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Caerleon Remembered

by Lyndon Watts

I remember, I remember, well sort of…
When organic food was never thought of.
I remember too those far off days
When Caerleon streets could be travelled both ways.
When gas street lights were switched on at nights by a man carrying a stick
Hooked at the end to do the trick.
I recall the Common annual horse fair
And Reggie Bateman cutting my hair.
I recollect Norman Street Hall
And its annual carnival ball.
And who could forget Friday night’s charm
Of the silent movies at the mushroom farm.
The riding school behind Angel Hotel
I remember too so very well
Where young ladies in their finest array
Hired out horses for the day.
And for those who've forgotten let me explain
The open air Lido at Bullmoor Lane
Where the quickest way of learning to swim
Was to say a prayer before being pushed in.
I remember children rolling a tyre
And roasting potatoes on an open fire.
The racecourse and jumping over its fence
Gaining entry before racing commence.
The daily delivery of unwrapped bread
Mr. Knorz was our baker it must be said
Still warm, crusty and tasting like heaven
Arriving by nine gone by eleven.
An old Philco radio, the sound of Dick Barton
No life in the battery? Never dishearten
Mr. Lusty, the electrician on Station Road
Would charge it up for six pence a load.
Goldcroft Common, this is where would assemble the popular May Fair roundabouts, swings and roll a penny
Arriving with money, leaving without any
'Roll up, roll up join in the fun throw a dart, shoot a gun loud music blasting from every stall.
Yes, a good time was had by all.
I remember well our dear headmaster who could deliver cane punishment faster than a blinking of an eye
Without giving any reason why.
I recall air raid shelters in our streets
The rationing of chocolate and sweets.
Hardings grocery store, butter in block
'Sorry my love we're right out of stock'.
Tasteless sausages made out of who knows
Christmas chicken and candlelight glows.
The air raid siren on top of Town Hall
Is something else I vividly recall.
And my father dressed as an A.R.P.
Knocking the door and saying to me
'All is O.K. no need to take cover
Go inside and reassure your mother.

There's so much more, too much to tell,
About those days in Caerleon I remember so well.