It was those dreamy old songs on the Juke box

i remembered most – those flashbacks to the

past in smoke filled saloons – full of the South

London Docker types – hard drinkers who had

to stay out, what with a house full of kids and

bedtime not yet approached, and several pints

away before the missus  let the old man home

to the dodgy stew dying in the pan – poor guy

caught between a rock and a hard place and not

much grace to show for it. Big rows then ensued.

Bright coins tumbled into the old juke box and

played yet again big favourites of the time – but

it was a tanner i believe to get the mechanisms

under way and let the vinyl sing to us those ‘play it

again Sam’ serenades which led to follow-ups of

cockney carousels listed on the juke box face, and

had the place aglow with the pure nostalgia of it, as

pint after pint was quaffed and brewers coined it

in as brewers did those days before pubs began to

fall from grace from place to place, as ale houses

saw their hey-days struggling all over UK towns.

The old sixpenny bits and bobs, or half a crown,

could get you singing sounds that bounced away,

echoing around the parts like Strutton Ground or Tooley

Street where Vintner wares lay locked away under

the viaducts where trains ran overhead and bedsteads

rattled in the Cockney homes and night trams passed

by the places where the drams went down the hatch

and fires began mysteriously and had Insurers agents

scratching away at the remnant whiffs of kerosene

lingering where the outbreaks might have been and

so the crime scenes now were cordoned off and locals

coughed from fear, and fog, and mists, but needed to

get squiffy to gain their momentary escapes from scrapes

and down the hatch types before’ last orders called’

as tug boats chugged along the grimy river Thames

or Sunday church goers pinned hopes on lusty hymns,

to cleanse them of their manifold sins and wickedness

so ubiquitous of the local populous in those earlier days




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M.C. Newberry

Tue 12th Nov 2019 20:18

Agree 100% with Po - worthy of a best pen-portraits that used to be a feature of yesteryear's newspapers. You can almost smell the smoke-laden air and see the yellow nicotine stained ceilings high
over the bar as the landlord yells "We've got your money - now
p..s off!"😙

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Tue 12th Nov 2019 20:12

What a wonderful memorable read this is Philipos

So well captured, Great job!


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