When I Were A Lad

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Just for no reason at all, I thought this might get your memories flickering……if you’re anywhere near my age !
When I Were A Lad

When I were a lad
Things weren’t so bad
Despite living in black and white
There was fun to be had
And times were mad,
Even if money was tight.

So here’s my trip down Memory Lane
I’ve come through it all
And I’m still sort of sane
From the days of Thunderbirds with strings
Here are a few of my favourite things:

Green Shield Stamps could buy a car
If you filled your lungs full of tar
Zephyrs had those big bench seats
Sugar sandwiches, a bit of a treat

Feeling safe out at nights
Footie under the old street lights
Hopscotch and skipping for the girlies
Proper sized Curly Wurley’s

British bulldog, hide and seek,
Chap door run at the end of the street
Leapfrog I remember well
Imaginary games, like William Tell
I remember playing kick the can
Conkers and Clackers, before the ban

Alf Tucker and Desperate Dan
Roy of the Rovers, what a man
The Beezer, Dandy and The Big One
The Eagle and the Beano
Always so much innocent fun

We used to build a bogie
With bits of wood we found
Somehow we’d ‘find’ four pram wheels
And some were even round !

Marathons were always a treat
Before they called them Snickers
Getting a Penny for the guy
For us young treat or trickers
Spanish Gold and Five Boys
Pogo sticks and Corgi toys
Conductors on buses,
Or should I say clippy
Gloves with string
For when it got nippy

Headmaster’s belt
When you broke a rule
Though mostly I was away
Playing hooky from school

Apple scrumping
Penny jacks,
Being cheeky
Policeman’s smacks

San Izal, outside loo
To school in shorts
In the winter too
Washing machines with mangles
Sweet cigarettes and spangles

Heating the iron on the fire
Jeff Rawles in Billy Liar
Wedding car in the street
Catching the coppers was such a feat
Short back and sides for your hair
Winning Goldfish at the fair

Milk at school, it was free
Until it was stopped by Mrs T
No bath at home, that was posh
Most days it was just a wash

Dinky, matchbox and hot wheels cars
Camping in the garden, under the stars
Playing with clackers at your own risk
Black and blue bruises, all round your wrist

Cowboys and Indians
With spud guns that we bought
Using uncle’s funeral hat
Another thump when caught

Stuff on the telly like Juke Box Jury
Great hair, like Billy Fury
Take your pick, No Hiding Place
Fireball XL5 was ace

Donkey Jackets, big wide flares
Wearing now would get some stares
Our jumpers were called Sloppy Joe’s
Footie in school shoes, worn out toes

Giving lifts to strangers
The anthem at the ABC
Wallpaper on our school books
Tripe and sago again for tea

Footballs with laces
Shoes without
Three and in
I was always out
Snooker on a black and white telly
Big Daddy, what a belly !

Just some memories from my distant youth
Still remembered now I’m long in tooth
Those days are now so far behind
But I’ll always look back on them as kind

Its surprising what our memories recall
Maybe just happy times, not all
But I remember them in so may ways
These distant, happy, black and white days.

Bill Clayton
© 2019

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