Farthings and Ha’pennys

Farthings and ha’pennys

Florins and shillings

Thrupenny bits

Half crowns


Bushels and pecks

Rods and furlongs

Gills and gallons

Ounces and pounds


Maps on the wall

Where the world was pink

Learning to read and write

Peggy and Mother


Big pipes in the classroom

painted green

Hot from the furnace below

stoked with coke


Kiss and chase

Round the bike sheds

Or by the rows of poplars

At the end of the playground


Queuing in lines

for the milk monitors

for our bottles out of the crate

a third of a pint

with a straw


School dinners everyday

gristly mince and mash

puddings with custard

chips once a year

at exam time


We were so lucky

to play outside

girls skipping over ropes

boys playing football

in the schoolyard


Life seemed so simple

when you made do

Was it so golden

Who knows

It was our childhood


– Pauline Smith


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