Smallthorne bred and Smallthorne born
We move away but homeward drawn
Each photo paints not just words
But feelings felt, sights seen, sounds heard
Places and people gone and those still around
Each building, alleyway a new playground
From a childhood not rich nor poor
Lived fully and experienced more
Then as a youth in a manly place
Doing manly things but knowing your place
In the pubs with your peers
Showing respect whilst enjoying a beer
Lads like their dads choosing their drink
Lager and mild left me bitter I think
A straight glass for Bass
With a mark near the top
The Ansell’s public house
With a dimpled pint pot
The crowds that consisted of lads and girls
And folks from nearby, from the wider world
Folks from work and social & sport
Nights turning sour but never got caught
Growing up, getting wed, settling down
Seeing things change in our village cum town
Putting down roots and settling in
Choosing your home to raise next of kin
Things have changed beyond recall
Young people today ‘have it all’
Or do they, though the world on a screen
The place that I grew, things that I’ve seen
Not all had cars, not all could afford
Though some could holiday abroad
We explored every place though didn’t have bikes
Though the lucky had Choppers, Grifters and like
The church bells rang, clocks chimed
Marching bands music very well timed
Salvationist choirs on Sunday tea
Carnivals, fetes and tea leaf tea
So I share and receive all
The pubs, works, shops our very own Hall
In the hope that the past shapes things new
And our next of kin look after the place that I grew

By Barry Ashley - September 2014

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