A scene from “A Christmas Carol” filmed in Shrewsbury.
This is Fish Street, with the Bear Steps just off to the left.
So, in December the garden is mainly found in a great number of garden catalogues. The gardener herself hibernates under glass in a heated room, buried up to the neck,
not in compost, but in garden catalogues and books.
Gardener turned up not so much for work as to bring annual Christmas greetings, coming into the kitchen with clean boots, well-scraped on the mat, and ready for a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a long leisurely ramble over the past.
One of gardener’s pet grumbles is the ingratitude shown by kids. He had been telling us his favourite Halloween story, about how he’d given a ‘whole ruck of them’ sweets and bags of crisps, and how the ungrateful little blighters had opened the bags on their way to the garden gate and tipped them all out on the path. “They never got nothing from me any other year!” Gardener snorted in disgust.
“Christmas is just the same”, he continued."Who believes in Christmas today; people under forty. they don’t even bother to go to Church, do they.” (Gardener is not in the least religious)
“We were lucky if we got a present, a horange and a napple is what we got. The kids today’d chuck it back at you. Apple and orange is good for you, they tell you years ago. Fruits is good for you. Now kids don’t wanna eat it. If you had a banana they took the skin off you. I reckon if we all went to Church the world would be a lot better place. if everybody made a heffort to go to Church on a Sunday, dress up and go to Church, get to know all your locals and that, it would be a better place, like it did years ago. Like in Wales, see, they had Chapels, they used to dress up, all in their nines, go to chapel and they talk then, they’d get to talking, and they knew everybody in the village, all the scandal like."
"I can see my grandad now, with his trilby hat on and his suit on and his tie and all dressed up to the nines and his wife, granny, her ‘d have her big hat on as well, every Sunday, they’d walk about 2 1/2 miles to the Chapel. That’s the only time her take her pinny off, to go to Church Sunday morning, 11 o’clock like. get back for one o’clock for dinner and that. You’d put your meat in in the morning. and be back for one o’clock."
"The Welsh are more religious than what we are, chapelwise. I used to go to Sunday school every Sunday from the age of 4 till I was 10 and-a-half. We left then, but up until then, every Sunday morning we was off to chapel, 2 miles away, we’d walk, all of us, we’d do drawing and all sorts, up at Ditton Priors. It’s still there, the little Chapel is. Then at Christmas, we’d have a big do, in the main big Church, and in the Village Hall, and they used to give us a little present each, more than we had of our parents like. It was a toy off the big christmas tree and they’d call your name out and you’d have to go to get your little parcel like, up under the tree."
"Mother’d give us a penny and you’d buy a penny stamp see and you’d put it in a book, off a Sunday, then you’d have your penny stamps all in there, I think mother got all the books, well I don’t know who’s got them now, but somebody’s got all the books, because we never cashed them in, so some lucky bugger’s got em or they’ve all been chucked away."
Part 2 to follow tomorrow.