Why Do Your Flag?

Old Days Old Ways

Looking at old pictures. Street pictures.

Some with children playing. Some with adults watching. Some with both.

Play streets. No cars. All vehicles prohibited from sun-up to sun-down. Salford play streets. No cars. Children playing. Old and young watch their neighbourhood.

Their street. Their pavements. Their patch. Their step. Their flag.

The step. The flag. To be kept clean.

Lanry. Hot water. Soap. A brush. A cloth. A donkey stone.

Don’t walk on people’s steps. Their big flag. The one outside each door.

Don’t step on the flag. They’ve just done that flag. Walk here. Right love. This way.

The flags were kept clean. The flags would get covered in soot. From the chimneys. Do you know that twelve tons of soot fell on some towns every week? Well it was only six in Burnley. The soot fell in tiny little balls. Black as anything. But just try to pick one up. You did. Children did. It went all over. It made black everywhere. But you could slip on it. When it rained. It made the flags greasy. When in rained. That’s why you do your step. Make a line on the edge of it. And your flag.

You don’t want to be walking all that in your house.

Street soot, in your house? Never. Clean your flags. Once a week. Bad houses didn’t. Lazy folk. Well, when they were ill. Happen.

And the back entry. They don’t say back entry now. They say ginnel. There wa’n’t no ginnels round here. Some say ten foot. That’s in Hull. A ginnel’s got a roof. Well it’s an entry but under and between two houses. Sometimes it has a door. Yis, that’s right Lizzie. The entry is behind all the houses. Well keep it nice. Pick up. Sweep up. Bleach the stuff away. And use hot water. Jeyes. Not Jeyes, too dear. Bottle of bleach. Thin. That’s the stuff. Just once a week.

Where do you get a donkey stone? It costs nowt to keep clean.

Not really.

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