Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yesterday, when I was young...2

Yesterday, when I was young......
I got the cane most Mondays at my new school in Stockwell. The first two or three Mondays I got it for being late after assembly, two stripes on each hand with a cane. After that I got it for insolence. That's what they called it when you can't say why you were late, (or won't.)
On Fridays Mum would give me the two half crowns wrapped in a bit of paper and the receipt to go to the shop on a corner in the Lambeth Walk. I collected the bundle wrapped in a white cotton cloth with a very big pin in the fabric to keep it closed. We had our clean clothes for Mass, altho my sleeves got very short (mum said I was growing too quickly) and we did have to keep them very nice. Sunday night the bundle was placed on the chair in the kitchen near the door so that I could not forget to take it with me in the morning on the way to school. Harvey and Thompson the pawnbroker did not open til 9.
Assembly was at 9. So I got the cane. Just before we broke up for half term the youngest teacher asked me in the playground, "Did I see you in the Lambeth Walk waiting for a shop to open this morning?" I said yes..
"You are there every Monday?” I said yes.
I never got the cane again..


  1. Oh, Lynne

    That was touching. Things were tough for me as a child too. Sadly some kids these days have it hard, but I'm forever saying to my boys that they don't know they are born!

    btw - I can see a novel in your little ditty...


  2. Another lovely post. A vivid picture painted and a lot said in very few words.
    Teresa :)

  3. Josi, you're a 'class act'. More of the same, please.

    And people complain that life is tough for them, today. I have an 87 year old neighbour who has told me heartbreaking tales of his own childhood and the cruel poverty he and his family endured.