Reflections on Reaching Fifty
|REFLECTIONS ON REACHING FIFTY
By Trevor Lawton
thow't ah'd reach Fifty, when ah' wur just a kid,
The pranks that
ah' got up to, the reckless things ah' did.
Jones an Biffer Smith, John Moore an Micheal Hyde,
spring or summertime, we'd roam the countryside;
Kindred spirits, running
free, we'd wander far and near,
Oblivious to danger then, we
had no sense of fear.
In Jerry's Hollow,
Crows-in'th-wood, or playing in't Castle Clough,
Those were happy, carefree
day's, which ne're seemed long enough.
I ne're thought
ah'd reach Fifty, when ah' went to All Saints Schoo',
I had new pals to play
wi' now, an' several girlfriends too.
I started in Miss Normintons
class, Frank Radford then was head.
A stickler he wur' for
dicipline, an' his cane we used to dread;
Down Barney's Brow past
Radcliffes Mill, ah'd journey every day,
At Doctors Mill or't
Brunswick Dam, at lunchtimes we would play,
Eric Whitehead was mi'
pal, Carol Lomas was my best girl,
Little did we realise then,
how our futures would unfurl.
I near didn't get to
Fifty, when in 1951,
stood in Wrigley's Coal-Yard lane, watching a thunderstorm up Brun'
When suddenly a lightning
bolt, that sizzled, hissed and cracked,
So close it scorched mi'
jumper, singed mi' hair and burnt mi' back,
that followed, ne're burst mi' bloomin ear's.
I ran home crying to me Mum,
in mortal dread and fear,
She removed the shrivelled
garment, soothed my back and bathed my head,
Had 'thlightning been
half an inch closer, then ah reckon ah'd be dead.
I thowt now't bout
reaching Fifty, when ah wur just a lad,
Running wild o'er hill
and dale, ah' near drove mi parents mad.
It did'na matter, Rain,
Hail, or Snow, ah'd alus be outside,
bown'ta catch th'i death of cowd", my Mother used to chide,
Times we lean just
after't War, an mi folks worked long and late,
But they allus managed
tak us 't Sea-side, one week o' Mossley Wakes;
As a lad!,I worked at
Kershaw Hey, on Stanley Hobson's Farm,
And wi his daughter Margaret,
took milk bi horse and cart.
From John Robbie's shop
in Staley Road, ah took papers every morn,
Me and mi Border Collie
"Bob," we both became well known..
I ne're thowt ah'd
reach Fifty, when in my early teens,
I met new friends at Ashton
Tech, and looked for pastures green.
Wi mi two pals, the
Jack's from Saddleworth, we faced a brave new World,
We danced and sang.! We drank
and smoked,! and Courted' all the girls.
For in the 50's and the
60's, we lived at a cracking pace,
Boy's" to "Beatle Cut's" we followed every rage,
However did we survive those
day's, the crashes in the car's,!
The thrills and spills, the
broken hearts, the fights in Public Bar's.?
I ne're thowt ah'd
reach Fifty, when I finally took a Bride,
Now ah' faced a bright
new future wi Irene by mi side.
We bow't a house up at
th' Heyheads, an there wi made our home.
Times were hard and money
tight, when our Robert wur first born.
That winter o' 1968 wur
one o'th worst we ever had.
Our Rob caught Enteritis, an
we darn near lost the little lad;
In't spring of 1970, wi
were blessed wi our daughter Faye,
Ah' did so want a little
girl,! how I rue the day.!
She proved a handful from the
start, an has'na really changed.
But give credit where
there's credit due, she's certainly got some brains.
Ah'd thow't a lot
about reaching Fifty, when in 1972,
We set off for New Zealand,
to start a life anew,
A better climate for the
kid's, an' a brighter future too,
Instead of Snow, Rain, Cold,
and Damp.Sunshine and skies of blue;
Our son Howard, was born in
Christchurch, in October 73,
Quite different from the
other two, an' a Buckley' to a Tee;
Since then we've
travelled around the World, and wonderous sights we've seen,
But it's always nice to
go back Home', to Englands pastures green,
Though I now live in
Australia, I still think of Mossley as home,
And always there will I
return, no matter how far I roam.
So now I've finally
reached Fifty, I wear my age with Pride,
For looking back in
retrospect, it's a Bloody wonder I survived,
But within there are no
wrinkles!,nor an old 'used heart', inside,
Just unspent youth and
vigour, and the joy of living life.
So now, I've reached the
half way stage, and it's GREAT to be alive,
I'm looking forward to the
next Fifty Years,. Well,! maybe Forty-Five.
Trevor Lawton 1993