The Good Old Days? Music Hall and Remembrance Day…

Last week at the Cavendish Hospital in Buxton, and at the Riverside Ward at the Newholme Hospital, we looked at music hall and our favourite acts which had grown out of the variety theatres which flourished about the country from the mid nineteenth century, but had all but disappeared by the 1960s, when the British public became stuck to the small screens of their TVs.


Gracie Fields entertaining troops in World War Two

Gracie Fields entertaining troops in World War Two

The Good Old Days

New Mills had a music hall.
I’d always end up sitting behind a lady with a big hat.
For our delectation and delight, the compere would announce the next act
A wonky ventriloquist, too drunk to sit on his stool –
And that was just the puppet.
Then a down-to-earth lass would come on stage,
Singing a gutsy song, ‘The Pride of Our Alley’.
She was a fine figure of a girl, our darling Sally.
Someone would start smoking a pipe
There would be tobacco crumbs everywhere
All over the plush red seats that tipped up.
And then later, it got turned into a grubby cinema,
Closed, and forgotten forever.


At Stanton Day hospital, we started thinking about laying the memorial wreath at the plaque that commemorates the role that Newholme Hospital played in World War One, as an auxiliary hospital.

Remember to remember

Do the young remember to remember?
The fallen of the two World Wars,
Their great grandparents who fought in World War Two;
Made do, mended and sheltered,
From the bombs that wrecked the city streets.
Who remembers the female pilots, daring and clever?
The resistance helpers, who told no one of their bravery,
Just helped the hidden safely on their way.
And as the wars slip into the history,
There’s no one alive to tell their story.
Old, cracked voice recordings talking about the trenches.
Letters, postcards, artefacts from the past.
Their courage and suffering stretching back centuries,
And into the future, in strange lands and deserts.
We lay a wreath, to remember all wars.
In the hope that one day, all wars will end.

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