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There Once Was a Long Vanished England

There once was a long vanished England;
Of well-spoken presenters
Of the BBC Home Service,
Light Service, and Children’s Favourites,
Of coppers and tanners, and ten bob notes;
And jolly shopkeepers, and window cleaners.
I remember my beloved Wolf Cub pack,
How I loved those Wednesday evenings,
The games, the pomp and seriousness of the camps,
The different coloured scarves, sweaters and hair
During the mass meetings,
The solemnity of my enrolment,
Being helped up a tree by an older boy,
Baloo, or Kim, or someone,
To win my Athletics badge,
Winning my first star, my two year badge,
And my swimming badge
With its frog symbol, the kindness of the older boys.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
'There Once Was a Long Vanished England' originated partly in the early 2000s as some kind of unfinished short story which was subsequently versified, and partly as an earlier short story, begun when I was 21.
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


Thank you, I had a good day. Yes, they did, these boys were pretty rough, but there was no bullying in them, it was a different, more innocent time.

author comment

I recall being a boy scout which I guess is about the same. I wonder if Every generation has similar thoughts of the simpler times of their childhood?

I think so. The general consensus over here is that the 1950s was a decade of innocence, simplicity and conformity; of course things started to change in the 1960s, the decade I was raised in, but that spirit of innocence was still there, and would be for some time, By the dawn of the 1980s, I would say Sixties and Seventies 'permissive' culture had started to go mainstream in the UK, while the 'old culture' of the 1950s was gone forever.

author comment

I left school at 16,and can remember how things were in London in the early 1970s when I was truly discovering the city for the first time, it was a time before London became a big 'tourist' city as it is today. There was a run-down feel more than there is today as I recall; and things could be scary in terms of the threat of imminent violence, also in the 80s, and early 90s, but since then, I've more or less avoided the city centre and kept to the suburbs.

author comment

Hi Carl, what a nostalgic poem. I visited London more or less during that period and yes, it was easy to get around to visit the wonderful British Museum, the old Library and going to the theatre.
Makes me nostalgic. There are Boy and Girl Scouts in Argentina, copied from the Brits. But not when I was growing up.
Your title, content and spacing are perfect, no nits from me. Enjoyed, Gracy

"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

But I've not been for some time, I'm so pleased you like this, it means a lot. Carl.

author comment

... but remember that in those "good old days", thousands died unnecessarily of diseases which are now curable and landladies put up signs in their windows saying "No Irish, no blacks, no dogs".

Poet(ess) to the Stars

ES, as a child I recall many people suffering from polio and other conditions, and there was the tragic thalidomide phenomenon, and yes, there was open intolerance, I remember all this first hand, it wasn't perfect for sure. Carl.

author comment

...back in the late 1970s, I had a close friend in Clapham, would often visit here there, for parties and so on, I can only remember good times, I dressed in the Punk style back then, which created a bit of a sensation, she later moved to Brixton, close by to the Railton Road, and I visited her there too, late at night she'd come with me to the station, I was fine, because I was so often in a dream world thanks to my 'magic medicine', little scared me, little phased me, great days, loved it all.

author comment
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