Saturday, 10 August 2019
I've written before about the games we played outside when I was a child; today I'm remembering the things that kept us amused when the weather was too bad to play outdoors. And my very favourite toy is pictured above. My precious Pollock's Theatre. Mine was very like this one, made of wood with printed paper depicting the curtains, orchestra and so on pasted on. There were slats just like the batons on a real stage to insert cardboard scenery and also stage dressing that protruded from the wings. The script of the play to be produced was in a printed booklet, and included push-out cardboard characters as well as the scenery and props, and there were wires that the actors could be attached to in order to move them about on stage. Oh, how I loved that theatre! I played with it endlessly. I really wish I still had it, but unfortunately after I left home it was consigned to the garden shed along with other toys and dolls, and when I found it years later the wood had rotted, the cardboard curled and faded and the paper had been nibbled by mice. Thinking about it now I'm tempted to buy one from the Pollock's Museum in Covent Garden and display it in my living room. Though I don't see myself having the patience to push the actors on and off stage!
'Dolly Dressmaking Books' were another favourite. They were still about when my own daughters were children, but nothing like the ones we used to enjoy. I think the card dolls on the front and back covers were push-out, but we had to cut out all the dresses ourselves with little scissors, and I particularly liked the ones that had to be cut out from squares of paper 'fabric' using template patterns. We had stencils made of waxed card and a small, flat topped hard brush to dab the paint through the holes of the pattern, and transfers that had to be soaked in a saucer of water and then pressed onto whatever we were decorating. There were jigsaws, painting and colouring books, and magic painting books. Our mother kept a little stock in the bottom of her wardrobe for rainy days when my sister and I were bored, and would fetch us one each down - we didn't get to choose, but the surprise was part of the fun. But why, oh why, did our friends' painting books seem more exciting? I remember loving it when Lynette, who lived near us, let me bring one of hers home to colour in a few pictures before letting her have it back again. Incidentally, we always loved playing at Lynette's, because she had a fairy cycle (though I couldn't ride it I could push myself along the wall of their house on it) and a swing in an apple tree in her garden. But I digress.
When I was only five years old and recovering from a really bad case of whooping cough I drew, coloured and cut out a bride and groom, bridesmaids and dozens of guests which I wanted pasted as a frieze round my bedroom. I discovered that if I rested the paper on a book while using coloured pencils I could get the imprint of the book cover through to produce a different patterned fabric for each of my characters - all the book covers had a slightly different weave. You couldn't do that today with glossy covers! A little later at about age seven I invented an alter ego, and spent many happy hours drawing pictures of her and inventing adventures. She was called Pamela Garrett and she was a Wren Waaf, because I couldn't decide between the Navy and the Air Force - this was, just after the war - and I gave her a smart uniform combining the two, though I think it veered more towards the Wrens than the WAAF.
My mother ran a Kays catalogue, and I loved cutting out the 'ladies' - the clothes models. At the time the Bath Evening Chronical ran an annual beauty queen contest, with half-a-dozen or so photographs of entrants published each evening. I collected these faithfully, chose which ones to paint, and would lay the whole lot out in rows on my bed, deciding which ones would be the finalists and winner. My little sister used to pester me for some of them and I was very upset when my mother decreed that I should let her have some - it was really important to me that I had the whole set. I remember to this day that one of them was called Sunny McGarry. If anyone reading this knows of a Sunny McGarry who would have been in her late teens or early twenties in those days I'd love to hear from them! Incidentally, my sister used to take my 'catalogue ladies' too, more to annoy me than because she wanted them .....
Each week when we went to market we were allowed a 'Saturday Treat' instead of pocket money. We could each choose a small toy from the Swifts, the paper shop, when she paid the paper bill. Sometimes it would be a new little animal for our farm, a lamb or a duck perhaps, sometimes a windmill or a kaleidoscope and once it was a plastic viewer which you slotted film into and pulled through. We also had an ice-cream from Mr Paniccia, who parked his van outside the market. I have a feeling we also had our first bubble tubs as a Saturday treat. Until then we used to blow bubbles from a lay bubble pipe dipped in soapy water.
We really were very good at entertaining ourselves in those long ago days. No TV or computer games, only the wireless, which ran on what my father called 'an accumulator' that needed charging from time to time - Listen With Mother at 2 pm and Children's Hour at teatime. It all comes back to me so clearly as I write it might have been just yesterday, those happy, happy days of my early childhood.
