Poetic Memories of a Pontypool Christmas

Recently I received the following written piece about Pontypool Christmas memories of 1953 from Robert Miles. I added it a short time ago as a comment after my post about Christmas memories which was published some time ago but as there are 143 posts not many visitors might have seen it. Therefore I am adding it here as a separate post for all to see. Thanks Robert!

Memories of a Pontypool Christmas.
[1953]

Marzipan, a pirate’s name is marzipan.
Crushed almonds and sugar
laid gently on top of a spread of marmalade.
A cool, smooth even surface
turntable the cake slowly and
use a ruler to make the Royal icing.
The goose comes from the market,
like the ham for the slicing.
Four weeks before, the talk
was all about a piece of beef
or a leg of pork.
One year we had turkey,
then coughs and sneezes in January.
What good is brown paper without goose grease?

Pickled onions peeled, plunged into vinegar,
beetroot and red cabbage followed soon after.
A barrel of beer resting on the cold stone,
a bitter that is sweet to the thirsty man
and the inquisitive child.
Stuffing and sausage meat, ice and snow.
How many sixpences in the pudding?
None for you! Grampy don’t tell fibs
you always put a sixpence in,
sometimes two.

The Beano and the Dandy,
Desperate Dan and Cow pie.
Dennis the Menace and Lord Snooty.
The Eagle Annual for us
and the Giles Cartoons for Grampy.
A jigsaw and a selection box
of chocolates with a game on the back.
And gloves, don’ t forget the gloves.

Robert L. Miles

These lines certainly brought back many memories for me. The brown paper and goose grease reminded me of the times when I had these tied around my neck with an old sock to cure a sore throat. What excitement there was searching for the little sixpences or threepenny bits wrapped in silver paper in the Christmas pudding. Packets of cigarettes were always a good source of silver paper. I used to love receiving a selection box. They were fairly standard then and generally cost 2/6 – that’s 12.5 pence for those under 50 years old!

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