Inside this issue:

From behind the garden gate, 1948 onwards

All charged and ready to take back

The pathway didn't have a kerb
A grass verge clearly marked it out
And Walter Osbourne kept it trim
Too hard a worker to be stout

Each village had it's own Road-man
In competition with the rest
Who'd daily strive to get things done
And keep his village getting best

Then I would watch the patients come
To use Aunt Florries waiting room
Where Dr. Smith would then prescribe
Some physic to avoid the Tomb

But when at times the hearse came by
Men doffed their caps and stood erect
And everyone would draw their blinds
A simple mark to show respect

At times like these, one bell rang out
Quite different from the hourly chime
Announcing someone laid to rest
A like that had run out of time

Back once again, behind the gate
I'd watch the cows pass twice a day
Before and after milking time
They'd cross the ford along the way

They never held the traffic up
Most of the traffic came on foot
But drivers would wait patiently
Just pulling over, staying put

The milk collection was in churns
Left out on platforms every day
And drivers loaded them by hand
On lorries that took them away

But once a week the chip van came
A piece and 3 was normal then
A tail piece for the ladies and
The middle bits saved for the men

'Course Mother was a superb cook
Producing meals from nothing much
She'd hone the knife on our back step
That kept her blade too sharp to touch

The meat we ate was mostly game
All freshly shot, straight from the field
Out joy at eating Rabbit pie
Could only scarcely be concealed

The Hare and Rabbit skins we'd keep
And hung them on the cellar door
To sell them when a chap came round
Who'd pay a shilling, maybe more

And fresh fish from the river came
With bones a 'plenty in each one
Our vegetables we grew at home
And took the rest with rod and gun

Now all these things, AND my front gate
Seem distant now, so far away
But in my mind they linger on
And will do 'til my dying day.

Mike Coley

Dear Editor,
On visiting some friends in the village the other day, we were reminiscing about old times in Northwold, because it's actually where I spent the first 21 years of my life.
My Aunt, who died earlier this year, lived in Hovells Lane and may have also been known to you, she was Ivy Chandler.
I put together a selection of my earliest memories in verse and, prompted by my friends, have sent you a copy in the hope that you may see fit to include them in a future edition of, Northwold's answer to the Beano. It's a little long I'm afraid but if it fits the bill I would be very happy to let the older people cast their minds back to those days, and give the younger population and new comers a flavour of earlier times in the village.

Best wishes, Mike Coley
Thanks Mike, not so sure about the "Beano" reference - but then we can probably find a resident to match each of that magazine's characters? Ed.

From when I was a little chap
Those first impressions of the world
Remain imprinted on my mind
Despite the years which since unfurled

The front door opened to reveal
A small front garden near the street
Set off with roses round the door
With great pink flowers smelling sweet

And Hollyhocks, all tall and proud
Midst Rosemary and Old Mans Beard
With Lavender, Laburnum too,
And some that have since disappeared

And Grandad leaning on the gate
With putties from below the knee
A remnant of the First World War
That stayed with him for all to see

This habit from old India
Led him to roll them up at night
Then leave them warming in the hearth
Till daybreak and the morning light

A rural man, there was no doubt
Yet army life had left it's mark
His shiny boots, though old and worn
Disguised the fact his life was stark

Financially he was quite poor
Though riches yet he still possessed
For instance his endearing smile
Shone like the medals on his chest

And often we would hear him play
Whilst sitting on the bottom stair
Old hymn tunes from his younger days
That he had learned to play by ear

His ancient Squeeze Box sang out loud
Untaught renditions sounding great
And people stopped to hear him play
Until they could no longer wait

Then down the street the postman came
His peaked cap showing G.P.O.
And he would crank his big red bike
To prove how fast the thing could go

He brought us letters, postcards too,
All carried in a little sack
And NO junk mail to drive us mad
Just good things slung across his back

And thus I watched the world go by
Just standing there behind the gate
Believing all would come to me
If I was just prepared to wait

Like Heaven was this world of mine
And I, Angelic living there
Supposed all people on the Earth
Like me, had lived without a care

The smell of break all freshly baked
Would fill my nose at break of day
A 'wafting from the old bake house
Jack Listers, just across the way

Within it seems, a year or two
I'd help him decorate the buns
With cherries and angelica
But never touched his icing guns

Then one day, awe struck by the gate
A vision wondrous to the eye
Great farm machines came trundling past
'Twas thrashing tackle going by

The traction engine led the way
Steam driven, huge, almost alive
Amazing what the wit of man
At need is able to contrive

Then followed trailers and the gear
For cutting chaff throughout the day
And pitchforks, to move straw this time
Just as they did when making hay

The elevator, old Jack straw
That helped the men create a stack
Oft painted orange I recall
Brought up the rear, right at the back

Those huge machines, the summer team
Brought Harvest Home from all around
Contracted out to each small farm
Wherever grain was to be found

At times I went beyond the gate
Quite safe in 'Grandads' loving care
And he would call me when he spied
A copper coin just laying there

I'd pick it up as pleased as punch
And never thought from whence it came
So never thought that it was strange
When other walks would yield the same

Then we would walk the half a mile
To change our wireless power pack
Accumulators made of glass

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