It was just after the Second World War
in the early forties when Robyn’s granny
was about seven or eight. She said:
“Fruit that grew in hot countries
like bananas and oranges was scarce.
These could only be got if a cargo ship
made it through from Lisbon in Portugal.
These ships had to come through the Bay of Biscay
and many vessels were lost making the trip.
So it was a big treat when someone got…
an orange in their stocking.
This is not to say Christmas was not the most magical of times.
For weeks even months preparations were being made.
The Mammies were arranging with the butcher,
the baker and other shop keepers to keep stuff for them.
There were no supermarkets then
and very little money so people would go to these shops,
pick out what they wanted and pay a little for them every week,
so when Christmas week arrived everything was paid for.
The children had jobs to do too.
They would go to the woods
and gather holly and ivy to decorate the house.
We also collected for the neighbours
who had nobody to do it for them.
If they gave you a penny, it would be riches indeed,
but if they didn’t, it didn’t matter
as we had such fun gathering it.
To us they were wonderful times
and even if everything changes,
the message of Christmas remains the same.
Christ was born to us in a stable
bringing joy to the world and goodwill to man’.