I lived in 58 Barnet Street along with my 3 brothers and 3 sisters. This poem tells just a few of my memories of my life in the 1950s.

When you close your eyes can you recall
the way it was when we were small?
I remember the bath on a hook in the yard
next to the bunker were the coal was stored.
Pans on the stove boiling all day
for seven kids, grimy from a days play.
A big roaring fire to keep out the cold
then tucked up in bed for a story to be told.

In Barnet Street the houses were small
They didn't have gardens, just a small back yard.
Without the mod cons we are now use to
just cold running water and an outside loo.
Times were hard and money was tight
Dad worked all day and late into the night
to put food on the table and coal on the fire
Care of the family his only desire.

Mum worked and slaved throughout the day
attempting to manage on dads small pay.
Which was indeed an impossible chore
She ended up working for Lewis's store.
For a pittance of pay, she scrubbed and cleaned
the department store until it gleamed
Then home to bed till morning came
then up to start all over again.

I can remember when our teeth were loose
How granddad with cotton would make a noose
Which he'd tie round the tooth and attach to the door
and before we could give a terrified roar
The door would slammed and the tooth would come out
but we dare not give a wail or a shout
Lest we should lose the promised two pence
for going through the torturous event.

I remember the day that Aunty Phyl died
with an abstract terror that can't be denied
for I was commissioned to stay at home
along with the body laying in the front room.
I was far too scared to stay indoors
So I sat on the step for hours and hours
until a man came, who I duly let in
I gave him some tea and the biscuit tin
I then enquired was he ready to see
Aunty Phyl's body now he'd finished his tea.
His face was aghast with a look or abhorrence
He'd only called in to collect the insurance.



By Nealey Nealey

This story was added on 6th March 2015

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