In those grey days that only pensioners now remember,
When discarded ration books gave way to mortgage application,
Still in a boy’s world with little awareness of that other gender,
No insight of current affairs, personal finance, or global realisation.
Cricket outside the garage doors or sailing toy boats on the shallow pond,
We led a blinkered existence, playing in our youthful bliss.
Of walking in a park or beyond the nearby green belt we were rather fond.
Addressed at school by surnames, promptly replied “Yes Miss!”
A monkey on a high street barrel organ caught the eye,
In this dull decade, colour was found in circus and pantomime.
From a neighbour’s TV, Sooty and Sweep with Corbet waved “Bye Bye.”
On radio we listened and recited a children’s favourite nursery rhyme.
This was a new beginning with full and permanent employment.
We felt safe, believed that the reward from struggle was success.
In our close circle of family and friends we were content.
We had not yet heard those cries of “more.” We learnt to cope with less.
Though we sometimes had a car, we used public transport, we caught a train or took the bus.
Life was full of small pleasures, little excitement, there was little to make us sad.
Firm discipline, harsh punishment deterred, confident the law would protect us,
Soon we learnt the rules of life, the difference between good and bad.
Yes, envy prevailed with aristocrats shooting moorland grouse and pheasants.
However, we stood together four countries, united as one nation.
Where were the drugs or streets empty of police presence?
Did I hear complaints of foreigners or immigration?
We peered across the channel to plan our distant admission.
Refused at first, we did not give up and kept tapping on that continental door.
To sustain peace and build international trade. This was our long term mission.
But then there was a future and that important emotion called HOPE, sadly now no more.