Walkley History

News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.

Was it Only Yesterday

I went to see my Auntie Ruth
who recently had a damaged roof.
The wind it howled and blew quite strong
until the chimney fell along the roof top high
and down the chimney into the fire.

Back to back houses then:
no fridge or freezer or washing machine,
a toilet shared with the back to back geezer.

To the wash house she would go
with the other women to share, you know,
chatter and chatter while washing was done,
all quite sociable and fun.

But oh, the weight when all was ready
to carry home in basket heavy,
down the entry to hang in the yard
with privy’s a plenty
on washing lines shared by many.

Shopping was done on Port Ma Hon.
Everything handy:
butcher, bakers, grocers and greens,
library and Oxford Picture Palace near on,
Slipper Baths to keep yourself clean,
swimming pool as well you see.

What more could you want?
Everything so near and ready to share.
No car needed and everyone friendly
plus neighbours who care.

Sad to say, most of it gone.
People have changed and moved along.
Have today’s planers got it all wrong
with the supermarkets so strong?

Barbara Warsop


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