After me Verity: hold very tight please – ding ding

Navy Week 1937

WATCH: Navy Week at Portsmouth in 1937

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I was holding my two-year-old granddaughter Verity the other day and taught her to say ‘ding ding’ after telling her to hold tight when picking her up.

When my daughter came to pick her up later in the day I asked her listen. I said ‘hold tight’ and Verity, with a finger in the air, said ‘ding ding’. My daughter asked what it was all about.

‘Don’t you remember when bus conductors used to call out to their passengers ‘‘hold tight now’’ and then rang the bell?’ I asked.

She had not the faintest idea what I was talking about. Have we moved on that far?

I can remember my late brother in his butcher’s shop calling out in the street: ‘Come along now girls. All lean and lovely, every egg a bird’. He admitted not knowing what the hell the phrase meant, but thought it sounded good and then burst out laughing.

Then there were The Evening News street sellers. I remember one call of ‘Final edition. Cricket results’. All gone now.

My late father Jack, who many might remember selling the Football Mail around the streets of Bedhampton and Leigh Park in the late 1950s and 1960s, used to shout – and boy could he shout: ‘‘Mail. Football. All the finals. Football’.

People would then rush from the their houses to buy a copy. He used to say: ‘My voice had to pass through a brick wall and over a television.’

Then there was the toffee apple salesman who had a bike loaded with his goods.

His call was: ‘Fourpence and sixpence each, tovee abble.’

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