Jam Jars were worth a penny
Glass Tizer bottles
With metal spring stoppers, tuppence halfpenny
Quart glass beer bottles threpence.
All year round in forty nine
These went down Theberton Street to the “rag and bone” shop
The few coppers stashed each time
In my sock, in the bottom draw.
Summer 1950 – We went to Margate
I was six years old and mega rich
Having converted the copper coins
Into silver sixpences and twelve sided three-penny bits.
One pound seven shillings and eight pence halfpenny
Jingled in my shorts trouser pocket
down the slope to ‘Dreamland’ opposite the beach
The paper seller on the corner shouting “Star, News and Standard”.
Mostly a penny or sometimes a halfpenny
in the slot I sent a steel ball round its trajectory
Just to see if I could get it back or see it fall into the losing hole
Dad scoffed at me wanting to spend threpence on the laughing policeman.
Nearby stood a big glass cage
With wondrous treasurers within
Real pearls, and fancy goods
A proper Timex watch under the crane.
With each bright sixpence, I twiddled the knobs
To aim like an expectant winner
I got the strap of the watch
Only to see it slip and drop back again.
But, another sixpence held a prize in the cranes jaws
All the way to the prize slot shoot
A sugar spoon was mine!
Clutched in a little boys hand.
That spoon has shared each home I’ve had
One is good but two were bad
Its tarnished now and the bright colours gone
But I still smile at that time ago, so long ago.