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29 October 2014
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Poet : Gary Roe
Gary Roe, ex-miner and poet
Gary Roe, ex-miner and poet
Former miner Gary Roe began putting pen to paper as a way of poking fun at his mates. Many of his poems feature Nottingham life.

Here we showcase a one of his works, Around The Square 1971.
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Gary introduces himself:
I live in Annesley and have done all my life, I am 46 years old.

I had 22 years down the Pit starting at Newstead and then Annesley/ Bentinck.

I started writing poems or a bit of fun, usually poking fun at my mates or even me.

I've about forty odd poems which are about mining and our struggles as well as good times. Some about local history and some about my childhood. The Pit closures made me put pen to paper.

I have other works some are unfinished, I like local history, especially that of Nottingham itself.

I am a keen Forest fan and in my younger days loved to go down town at weekends for a drink or two (still do when I get the chance).

I am married to Julie and we have one daughter, Lindsey aged 15.

Below is a poem that recounts my memories of the Old Market Square:


Around the Square 1971

Meet me down the Market Square
Tho' there is no market there
Shoppers busy to and fro
Some will buy and some don't know
Carriers full from C and A
There must have been a sale today
Hardware, clothes, new shoes and books
Cosmetics to improve your looks
Purses sagging
Children nagging
Have we finished yet?
Husbands leer
Craving beer
What's left for you to get?

Queues for Corporation bus
'Correct fare only' causes fuss
Ask directions where to go
"Turn left here and up Long Row"
No time to look at people round you
'Bout how many will astound you
Bargains galore! With prices dropping
Today's the day to do your shopping
To and fro-ing where are we going?
We've come by this way twice
Hustle bustle
Aching muscle
A rest would come in nice

Skinheads gather on a wall
Short haircuts, some none at all!
Turn-ups high above their boots
Faded Levi's denim suits
Hari Krishna's, Friends of Jesus
Mini skirts on beauties please us
Hell's Angels garb in any weather
Wearing 'colours' on their leather
Pigeons flapping
Camera's snapping
The kids upon a lion
Wino's stewed
Downbeats lewd
The Law to keep an eye on

The Flying Horse, Exchange and Bell
Dinnertime drinkers there do dwell
Turned out at three and what a sight
Can't wait to get back in at night
Exchange Walk hawkers shout the most
Betwixt the cries of "E'ning Post!"
A city day is full and long
Amid the Nottinghamian throng
A few quid lent
The rest is spent
Less bus fare to go home
So long to thy fine
Symmetrical skyline
Except for the Council House Dome

Gary Roe ©1993

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