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Since we're now in December I thought I'd revisit my childhood Christmases for this instalment of my memories of growing up in the 1940s and 1950s.
They were wonderful, those Christmases. For weeks ahead we were forbidden to poke into 'Grandma's corner', a space in her bedroom between the wardrobe and wall, because that was where mysterious packages were stowed. In fact 'Grandma's corner' was out of bounds from early November and late January because both my birthday and my sister's fell during those months. And then the Great Day would approach! On Christmas Eve we'd sit around the dining table wrapping our presents for the rest of the family, and perhaps making yet more paper chains to decorate the house. The Christmas tree would already be up, with little candle lights in their holders - real candles, burning brightly - no 'elf and safety worries then! Hazel and I would both be watching the clock, eager for bedtime because in the morning ... it would be Christmas Day!
Once in my bedroom, though, I would find it hard to fall asleep, and would creep out of bed to look out of the window in the hope of catching sight of Father Christmas's sleigh zooming across the sky. Though I never saw him (of course!) I lived in hopes that this year I might be lucky. Then, if I woke in the night, I would crawl to the bottom of the bed and feel my pillow case to 'see if he'd been'. Yes, we hung pillowcases, not stockings, but since the presents we were left usually included a jigsaw puzzle and an annual, a stocking would hardly have accommodated them. And always, at the bottom, was an orange and an apple.
Our 'big presents' would be left on the settee in the living room, covered with an old sheet - probably the same one we used when we played 'hospitals' with our dolls. The sheet was never removed until after we'd had breakfast and cleared away, and the lumps and bumps beneath it were wonderfully tantalising. When the time came, my mother and father, Gran and the auntie with whom we shared a home, would make a circle of chairs in front of the fire, the sheet would be removed and the presents distributed. My Grampy never joined us for this ritual - he was always in the kitchen peeling the potatoes and sprouts for lunch, or dinner, as we called it.
Oh, those Christmas dinners! They weren't elaborate as today's are - just boiled potatoes, Brussel sprouts, homemade stuffing and cockerel, but the smell and taste was divine. Any sort of chicken was a once-a-year treat, and our cockerel had been raised in a chicken run in the allotments just across the road from our house by 'Mr Young The Fowl Man'. In the weeks before Christmas we'd wake to the sound of the cockerels crowing and know one would end up on our table. Mr Young delivered it on Christmas Eve and my aunt would then singe off the remains of the feathers with a taper. Not a nice smell, but exciting, and not nearly as bad as the smell back in the autumn from the Christmas puddings being boiled in the copper. That was a smell I detested - wet pudding cloth and the house filled with steam. I didn't even like Christmas pudding very much, and still don't, though I love brandy and rum butter!
Back to the Christmas presents. We weren't snowed under, as children are today. There was usually one 'big present', quite often shared by my sister and me. My aunt knew someone who made wooden toys, and I particularly remember the dolls' house - my dad fixed up real electric lights that ran off a battery - and a huge model roundabout. It was a work of art, but we never quite knew how to play with it. There was always a new pair of slippers each, and some books. And, a running joke, a present from an aunt who we rarely saw, but who invariably sent us something far too young for us. I especially remember one year when we were quite big we each got a 12-piece jigsaw - we had endless fun doing 'speed contests' to see who could finish fastest. Her presents to the rest of the family were not received with much more enthusiasm - she invariably gave my mother an apron or a peg bag purchased at their church bazaar. And one year my mother's other brother, to whom we were very close, received the very same shaving bowl he had given to his brother the previous Christmas ... There were also the calendars - a picture pasted on an A8 sized piece of card with a booklet of tiny pages, one for each month. No space for writing in endless appointments then! But an empty space on the wall without one.
The present I'll never forget came when I was eleven. I had passed my 11-plus (though only 10 at the time I took it) and started at the local Grammar School that September. Until Christmas I had travelled on the bus, but really needed - and wanted! - a bicycle. I will never, ever, forget coming downstairs on Christmas morning and there, in the hall, covered with the inevitable sheet, was a bicycle shaped object. I was so happy I was practically in tears - I remember very vividly the excitement fluttering in my stomach. It was perfect. A red Hercules. My parents were paying for it in monthly instalments - long afterwards I came across the repayment book. I dread to think what they had to sacrifice to buy me that bicycle! Dad had to take me around the lanes, hanging onto the saddle, to teach me to ride it, but then there was no stopping me. That bike was my pride and joy. In fact, I only found the will to get rid of it when I moved here, two and a half years ago. Before that it hung in the garage wherever we moved, getting steadily rustier, and still I couldn't bring myself to consign it to the dump. It was still so special to me.
