Withnell Fold, near Chorley, Lancs. UK.

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Memories by Florence Scott

Oh! how I wish I could write down more
Of what went on in the days of yore
In that tiny village so dear to my heart
Of which I still think that I'm a part

  We children all playing at hide & seek
And being told off by Mrs. Speak
Or getting caught for pinching peas
By Jack Marsden spying behind the trees

And all going down the chimney brow
To jump the Lostock and Oh what a row
If you missed your footing and fell right in
And had to go home to confess your sin

"Never again must you go down there
Or when you come home - with bottom bare
Over your father's knee you'll go
And be sent to bed with it hurting so"

  In the Spring all playing at top & whip
Or catching tadpoles in a net on a stick
Or playing with an iron hoop and a scale
'Cos wooden ones were far too stale

  Daring each other to blow very hard
Up Benny's drain pipe in the back yard
Or rubbing your forehead down the back door
Making Benny & Janey come out and roar

  Another trick we all thought was really great fun
Was a button attached to a piece of black cotton
Which was fixed to the kitchen window frame
So the button tap tapped on the window pane

Of course all was dark on a winter night
As the village only boasted one street light
So 'twas ideal for us all to be playing these pranks
But if we were caught there were plenty of spanks

In those days with nothing at all like T. V.
Our own amusement it had to be
But sometimes to Brinscall pictures we'd go
About seven or eight of us all in a row

Then on the way home with a bag of chips
We'd all discuss what we'd seen at the 'flicks'
And two miles then didn't seem very far
'Cos we had to walk home - no chance of a car

I remember the day we all got W.C.'s
At the pull of a chain it went down with ease
No longer the smell of the old tin tub
Or the dread of the "Muck drag" we all used to snub

Electricity too - I remember that coming
The village just then was virtually humming
With pride - no more gas mantles to need
Just a switch and behold the light did heed

There are so many happy memories I have
But thinking back I have to laugh
About some of the things we used to do
That children these days would think "pooh pooh".

I'm glad I've lived through this wonderful age
Of marvellous inventions all taking the stage
Of cars and planes and very fast trains
Enabling us to see all the world's remains

And Oh! what a wonderful world it is
In spite of the wars and the bitterness
If only the people would just enjoy it
Instead of doing their best to destroy it

But time marches on and changes must come
To that little village that once was my home
And to go back there and to see the mill gone
Makes me feel rather sad, but - time marches on.

And one day no doubt, where the mill used to be
It will all be set out so beautifully
All the pot holes in the road will be a thing of the past
But the character of the place will for ever last.

The chimney I hope will stand there for ever
And be a reminder to all, so that never
Will anyone forget that once could be found
A mill of which the villagers were mighty proud.

So this little book I hope will convey
To all who read it that they in some way
Have learnt quite a lot about Withnell Fold
And what went on in the days of old.

  It's just a few things that stick in my head
About some of the folks who are long since dead
But will always remain in my heart so dear
So thank God I've done it while I'm still here!



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