A Victorian Saturday Night


We was paid of a Saturday night,
Tide us over Sunday morning,
Sunday’s dinner still to be bought
this Saturday evening in November.
Scarves pulled tight against the air
Damp pea-soupers everywhere. 
The market was bright, alight
With candles, gas jets, grease lamps,
The fires of the chestnut roasters
Amongst the cacaphony of cries
Traders calling out their wares:
“ Bootiful sea food whatever you like.”
Butchers in blue aprons dripping
With blood illuminated by gas jets.
Barkers bawling outside the circus.
Peelers parading the slums off of
Oxford street. Everyone keen
To make a penny for porter.


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keith jeffries

Sat 19th Nov 2022 19:52

After reading this poem my mind returned to those immediate post war days when Birmingham lay mostly in ruins. I recall being with my mother as we walked away from what was then New Street Station toward the Bull Ring. There were several men selling roasted chestnuts on braziers. They were delicious. From there amidst the rubble we waited for a corporation bus to begin the journey home. It was an experience which was part of the residue of Victorian times. Darkened streets, dimly lit with shadowy figures darting about.
Thank you for this excellent description

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