Christmas past. Carols and cockerel, paper chains, and presents tied with string - no sellotape then! The memories make me nostalgic and a bit sad - today we all go mad with endless preparations to make 'the perfect Christmas' - elaborate food, oceans of alcohol, flamboyant decorations, expensive presents - far too many, in my opinion - especially for the children. As they hastily tear the wrapping paper from one parcel after another do they really appreciate what they have received half as much as we did with our two or three presents (including the inevitable, boring slippers!)? But I am grateful I can share the celebrations with my wonderful family - and that I have such wonderful memories of simpler times.
Sunday, 16 September 2018
The latest instalment of my reminiscences as a child in the 1940s and 50s
Holidays when we were children were very rare. Mostly we only saw the sea on a few day trips by coach or train to Weymouth or Weston-super Mare. These were great occasions, especially the coach trips organised by the Working Mens' Club or the RAOB - 'The Buffs' as we called them - both of which my father was a member. We would take packets of sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper, biscuits, and tomatoes to eat on the beach, so invariably we ended up with mouthfuls of sand. There was a Punch and Judy show at Weymouth that we always made a beeline for, as well as sand sculptures, and The Pool, later called The Lido, was always first port of call at Weston-Super-Mare, with the pier to follow. On the coach journey home, Dad would start a sing-song and everyone would join in, some popular songs of the day, some old favourites such as 'She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes', 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean', and 'You Are My Sunshine'. I can hear those rip-roaring choruses now!
We did have a few stay-away holidays though. The very first was when I was about five and my sister three. I recall being very excited when the letter came - by second post, early afternoon - confirming the booking for two weeks at Seaton in Devon. Mum, Dad, my sister and I were to stay in a holiday bungalow on the beach whilst my grandma - Gran - was in a hotel just a short walk away across the bay. Grampy never went on holiday. He was too fond of his home. Two whole weeks! It sounded like bliss! Unfortunately, it was an unmitigated disaster. From almost the moment we arrived it poured with rain, pretty well full stop. During breaks in the storms my sister and I were able to get in the sea, wearing spare vest, knickers and liberty bodice that had been packed especially to serve us as bathing suits. Dad would have come in with us - he was a strong swimmer, who, as I believe I have chronicled before, had once saved the life of a boy caught by the currents in Margate (or maybe Ramsgate, I can never remember which it was!) And he was almost certainly wearing the one-piece bathing suit he had relied on since the 1920s and which was later to cause me great embarrassment. Not on that holiday, though. For one thing I was too young to realise how outdated it was and for another there was, as I recall, no-one else to see. Our pebbly beach was quite deserted, understandably given the dreadful weather.
To make matters worse, the 'bungalow' had a tin roof which let in the rain. One of the biggest leaks was right over Mum and Dad's bed. And all our clothes were constantly damp. After a week of misery it was decided we had had enough and were going home. We caught a train which got into Radstock just before 9 pm. How do I know that? The clock on the market tower was striking as we left the station - nine o'clock! I'd never been up so late before. It remains the most memorable part of a most disappointing holiday!
Some years later there were week-long holidays in Barry (Glamorgan) and Weymouth. In Weymouth we were able to stay with a cousin and her family who lived there, and as far as I remember the weather was much kinder to us and we were able to get in the sea, make sandcastles on the beach, and of course watch the Punch and Judy show as many times as we liked. The first year in Barry we stayed with an old family friend, but not the second. Perhaps she baulked at our treading sand into her neat little house. Whatever, we stayed at a boarding house owned by a lady named Mrs Evans, who certainly did make it clear she would not appreciate footprints of sand. We had to wash our feet on the doorstep. We ate in her front room - full board - and had two bedrooms at our disposal with a chest of drawers in my sister's and mine, where we promptly made beds for our dolls, Anne and Helen. It was on this holiday that I first became aware that Dad was the only one in the swimming pool wearing a one-piece bathing costume. I remember being torn between wanting him to take me down the 'water chute' and not wanting to acknowledge that I belonged to this strangely attired man. Thank goodness Mum must have persuaded him to 'splash out' on a pair of trunks after that as I don't remember him ever wearing the one-piece again. Buying a new costume must have made a huge hole in my parents' very tight budget.
