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Wartime Banknock

Composed on the 9th of June, 2014, to the main melody of Calum Maclean's tune, 'The Charness Waltz', by the Maister's son, John Henderson, who grew up in Banknock during WW2.

I remember when I first came to Banknock
In a double-decker bus;
'Twas in August '44 when war still was not o'er;
Though victory would come in time to us.
"When you alight at Hollandbush Inn's bus stop,
Pass the Raws," we had been told;
Dad as the novice-maister of the local school,
And me a nervous five-year-old.

It was very diff'rent out there in Banknock
From our Falkirk's Alma Street,
When in April '45, and at last we had arrived
I soon found country ways and folks a treat.
I had not paddled in a burn until then,
Far less try to catch wee fish;
Though no air-raid-shelter dug into our green
Became a play-space I did miss.

The old school was where all mums went in Banknock
For dried milk and orange juice,
And the foul-cod-liver-oil that illnesses they might foil
From lots infections often on the loose.
Never forgetting the rose-hips as syrup,
And ripe brambles bairns could pick;
All encouraged by...... Sir Winston when he'd sigh,
"Our workers are no use when sick."

Return to John's Poetry Page


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