BYGONE DAYS IN THORNE

I was born in Thorne in nineteen fifty-two, In the days of the half crown, sixpence, and threepenny bit too, And what I am about to tell you, is all perfectly true, It is about how times have changed, from the old to the new.

We had Fieldside Infants, Juniors and Senior Secondary Modern School,

Also the slightly posher Grammar, with its own swimming pool,

I remember blind Freddie playing the piano in the pub,

And old 'Tab' Hunter on his rounds searching for a stub!

The old steam trains, chugging through the North Station,

It was a common sight then, they were all over the nation,

We looked forward to our annual day out, our faces filled with jubilation,

And in nineteen fifty three, who can forget the Queen's Coronation.

We had the Wool Mill, Lace Factory and the A.E.I. too,

And Dowses Bakery with their delivery vans, some brand new,

The old Picture House, showing Hitchcock films and the Jungle Book,

Old Alfred's movies were so frightening, sometimes you dare not look.

The gasworks and the old Yorkist cast iron oven range,

Compared to the modern day cooker, it looked very strange,

Mothballs, carbolic soap, the washboard and peggy tub,

To make sure your clothes were clean, you really had to scrub.

Trimmingham's and Bennett's, for some clothes or a toy,

Hold many fond memories when I was a boy,

The old Canal Bridge had to be opened to let the barges through,

It meant all the traffic forming a very long queue.

Thorne Colliery, the year nineteen fifty four,

The miners worked so hard, they were worth so much more,

Sadly closure was announced in nineteen fifty six,

The Coal Board blamed water, the miners said it was a fix.

The John Bull Inn and The Fox & Duck,

Straight from work for a pint, sometimes still in our muck,

The beer was lovely and served in a mug,

And it was brought up from the cellar and poured from a jug.

The old Temperance Institute down Browns Lane,

Barber and Hedgecombe and the tooth-pulling pain,

Misbehaving at school, so we got the cane,

Today it is not allowed, they say it is not humane.

Penny's Pantry where we all used to meet,

A shilling in the Juke Box, kept us all off the street,

The Vespas and Lambrettas, what a scooter,

A.E.I. workforce going home, on the 2 o'clock hooter.

The Dirdle skirt and the Levi jacket,

Truly great gear, you still can't wack it,

Men's barbers, Walt Tyler and Harry Wade,

Short, back and sides, your hair looked like it had been cut with a spade.

The Beatles, Elvis, Adam Faith and the lovely Sandy Shaw,

She was famous for not wearing shoes, her feet must have been really sore,

Roy Orbison, Petula Clark, Doris Day and many, many more,

They were all fantastic artists and we really did adore.

The all-action, all-conquering Wykewell football team,

It was a honour to play for them, really a dream,

We were always confident and it was not very often we got beat,

Because our football was like Chelsea's, positive and neat.

Roy Clarke was our teacher and he certainly made his name,

He is the scriptwriter of Last of the Summer Wine fame,

I can picture him now, a six-footer plus, with curly hair,

We thought he had something, and we knew he had flair.

I conclude my story now, although I could tell you much more,

I feel if I go on too much it would become a bore,

Anyway who's interested in the past at this present day,

Only us older ones from Thorne, these memories will never go away.

John Lyne,

Haig Crescent, Stainforth