But I certainly remember mine and my sister's first bathing costumes ..! My auntie knitted them in yellow, trimmed with white - she was a great knitter - and very nice they looked too, until we got into the water. Then of course they absorbed gallons of it and ended up hanging down between our knees …
Oh, how these memories roll in as I write! Later, when we reached our early teens, there were caravan holidays in 'Rita Showering's caravan'. Rita, wife of one of the Showering brothers, famous for their Babycham, had been a friend of Mum's when they were young, and she let us have use of her static caravan. Naturally it was well equipped, with even an awning, and I thought we were the bees' knees to be there as the guest of such an important lady. Later still, came a holiday at Butlins, Minehead, and a week in Switzerland! Things had moved on from the days of our childhood. And it's time I moved on, too!
But rest assured, I shall be posting more blogs about my life as a child in the 40s!
Thursday, 12 July 2018
Writing my Families of Fairley Terrace series has been making me think a lot about my own childhood in the 1940s. Although of course things had moved on since the early part of the century, very much remained the same. Surprisingly so, considering how far everything has evolved in the last 50 years or so.To begin with, when I was a little girl there were very few cars on the road. I used to sit for ages on the steps at the bottom of our path watching for one to pass by on the main road from Radstock to Frome with a notebook and pencil to take down the numbers - it took a very long time to fill a page. I saw a grey one regularly - our next door neighbour - who was the Miners' Union secretary, I think, and also a magistrate - drove about in it. My uncle owned both a motorbike and a car, Sometimes he would take us out in the car on a Sunday afternoon for a ride and a picnic, often to Masbury Ring on the Mendips. And on his way back to work at the NCB offices after having lunch with us, he used to give me and my sister a ride to the top of the hill sitting on the motor bike tank! No crash helmets or 'elf an' safety in those days!All deliveries were made by horse and cart. The milkman, the baker, the grocery deliveries, all courtesy of the Co-op.. They came once a week on a Monday afternoon, the order having been taken by a man with an order pad who called on Friday afternoons. I used to really look forward to his visits - he always played with me, doing bits of my jigsaws etc - and I clearly remember being in love with him at 4-5 years old and hoping he would wait for me until I was grown up so that I could marry him!The Co-op was locally owned and run and had their own farm, dairy and bakery as well as the retail shops - grocery, butchers, fish shop, drapery, furnishings and a cake and bread shop with a little café at the back. They also had dozens of horses to pull all their delivery carts and wagons. Almost every evening at about 6.30 pm they would be taken in a long string to the Co-op field (behind the Football Field) which could be accessed either by the main road or by what we called 'The Back Lane', now known as Old Frome Road. My sister and I would wait at the roadside until we heard the distant clip-clop, and if they were using the Back Lane, run through the house and up the back garden to watch them pass by. We were always disappointed if they had been taken to another Co-op field in Tyning, on the other side of the valley.The railway delivery wagon was huge, with a green baize cover and was pulled by a big cart horse. And at the other end of the scale ponies pulled trucks of coal and coal waste from Ludlas colliery at the bottom of the hill on tracks that ran across the road. Often on our way to school or home again we had to wait for them to pass. They were later replaced by a kind of Puffing Billy.Life was simple, we played out all day when it was fine, across the fields and in the Back Lane - Off-ground-touch, hopscotch, marbles, all kinds of chases that involved someone being 'on it' and the rest running as fast as they could. When it was beginning to get dark we would play 'What's the Time, Mr Wolf?' Every summer the Methodist Chapel held a fete in a field that is now all houses, preceded by a fancy-dress parade. A lady who lived in a row of four cottages on the Back Lane made the most amazing costumes out of crepe paper. For dozens of children! Stepping into her little living room for a fitting was like stepping into wonderland, beautiful costumes hanging from every possible hook - one year my sister was Little Bo Peep, with wonderful flounces. Oddly I don't remember exactly what any of mine were, I just know nothing was beyond Mrs Bristow's talents. One of our favourite sideshows at the fete was trying to get a metal ring round a multiply-twisted wire without touching it - it was wired to a battery and a bell rang if - when! - you failed. This was set up by a gentleman named Ralph Chivers who lived with his brother (both bachelors) in