6 thoughts on “Waiting For A Start

  1. Janet, I ate my avatar

    I just watched a documentary on The forgotten Irish in England, this poem could have been written for them,

    here it is if you are interested

    very lovely poem, I served many a soul like this in France too, it brought a few faces to mind

  2. Marbe

    Two of these almost abandoned, lonely nearly forgotten men were uncles of mine in London and when I was about to go over myself in the ’60 one of them said “Musha child , don’t be going there, you’ll be in a room with no lino and no lampshade, just a bulb hanging from the ceiling.” He made it back here, with his TB and the other vanished into the bottom of a pint glass. Thank you for a very moving evocative poem.

  3. Paulus

    I was very fortunate to have known an uncle from those days and circumstances.
    A decent man, he was one of the lucky ones who served his few years but got out before the drink and loneliness took hold.
    Many a story he related to me later as he got older.
    A point made by Fran above is that the transient nature of the work and accommodation made it difficulty to form friendships, so the lure of a few drinks and the sound of familiar accents meant that the pub was the focal point.
    One observation, often made by my uncle and others, was that the Irish ganger/foreman was as hard to work for as any other – there were few favours to be had when money was king.
    A regular comment, which became a jokey family saying, was one used by hardened Cricklewood landladies to any timid Irish lodger who dared to make some complaint:
    “Grumble and go Paddy, don’t grumble and stay”

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