Our Century

The changing face of Bilston Market

Ron Burns
Born 1949

Ron Burns

Ar remember the roof with fans spinning raernd.
Ar remember aych sight, aych smell an' aych saernd.
Ar remember me dad 'eld me 'ond like a vice,
Tew blokes sellin' lino, competin' in price.
'Over 'ere, over 'ere, over 'ere!' aych one cried,
As they rolled aert the oil cloth long an' wide.
Screwdrivers, sponners, mantles an' wicks,
Bike chains an' innerchewbs; day ode chicks.
Leather an' martingales, odd lengths o' rope,
Candles an' earthenware, carbolic soap.
Inside or aertside, it day really matter,
Wharrever they sode, they all had the patter.
Faggits an' chitterlins, ham off the boon,
The Salvation Army all playin' a tune.
Saernds an' sights an' colourful folks,
Shappin' an' cantin', tellin' stories an' jokes.
It seemed like a meltin' pot in which Ar'd immerse,
For a kid who was nine, such a wonderful plairce.

The ode market's gone, all the stalls and the bricks,
Tharr ay no moor shoe leather nor day ode chicks.
But in their place thuz track siwts an' trainers,
An' the traders doh shaert; thuz no entertainers.
Yo' con still buy the baircun an' faggits; gray pays,
An' sprays an' collars fer dogs wi' flaes.
Thuz a cafe wheer folks rest their legs an' drink tay,
An' talk an' gossip an' goo on their way.
Thuz tewl stalls an' fish stalls an' stalls that sell mait,
An' some what just specialise in stuff aert o' date.
Anoraks, saris, picture frairmes, tellies,
An' little gold rings wenches wear thriw their bellies.
Over the years Ar've come 'ere; no fuss,
But Ar cort really say if it's better or wuss.
It's still like a meltin' pot in which I immerse,
Fer a bloke nearly fifty, it's a wonderful plairce.