I remember the school Christmas concert
When Les Boorman and Joan Hardy sang ‘Soldier Soldier’
And a group of us boys sang ‘Ten Green Bottles’
Mine was the last line “nothing but the Sm….hell hanging on the wall”.
From then until the end of my schooldays that remained my nick name.
I remember on the way home from school
Hearing the ‘pop pop’ of the petrol driven motor driving the mincer
When Ted Dalton made those delicious sausages for Bill French
The sirloin of beef that complimented our rabbit or chicken.
Most villagers had a rabbit or cockerel ‘fattening up’ for Christmas.
I remember the fruit in Mr Tomsett’s shop window
Mrs Welfare’s fresh vegetables and bunches of mistletoe
When smoking was in vogue, the boxes of ‘50 Players’
Bought from Lew Nethercoat and given as presents
‘Wills Whiffs’ were another favourite.
I remember the Christmas cakes at Mr Clarke’s bakery
The exciting arrival of Christmas groceries, the fancy box of crackers
And the Turkish Delight when opened the powder went everywhere
Paper chains that decorated our room
The special ones that opened into a ball or a bell
The smell of the cardboard box that contained my present.
I remember the church Christmas service
The silence between prayers when the wind buffeted the windows
The smell of paraffin lamps and candles
And thinking how safe and cosy it was inside the church.
I remember Mr Bruce, the verger In a black cassock
Sitting in the pew nearest the door
The music Ruth Edward’s played
As we paraded from choir stalls to the vestry.
Later, running home to Barrow Green after the services
Our heads filled with the wonder of the next few days!
Yes…………..I remember Christmas.