Grandfather, grandmother and I in the house
I’d waited long time, maybe it wouldn’t come
Grandfather, grandmother seemed quite unconcerned
But I was quite nervous, the future unknown.
How were they so stoic, or so it appeared
Grandfather, newspaper slipped down as he slept
Grandmother, just bustled as she always did
Setting the table for the Saturday tea
Unaware of my waiting with increasing dread
Was it that they were old, ~ it’s all happened before
And unlike myself were inured as to fate
Whereas I apprehensive as if/when it might come
Was concerned for us all ~~ then a noise from the street
Apocalyptic clip clop, horse and tumbril drew near
Thunderous knock then the visitors bell
And there stood the man who Corona could bring.
So grandpa decided that we would have three
“Ades” orange and lemon ~ Cream Soda for me
Back in the early 1950’s as a young boy I occasionally stayed with my Morrison grandparents in their house in Barking Essex. This was long before it became part of a London Borough and it was very pleasantly suburban. The house was one of a long row of small semi-detached houses fronting both sides of a road barely wide enough for two small cars to pass, but with a wide tree and shrub planted verge between the road and pavement. The highlight of a weekend visit was the eagerly, and apprehensively, anticipated arrival of the “Fizzy Pop” man at some, seemingly indeterminate, time on Saturday afternoon. His horse drawn wagon was populated by bottles of Corona lemonade, orangeade and cream soda, with the bonus of the penny back on empties which I was allowed to keep. He also sold, as I found out much later, the incomparable Dandelion & Burdock which for some reason I was never allowed. Possibly it’s taste resembled beer to closely for a Methodist household or more likely the reputation of Dandelions as an encourager of night time micturition gave my grandmother cause for concern.
Written by John Pankhurst, a West Bridgford poet and clock fixer.