Big thank you from


I was born in the Thirties, before the Second War.
Times then were hard but we weren't really poor.
Winter nights around the fire, the radio tuned in
Friday night was bath night, the tub was made of tin.
A copper boiled our water, no hot came from our tap
And Abroad was not for holidays, just places on a map.
Our toilet in the back yard, didn't have a light
So we had to take a torch on a dark winter's night.

Our Christmases were really great,
Although we couldn't stay up late
'Cos Father Christmas, it was said,
Would only come to kids in bed.
Then, In the morning, bright and early,
We'd wake amid the hurly-burly
Of crackers, laughter. fruit and sweets
And maybe some real special treats.
The Christmas chicken, so I've been told,
Was cooked at the baker's down the road
In ovens hot from early baking
Long before we all were waking.
Our family gathered on that day —
Some came from many miles away
Just so we all could be together.
Christmas. for us. was such a pleasure.

When the bombs and sirens filled the air,
It scattered people everywhere.
Children packed off to country places,
All labelled up, with tearstained faces.
While some enjoyed their wartime stay
Others rebelled and ran away.
Young men and women joined the battle
While landgirls tended crops and cattle.
Homes and buildings razed to the ground,
Changing the face of our pleasant land.
Still. Saturday night the `local' would be
Packed with friends and family,
With someone's granddad on 'piana',
Playing in a lively manner.
He'd have the folk all happy, singing
While overhead the planes were winging
On their way to fight a war —
Men on a mission, brave to the core.

Then peace came at last, there was hugging and kissing,
My Father came home, but so many were missing.
Crowds all gathered in Leicester Square,
Streets parties were everywhere.
Although rationing was still in place
We thanked the Lord when we said Grace.
Our lives would never be the same,
The war had ended, yet our memories remain.

Joan English,
Canvey Island, Essex.