I am taking another trip in my Time Machine to a time at Clapham Common when we had gas lamps in our square. The man would come with his small ladder to light them every night, and again in the morning to put them out.
Mum would send us out to pick up the coal left in the road after the coal man emptied the sacks down the coalhole. He was always so dirty and so was the small boy that sat on the horse-drawn cart.
The man on his bike with the grinding wheel would call out, and mum would send me down to get her knives and scissors sharpened.
The one bike I looked forward to was the ice cream man. If I was lucky, mum would give me three pence for some of the best icecreams. So much better than what was in the shops.
Mum didn’t often have any rags for the rag and bone man, so I didn’t get a free balloon that often.
All these things seemed every day then. Looking back now, they are magic. All that fun without an Xbox!
The best thing of all was Billy Smarts Circus. They would pitch the tent on Clapham Common and very often, we would get in free under the canvas. Elephants, tigers, the clowns, and best of all, the high wire act. Watching them swing so free across the ring, never dropping one another. With my head tilted back, I could believe I was flying with them.
On my way home, I would stop for a while and watch the men with their model motorboats on the pond where they were allowed to play. I preferred the ones with sails, the old buccaneer kind.
Time to go home for tea, maybe I will take another trip on my Time Machine soon…