Coronation Treat

The Coronation was coming,
me Dad and his mates got their paint brushes out
regulation mud brown and forest green
slapped on everything, window sills,
front doors even street lamps.
Steps dipped in the centre by years of polishing with a hone
vigorously pummelled, even the gravel paving stones,
which killed when you fell down,
were brushed and soaped with a vigorous swishing sound
by brushes as wide as hammerhead sharks
which all Dustmen carried on the back of their cart.

Mr O’Brien on one side Dad of the street me Dad on the other, we ran between with a bale of coloured plastic triangles that bounced an shivered as they strung them up at the centre of each, much to out joy a square plastic Union jack.

Mr Cantlay marshalled the older boys to collect rickety tables from the Church hall and run them
down the centre of Methuen Street.
Plumer and McDonald were just as busy doing their own.
Ladies in pinnies emerged,
like figures from a giant cuckoo clock, from front doors carrying trays of egg and ham sandwiches,
best cut glass slopping with trifle and sticky cakes sprinkled with hundreds and thousands.

We ate and drank red cheery Cherry Tizer till we were physically sick, then ran in and out of the O’Brien’s
to watch a walnut cased t.v, with a magnifier on the front,
if you stood at the corner you could even make it out in colour.
We saw miles of horses pulling carriages with large men wearing ostrich plumed hats till eventually people looked very serious and there was a lot of singing then cheering as a man in white, placed a crown on a young woman’s head.

I couldn’t wait for the treat and leaped aboard the Charabanc eager for our Coronation surprise.
In a fervour of excitement we reached Woolton village
were we all trooped off and were given an ice cream,
then back on the bus and home.
As for the next Coronation’s surprise treat we are still waiting.

By Lynda Colle