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Here endeth the news

harry hayes

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Wrote this at the time of the dustbin furore. Don't think i have posted it before. Got a small award today on the poetry forum, resurrected by someone - perhaps more as a piece of social history than a poem. I also should have included fly papers.



As someone who remembers rocking chairs.

And a tin bath each Saturday night;

I need a bin for newspapers?

We re-cycled ours on site.


For lining shelves and table cloths,

Draughty doors - worth more than gold;

Stick four sheets up your jumper,

"Or you'll catch a death of cold".


Window curtains were made of newsprint,

Real ones were Sunday best;

Except when expecting visitors,

Stuck-up auntie most impressed.


Kites and paper aeroplanes,

Christmas decorations on the cheap;

All held in place by special glue,

The secret? - ours to keep.


Wadded up - light the fire,

Double sheet to 'draw' the same;

Whoosh! - it flies up the chimney.

Or your rug is now aflame.


Take twenty to the chip shop,

Walk home with portion free;

Eating; head down; reading,

That damn lamp-post, oh my knee!


Now the one we all remember,

Cutting paper into squares;

Radio times was the softest,

With 'dailies' kept as spares.


'Spend a penny' hut was down the yard,

W.C. minus H2O;

The last place you'd choose to visit,

But 'no-no' soon changed to 'go'.


Left hand held a candle,

Newsprint in the right;

Singing - with foot against the door,

In case someone else just might...


"Oh God, there goes the siren"

Can you imagine the unlikely scene?

Waddling down the pathway,

"Oh look, she's wearing green".


Our parents deserve a medal,

Trying times in many ways;

But we were just small children,

Time has made them 'good old days'.




Thank you for reading Happy days

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Way back in the good old days newspapers had a 101 uses, not least starting the fire as said. And when there was little or no firewood left to start the fire, a few pages twisted as tightly as possible so the paper would burn slowly often did the trick and got the coals burning. Don't ever remember them being used as curtains though but do remember them covering the windows when redecorating was in progress to stop nosey neighbours looking in as they passed. Stuffing them up the front of your jumper to help keep warm in the freezing winters I recall and rolling them up as draught excluders and packing them into windows and doors gaps.

Never used them as christmas decorations. As poor as we might have been we always had the real thing. I just loved Christmas in those days. So much better than today. Momma used to tell us we didn't know how lucky we were. When she was a little girl all she ever got for christmas was a stocking with an apple and an orange in it and a sixpenny doll from Woolworths. :D

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