The corner

          THE   CORNER…….



Hopewood Street / Scotland Road;  A junction to remember

Especially if you plied there for work, which I did one November.

The year was 61, I’d reached eighteen the day before

Now old enough to go on that stand, I hurried there for sure.

It had been the topic of the older lads whose work-ethic was a page

Casual work was ‘the norm’ of the day; the main way to earn a wage.

Most hauliers –when short- would send there for extra men

Shipwrights and warehouse staff had their own stands – Dockers had their Pen


A wagon trundles up, it’s driver gives a call…

’Want five on the back boys!’  That starts a free-for-all.

Finally a count of seven, each with a firm grip

Also knowing two must be kicked off before they finish the trip.

‘Only want five you-know!’ Says the driver trying to be fair

‘You just carry on my man!’ Someone shouts.

‘There’ll only be five when you get there!’


A regular sight, such a fight, on the back of a wagon trundling Scotty road

With dockers and other workers just glad it wasn’t their mode

A push, a shove, the belt or kick, all methods of attack

The strong and stealthy end up with  a job…

… the unfortunates hobble back


My first try lasted 2 hundred yards before landing at a point-bobbies feet

His arms shot out to stop the flow, but what he said was a treat

‘Get up and hurry back lad, There’ll be more to come today!’

I got up and stared at his face, he winked, I smiled then got on my way.


Never forgot that bobby, nor that first time; they’re embedded in my mind

Work is a necessity, and policemen should be kind

But most of all I learnt every day is but a test

Try to be kind, to everyone and you’ll turn out as one of the best! 



A scallywag





◄ Foolishness and G.O.D.

Give a chump a chance ►


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