Mr Edwards ran the baker shop not far from where we lived, and Mum would often send me for a fresh loaf, warm in my arms, smelling like heaven.
All the way home it was so hard not to take a bite. I did once and that was enough. The best thing for us kids was the fish and chip shop. If we took in an armful of newspapers, we could walk home eating a free bag of chips.
On hot days, we could get a cold drink from Mr Tom’s sweet shop. He offered one-penny drinks or a small one for a halfpenny. When you had been running around, it was better than popping indoors for a drink of water, for Mum would ask why was I so hot, and what had I been doing. Spending that halfpenny was best.
It was always easy to come by a penny or two. Take the rubbish out for Mrs Kindle, or sweep the yard for old Mr Wright. I ran many errands and often earned enough to go swimming and buy a bag of broken biscuits on the way home. For a penny, I could spend all day in the paddling pool.
For five pennies, I could spend an hour in a tin canoe rowing myself around the small island in the middle of the pond. When our time was up the man would call us in by our number and I always wanted canoe number 5.
Oh, for a time machine so I could take my kids back and show them how I lived and how I played…