To The Beat Of A Sunday Drum.

Hi Peeps,

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The bells are pealing madly here to welcome a Sunday.

I  suppose that it could be very annoying to some, but I love it, quintessentially British childhood memories there.

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In those far-off days of a simple sort of life, just after WWII, we were grateful for any form of entertainment that would relieve long and bland days.

Once a month or so we children would be pleased to suddenly hear the deep sound of a drum disturbing the Sabbath day.

It heralded the arrival of a group of people from the Salvation Army.

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They wore dark blue uniforms.

The ladies in skirted suits with very old fashioned bonnets with ribbons tied to the side of the chin.

The men wore suits and military style caps to match.

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The music was played on the drums and tambourines to accompany the solemn hymn singing , interspersed with preaching.

We children happily stood around in a circle and absorbed the whole fascinating process as often as we possibly could.

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Of course other visitors such as the French Onion Man on his vegetable festooned bicycle, and the Ragman, were equally important.

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After the singing, the Sally would go around knocking on the doors for some kind of monetary donation from the usually cash-strapped householders.

I don’t think that their arrival was seen as such a desirable situation from our parents point of view as money was short and eating was given much more importance than religion.

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However, for a short period of time, I was forced to attend Sunday School at some local church or other.

As my family were not churchgoers, I assumed that they just wanted to get rid of me for some time so that they could get some space to kick back and read the news Of The World in blissful peace.

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I used to read that newspaper myself actually, even as a small child.

I would lie on the floor with the paper spread out before me, and learn all about vicars running away with lady parishioners, and all other kinds of scurrilous happenings out there in the wide world of real life….this probably as helped to soften the paper too!

My parents probably liked it when I was always reading because I was a great one for asking questions.

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It eventually got so bad that my harassed mother would answer them all by saying that…”That’s for me to know, and for you to find out”.

So I would ask other people, such as my Uncle Herbie.

And I began obsessively reading through a huge set of encyclopedias which suddenly appeared from out of the depths of the cupboard, in an alcove at the side of the coal fire.

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It was a nice set, with tooled green covers and thick pages that made an important noise when you turned them….and the pictures were all a sort of greeny colour.

They got read over and over again through the following years and contained many statements about other races of people that would nowadays be considered to be criminally racist in their meanings.

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A very different world in those days.

j,x.

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