one of the Big Houses on the main road.But there were drawbacks too. Mainly, as far as I'm concerned, the lack of any form of central heating. In winter I always seemed to feel cold. We had only one fire - in the living room - and an Aladdin oil stove for warming any other room when necessary. We either sat as close as possible to the fire and scorched our legs or froze. Water for the bath was heated in a copper and dipped out with a dipper while we filled saucepans from the tap at the bottom. At school there was just one coke stove per classroom, surrounded by a fire guard on which knickers could be dried if one of the pupils had an 'accident'. Our little bottles of milk would be stood beside it to thaw. The walls of the cloakroom ran with water, and when the loos in our outside toilet block froze over paraffin lamps would be put in them to try to unfreeze them. Most of all I hated the clothes I had to wear. I have very sensitive skin and the woollen vests and jumpers made me itch so much I was constantly shivering. How I hated those vests - particularly on a Monday morning when they were clean and tight. We wore fleecy liberty bodices too and very big knickers.Other pet hates were: Milk of Magnesia on a Sunday evening 'to keep us regular' - ugh, that horrible thick powdery spoonful (though I loved orange Minidex for Vitamin C); lumpy dry mashed potato; and, in school, having to lie down for a rest after dinner. In the first year infants' class children lay on a coir mat on the floor, but as I had a 'bad ear' my mother insisted I lay on a wooden pallet bed because of draughts coming from under the doors. I hated feeling different as well as not being used to having to try to sleep in the day. In the second year Infants' we lay on desks, so at least I wasn't singled out, but it was still a very long half-hour or whatever.This is turning into a very long trip down memory lane, so I think I'll have to save the rest for next time. But I can't leave without mentioning some of the everyday items that have disappeared from the face of the earth but were commonplace when I was a child. Zambuc, a wonderful thick green ointment that healed almost anything, but primarily the long 'cuts' on ones fingers from constantly being in water, either doing the laundry or the washing up. Minidex, as already mentioned, Thermogene, sort of pink cotton wool for putting inside your vest if suffering from a chesty cough - my grandmother used to use it - and tiny bottles of olive oil, bought from the chemist, and warmed by the fire before dripping into the ear to soften wax. And of course Gibbs Dentrifice tooth powder in a tin, as pictured above. You wetted the toothbrush and then scrubbed it round the tin's contents to make a paste. Our bathroom had a bath and a loo but no handbasin, so in summer we washed and cleaned our teeth in the kitchen, and in winter with a bowl on a stool in front of the fire.So you see much of the world The Families of Fairley Terrace is set in I experienced too, and can easily fit myself into the early 1900s with the help of a little imagination. Time moved so much more slowly then, now the pace of life rackets by in the blink of an eyelid, with new innovations and discoveries we did not even dream of. And I count myself very lucky to have had the best of both worlds!
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
Monday, 9 October 2017
Whew! I can hardly believe I've just completed the fifth book in my Families of Fairley Terrace series (under my pen name of Jennie Felton). I was just putting the finishing touches to it when the fourth came out in hardback and as an e-book, the story of a young widow struggling to keep her family together after the tragic death of her husband. I do hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
When I began the series with All The Dark Secrets I never for one moment imagined that it would become a series of five. I knew I was 'mining a rich seam', as it were, (no pun intended!) with the starting point of the terrible colliery disaster that actually happened, and twelve men and boys met a horrific end when the hudge - an early form of cage - crashed into the depths of the earth when the rope controlling it snapped. (See my blog of 16th October 2014 for a full account of the tragedy). But I little realised how I would be drawn in to the lives of the families who lived in a rank of miners' cottages and were all affected in one way or another by the dreadful events of that day. Maggie, the central character in ALL THE DARK SECRETS, lost both her father and her fiance, Jack, in the accident, and would eventually learn a terrible secret kept by her brother, Billy, as to the cause of what had happened.
THE MINER'S DAUGHTER tells the story of Lucy Day, just a little girl when her father died in the accident. Her life was changed forever when her mother was forced to marry an evil local preacher, but she went on to find fame as a singer in the music halls and happiness with her childhood sweetheart.
