Imperceptibly changing, the mores of a time;
What was once acceptable now becomes a crime.
Take the beating of errant wives...... once that was ho-hum,
But now, if a man should beat his wife, the Police would swiftly come.
Take locking children in cupboards......once common enough behaviour;
Now a child so treated would find society its saviour.
Take hanging convicted criminals......not so long ago
That was the treatment meted-out to people on Death Row.
And yet life was strangely innocent, compared to our ways today;
The cover of this book depicted boys and boyish play,
Yet there are some who might snigger at the title's implications,
And the possibility of awkward complications!
My dealings with Deal are two-fold. One from the distant past;
The sort of memories that, through life, always seem to last.
I may forget last Wednesday, or a recent TV show,
But I'll never forget my links to Deal, though they're so long ago.
We lived at Margate, by the sea; Deal was a little way over,
Further round on the coast of Kent, on the way to Dover.
And Uncle Hugh and Auntie Mabs, with John and Mike, lived there.
And Auntie Mabs was a favourite, with her humour and auburn hair.
She was my mother's sister, so laughter always prevailed
Whenever they got together; good humour never failed.
I was six or seven and I'd listen avidly
As the sisters told their anecdotes, quite ignoring me.
I was in my seventh heaven, playing on the floor,
As Ethel and Mabs spent an afternoon, chatting and drinking tea.
For Deal was a thousand miles away; she might have come from the moon!
I felt so honoured to to be there on such an afternoon.
Since then I've learned that Deal, in fact, was really very near!
Without a motorcar or phone I'd really no idea!
We sometimes went to Deal ourselves; an enormous journey, that!
And then there'd be more giggling, more fun and family chat.
The town was quaint, a fishing port, with a painfully pebbly beach
And it actually had a Castle, quite within easy reach!
Then came 1940: our part of Kent was named
'Hellfire Corner' and, for that, only Hitler could be blamed.
We were all evacuated; we left on bus and train,
But little did we realise we'd never return again.
Except that many years later, 1960 it must have been,
My parents moved, on retirement, back to the self-same scene.
After twenty years my mother moved back to her well-beloved Kent
And that's where their declining years, most of them, were spent.
So, once again, I visited that town with such appeal,
That town I know you'll appreciate, the Kentish town of Deal.
An old painting.
The Royal Marines were stationed in Deal and were much loved.