Monday, June 17, 2013

A Poem by Jack Glenny...Greenock That Was

Brings a tear to a glass eye..................
By Jack Glenny
Time passes so quickly there’s a lot left behind
That I must record before it’s out of my mind
One hundred and one little thoughts of the past
Dear to my heart from the first to the last
What of the town that once used to be?
What of the people who lived there with me?
I remember the smoke from the hospital lum
The Morton’s two players called Divers and Crum
The misshapen stairs in my granny’s wee close
The piggery corner where you aye held your nose
The horses that struggled to climb Lynedoch Street
The Tail of the Bank with the American Fleet
Scott’s horn that sounded at twenty to eight
The mad clatter of feet as men poured in the gate
Dunlop’s busses to Largs, Ritchie’s wee ferry
Anderson shelters to hide frae the jerry
The man wi’ the bell that sold the “soor dook”
Fishing for trout wi’ a pin for a hook
Nights in cauld winter playing “ring, bang and scoosh”
The minister’s car that aye needed a push
Enders of loaf, a big tattie scone
The Home and Colonial, McKenzie the pawn
A run on your bike tae the Battery Baths
Big Mick in school that once taught me maths
The market in High Street, Sugarhouse Lane
Princes Pier station for the Kilmacolm train
The mill lassies’ giggles as homeward they go
Doon Drumfrochar Road past Cotton Mill Row
The sugarhouse steam, the Oil and Cake Mill
The Dandy, the Beano and Buffalo Bill
Tinkers wi’ heather and tartan shawled weans
The strange disappearance of the toon’s civic chains
Climbin’ gas lamps at the fit o’ the street
Big Ginger the police wi’ kipper box feet
The jawbox, the dunny, peevers and tig
Picnics in summer at the Auld Roman Brig
Black and white tellys and Jimmy Dow plays
The boy in your class wi’ the second hand claes
The wan-legged busker in Inverkip Street
ABC Minors, the Sunday School treat
Baggy minnows in jaurs frae the Murdieston Dam
The Co-op’s machine for slicing the ham
Tugs and destroyers, new ships on the stocks
James Watt, Victoria, East India docks
Tobacco, bananas, sugar and oil
“Keek Duffy”,”The Wolf” and “Auld Puchle Coyle”
Brick baffle walls at the mouth of the close
Chips oot o’ Cello’s, coffee from Joe’s
Edmiston’s pies an’ Kennedy’s breid
The night that we heard that Ghandi was deid
There were places and things not heard of today
Serpantine Walk and Bubbly Jock’s Brae
The Vennel, The Bogle and Baron Baillie’s Hoose
National Dried Milk and free orange juice
Coppersmiths, loftsmen and riveters’ mates
Holeborers, drillers and builders of grates
Chimney sweeps, leeries, all passed away
Historical trades of our town yesterday
The man wi’ wan arm, they all called him Willie
Stood at West Station and sold ye the “Tele”
McIntyre’s horses and Duncan Street stables
Rossini’s cafe wi’ marble topped tables
Initials that bring back memories to me
R.N.T.F. and T double E
Clippies on busses wi’ “Seats up the sterr”
The man that sold nylons at “Five bob a perr”
Woolworths and Markies in Hamilton Street
The corner at Burtons where the young bloods all meet
Gilchrist and Prentice’s, Bennett’s, Mackay’s
Crawford’s the place for your soup, beans and pies
This was the Greenock I knew as a boy
Vibrant and lively, bubbling with joy
It’ll never return, good thing seldom do
But I’m glad that I saw it, does the same go for you?

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