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Long Eaton Poem - Author Unknown

Yesterday, I did my usual shopping
Oh what a boring old chore it can be
struggling with trolleys and reaching and bending,
shopping for food is no pleasure for me.
Buggies in alleyways banging your ankle bones
I get to the checkout, I wait there and then
someone in front of me gets out a cheque book
they don't know the date and they haven't got a pen
I made my way homewards and there in my memory
thoughts came of old days and things of the past.
When folks were much nicer to others around them
and the pace of our lives living a little less fast.
I used to love all the shops on the High Street
each one a treasure, a beautiful shop.
Maypole and Melia's, Home and Colonial,
Mason's and Star and me good old Co-op
there through the door with its lovely brass handles
white coated assistants all sparkling clean.
Smells of smoked bacon, loose tea in the tea chests
and the aroma of fresh coffee beans.
Cheese with the rind on was cut with a wire,
treacle sold loose you took your own jar,
weighed up to order in blue bags was sugar
and washing soap sold in a long oblong bar.
Blue bags and soda and starch for the collars
sacks of dried fruit in a sweet smelling mass.
Glorious biscuits in front of the counter
displayed in their tins with the lids made of glass.
Butter in tubs weighed up to requirements
patted in shapes with the pats made of wood
stamped with a pattern, a cow or a flower,
it made it look lovely, it tasted so good!
I used to look up with such satisfaction
when the bill was all written and then added up,
the money and bill were all carefully folded
and placed into half of a small wooden cup,
Then screwed to the other half up on a wire
one pull of a handle and off it would pass,
to the cashier hidden up in an office
wood panelled, windowed, with quaint patterned glass.
Then the assistant would pack all your groceries
into your shopping bag carefully arranged.
Over your head whizzed that cup on a wire
securely containing your receipt and the change.
Oh, for the smell of real leather in shoe shops
crepe soled red sandals and brown ones as well.
I used to love having new wellingtons
how I remember that rubbery smell!
What ever happened to sweet haberdashery?
Cotton, lace gloves and the great bales of cotton?
Ribbons and trimmings and buttons and laces
(may Grange's in High Street not be forgotten!)
Do you remember the fish salads at Spooners?
Fish was so cheap and variety galore.
Would you believe it, I still have a carrier
printed with Spooners name, woven from straw.
No more the handsome cash registers ringing,
no more the personal service, I fear.
No more the milk cheques and bread cheques in paper pokes,
no more stone bottles of sweet ginger beer.
How I regret all those shops that are gone now,
now it's impersonal and such a bore.
Whoever thought up that bigger is better
made a mistake, and of that I am sure.

The above poem was featured in the Long Eaton Advertiser in 2005.

Long Eaton - by Kathleen Thorpe

Long Eaton is a busy town,
its people always rush around
on their way to work or school,
to the shops or swimming pool.
The Market Place, all paved and new,
and all along the High Street too.
The old Co-op is no more,
in its place, the Argos store.

Asda and Tesco can be found
where people come from all around,
and in The Green, Trent buses wait
so hurry now and don't be late.
From Sawley comes the R15,
just look around, survey the scene.
When your worries weigh you down
and your face just wears a frown,
come to Long Eaton, don't feel blue
a visit here is good for you.

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