Earth Stood Hard as Iron

December 2017

Mid 1950’s and three of us were trying to earn some spending brass and bring good cheer to local residents with our carol singing in the run up to Christmas.

Not much success in the Woodrow area (lots of competition) generating that not so warm and gruff shout through the door of ‘COME AT CHRISTMAS’.   So, we moved on to Church Lane which offered a small but better return of about three shillings to share.   I had asked my co choristers to give Pinfold Lane a try that evening on a few occasions without success, having reckoned that there would be fewer kids singing out there.   The other two were less than enthusiastic and it was at that point that I decided to give it a spin and split off to go solo along Pinfold Lane.

After a couple of failures, and given that it was absolutely freezing I was at the point of packing up when a first response offered two shillings.

Made it!

That was all I needed to continue along the right hand side travelling towards the Low Common.   I could not believe the generous response of some of the residents, some of ’em must have been a bit tipsy thinking back.  Anyway, when I totalled up back at home I had made in the region of three pounds ten shillings.

The following night after a brief encounter with homework I was off to Pinfold Lane again working solo along the other side of the road with very similar results .    After two nights with the carols I had made the equivalent of a weeks wages of a screenhand working on the pit top.

So how come all the generosity?

Well it was close to Christmas and I reckon that being a bit later at night it was after any competition along Pinfold Lane.  However, I’m certain the freezing temperatures with just the one caroller  singing the first two and the last verse of ‘In The Bleak Mid Winter’ had more to do with it – they just felt sorry for me!

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.  

Thank you Hannah Hyatt

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