and walk out through the wicket gate
sometimes. How we never got caught I will never know. Had nothing but what great fun we had.
Best wishes

 on: August 05, 2018, 02:13:25 PM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Edifi
We used to block the Rea under the bridge in the school holidays,after climbing down the rope from the railway club.One year we were stopped when a load of bombs  (yellow with fins and a round ball )floated down.The police came and told us we could not go down again.Rotten lot.Good fun in1946 though.

 on: August 05, 2018, 01:53:02 PM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Langstraat
Oh what fun to play in a mucky river eh?
My river was the stretch of the River Tame as it meandered past Hamstead Colliery. A beautifully pungent and  iridescent surface which altered colour from purple to red, yellow to green dependant on which chemicals it was carrying onwards to the sea.
Each spring it would flood Hamstead village. I think that’s where the saying ‘giving it a Spring clean’  got its description. Cool

 on: August 05, 2018, 10:55:03 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Kandor
At the bottom of Erskine st was the River Rea.
Allan, Derek and me spent many a day just walking along the river (it had no grassy banks, it was just a culvert really)
We would go down to near Salford Bridge, just doing things that teenage boys get up to.

Near Nechells Power Station was a long gloomy tunnel known as 'The dark half hour' I suppose it was only a 1/4 mile long but feeling your way in total darkness it seemed a lot, lot further.
I can see us now hanging on to each other with our necks tucked down tight against our chins (that was because of my bloody big brother who claimed Rats always went for your throat) but we did it to test our courage and to complete our great adventure..

I remember one year just as we lowered ourselves down to the side of the Rea we saw a large Paper bale come sliding and half floating, towards us,,
I climbed on to sail it the 2 miles down to Salford to where the Rea met the Tame.

There was only one flaw in my plan..

I had forgotten that just by Saltley Viaduct there is an 12ft fall as it goes over a mini waterfall, I hung on for grim death as I rode this greasy roller friends who had fallen far behind, screaming at me in the distance,

I stayed on my 'Ship' all the could I not?

I was the Captain...
and I was courageous....

 on: August 05, 2018, 10:28:27 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Kandor
Oh me too Ed, I'd walk down from Hindlow Close (Where Scott and Spooner St used to be) call at my friend Allan Chance's house, he lived opposite the working men's club in Inkerman St.
Then we'd climb down to the Rea, depending if had been heavily raining or not, as it could sweep you away in full flood.
From there we'd walk down to the Dark Half hour and prove our bravery by walking through it in pitch blackness..
It cost nothing and they were some of my best days of my life..

I'll do my next post specifically about the Rea Ed.

 on: August 05, 2018, 08:48:48 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Edifi
Oh Kandor what Nostalgia,Made me think I was 9 agen playing in the River Rea by the Railway Club by Inkerman St.

 on: August 05, 2018, 07:20:59 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Kandor

I don't think people take shoes to be repaired these days, for starters, shoes are pretty cheap and we have far more money to spend on clothes than I could have ever dreamed of as a kid.

I was just going to make a comparison to how I lived then to how I live now..but the truth is, there is no comparison.

I had two lots of footwear back then, plastic sandals or over size wellingtons.
My wellies were so big they used to chaff my armpits and the sandals?
Rain, sun or snow..they were worn.

Over my childhood I do remember having a few pairs of shoes of course, but invariably they all ended up with a bit of Lino stuffed inside, covering a hole..
certainly no reason to throw them away though.

I remember the smell of the shop and the little ticket he used to give you..and when you picked them up, miracle upon miracle, they had always been polished too.
I was cleaning out my Aunt Eva's old handbag yesterday, she passed away 10 years ago and left me a large handbag full of photos..

Anyway, apart from a letter offering her a new house (only 'new' in sense she'd be moving in for the first time, address being 27 Alfred St, Aston) there was also a Doctors note from Dr Kelly..and a ticket stub for a shoe repair from a shop on Soho Road..
The ticket has to be over 10 years old and as I hold the stub, it was never redeemed.

But thinking on, it wasn't just shoes we repaired,
I don't think I ever owned a pair of socks without them being darned and nor do I remember ever wearing a knitted top that once hadn't belonged to a Jumper my Dad had probably worn.
That was my world and no doubt yours too.

I think that is also why, when I did have anything new, it was so special to me..
And those thoughts really stick out in my mind.

I used to love our Summer holidays up in South Shields, new shorts, tee shirt and sandals, sometimes even a new coat but in all fairness, that was like treading in Rocking Horse poo.
And when we came back, all those clothes were instantly reserved for Sunday wear.

Now by coincidence Roz is having a wardrobe clear out..(which of course means all my meagre rags just so she can squeeze in her latest Yves St Laurent Number..)
And looking at the pile, I guess I'll be wearing a barrel for the next 6 months..
AND I've just noticed she's trying to throw out my Loakes..

Bloody women! the most comfortable shoes in history, and ok, the sole IS coming slightly adrift and when I walk in them they appear to chew grass and eat mud but what the hell!
Roz says I have enough pairs already, this off a woman who can put Imelda Marcos to shame..
Hmm... that shoe repair ticket for a pair of my Aunts Shoes going back 10 years?

I've just phoned the shop up...

They'll be ready next Thursday.

 on: August 05, 2018, 06:16:44 AM 
Started by Kandor - Last post by Kandor
Come play with me one last time
On the cobbled streets of our childhood
You remember them, don't you?
Hard and shiny...
Glistening like a thousand diamonds in the Moonlight
Yes, I remember them...
And the sound of tipped shoes,
Echoing in the evening air
And my Mom would say...
It's been so hard to remember...
So I close my eyes and her Northern voice,
Rings out clear as I run down the entry.
'Dont you dare cross that main road'
'I won't Mom' I lied...
Then ran down Landor St to the 'Brickies'
And they all had bikes,
So I ran along, always lost in the distance,
My only fun, watching others have theirs
But that was my life and I knew nothing else,
So poverty did not exist..
Not back then.
And then my work years began,
And I still followed the crowd,
Always a step behind...
I got my bike..and they bought a car.
And I still followed behind...
Still lost in the distance..
Then I grew tall and strong..
And I dressed just like them...
And I knew them for what they still were...
Little boys with little toys...
While adversity...had made me.
A Man.

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