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Reflections on Reaching Fifty

 
REFLECTIONS ON REACHING FIFTY
By Trevor Lawton

I ne're thow't ah'd reach Fifty, when ah' wur just a kid,
The pranks that ah' got up to, the reckless things ah' did.
Wi' Alan Jones an Biffer Smith, John Moore an Micheal Hyde,
Come winter, 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,
Ah' wur 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,
The ‘Thunderclap' 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,
"Th'ar't 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,
From "Teddy 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
 
     

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