AS a very young boy, I remember being taken to Beales at Christmas time, when there was a display of toys for boys and girls and a model railway layout display.

I recall my father taking us and buying a clockwork Hornby train engine for 17 shillings and sixpence. I also recall another gem of a Meccano set for 10s

When I was seven, I was taken there and sung into a closed-off apparatus, off by heart, the six verses of the carol While Shepherds Watched. It would be played on a wind-up gramophone with a … needle. It did not last very long – all for sixpence. No modern technology then.

Also the Christmas show at Bealesons (Poole Hill) – Christmas Through the Ages and With Scott to the South Pole – all for sixpence and a gift from Father Christmas.

Happy days! Happy memories!

We shall not see their like again.

With a very happy, contented childhood in my memory.


Sunrise, Westbourne