Although Edie Cooper, the heroine of THE GIRL BELOW STAIRS, was not directly affected by the tragedy, the love of her life, Charlie Oglethorpe most certainly was. As a young lad he was the one to run back to Fairley Terrace with the terrible news that the hudge had gone down,and the experience had haunted him and coloured the way he had lived his life for many years to come.
Carina is the central character in THE WIDOW'S PROMISE. It was because of what had happened at the pit that her family moved away from Fairley Terrace, and the narrow faulted seams of the Somerset coalfield, to live in South Wales. But when visiting her aunt, Hester Dallimore, the gossip-monger of Fairley Terrace, she falls in love with a local lad, marries him, and comes back to Somerset. The couple have two children, and live happily on Robert's family farm but tragedy strikes, and Carina is forced to carry on alone and responsible not only for the two little ones, but also Robert's ageing grandfather and his wild and wilful sister.
In the fifth book, which I have just finished, we meet a new family, who moved into the house left vacant when Carina's family moved to South Wales, and the story follows the two Sykes girls, Laurel and Rowan. Their mother, Minty, is obsessed with respectability and keeping herself to herself, never enjoying the easy friendships that characterise the women of Fairley Terrace, but unbeknown to them, there is a very large skeleton hiding in her cupboard. However, all the people from the previous four books had become like old friends to me, and I've been delighted to be able to revisit some of them and discover what happened to them after their own particular chapter was closed. I've suggested this book should be called THE SISTER'S SECRET, though the lovely folk at Headline may have other ideas!
I learned so much through researching these five books. First, in ALL THE DARK SECRETS, I discovered how stained glass windows are made, courtesy of a dear friend, Richard Jones, who had sadly left us before the book was published. His father had made a stained glass window for a cathedral in New York, just as Lawrence did in the book, and Richard had taken it up as a hobby, turning a shed in his garden into a workshop, or den, as he liked to call it. He showed me all the tools and the kiln and even loaned me a very precious old manual which had belonged to his father which explained the process in detail. Bless you, Richard. And the beautiful plate panel you made for us still has pride of place in my home.
For THE MINER'S DAUGHTER I was delighted to dig into reams of research material about the wonderful world of the old time Music Hall. A particular passion of mine. For THE GIRL BELOW STAIRS I learned a great deal about the Suffragettes. For the farm in THE WIDOW'S PROMISE I had only to cast my mind back to when I was a little girl - horses still pulled the wagons for haymaking and so on - and I realised that during the first half of the 20th century change, for most ordinary folk, was slow in coming.
The most fascinating aspect of my research for the fifth book was the old travelling fairs, and Romany culture.
I'm not sure where my next book will lead me, but i'm already turning over ideas. It may be a stand alone, or it may be the first of a new series telling of the lives of another community that I hope will become another group of friends.. But whatever, it will certainly be set in the Somerset countryside where I grew up, and which I love,
I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!
Saturday, 12 November 2016
SS GREAT BRITAIN
I wrote this poem on the day the SS Great Britain was brought back to Bristol in 1970. We were living in Nailsea at the time - at the village police station - and I remember listening to coverage on the radio, wishing I could be there to see her towed up the river, and being inspired to put pen to paper.
Now, of course, she is beautifully restored - and I pass her dock often when I am on my way back to Radstock from my new home in Leigh Woods. I was recently reminded of the poem, and wanted to share it with you.
THE GREAT BRITAIN
A Traditional Tribute
They brought her home to Bristol
Halfway across the earth
To the islands that had named her
And the city that gave her birth
Limping, but proud
Scarred, but unbowed
Her iron hull the measure of her worth.
The angry seas have buffeted
The savage winds have torn
But staunchly she has raised her mast
And ridden out the storm.
Washed by uncounted tides
Calm now, at anchor rides
Protected in the bosom of her home.
Cheering thousands line the banks.
They make the pilgrimage
To watch as Brunel's iron ship
Sails under Brunel's bridge.
They wait to see
And pay their tribute to a passing age.
Down to her blackened wooden decks
The ticker tape is thrown
And on the following little ships
The sirens loud are blown.
Now on the tide
Decked like a bride
They bring the great Great Britain home.
Even after all this time it raises goose bumps on my neck. I hope it does the same for you!