Life begins at 60?
Since I retired I have become a writer, flower arranger,judge for Yorkshire in Bloom assisted in and presented on a local radio station, volunteer on an allotment for adults with disabilities and help to run a social enterprise with profits going to mental health charities etc etc
I live in West Yorkshire and spend much of the summer at the Yorkshire coast.
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P is for Picture House
Park Picture House, Leeds
independent cinema is 100 years old this year and has seen huge changes over
that period; sound, colour, non-smoking, digital.Although it has been refurbished, it still
sports the old gas lights and a tour of the building revealed vintage
telephones and Victorian sinks.It is
one of the few independent cinemas in the area, which means that it shows some
really good films rather than the commercial blockbusters
writing group had the opportunity of a tour of the building and we produced
some pieces inspired by what we saw and learnt.We were shown two short films, one of which was Conversation Piece http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYsdGqPfhW8
Here is a piece I wrote based on this cinema about two cleaners in the late 40s/early 50s:
The Picture House
Armed with a bucket and damp cloth, Doris shuffled her big
frame along the row, emptying the overflowing ashtrays then giving them a quick
wipe.She could hear coughing coming
from above which was Violet tackling the same job upstairs.
“Alright, love? She shouted up to the balcony, noting not
for the first time the decorative flowers and foliage which festooned it.
“I’m knee deep in ice cream tubs and fag ends here,” came
Doris looked at the big, square clock with its enormous
numbers on the wall.She’d better get a
move on.The plush, red velvet curtains
didn’t look so glamorous in the harsh lighting.Years of smoke had taken their toll on them and on the ceiling with its
fancy plaster flowers.When she was
first courting Billy, she thought the Hyde Park Picture House was the most
romantic place in the world.On a
Saturday night, they would meet outside under the elegant lamp.Bill would buy two tickets for the stalls at
the kiosk and the uniformed usherette would find them seats near the back, the
beam of her torch picking out other couples with the intention of a bit of
hanky panky in the dark.She couldn’t
eat a Fry’s chocolate cream without thinking back to those times.
“Find anything?” Violet shouted down, putting an end to her
“Only a ha’penny and a woollen glove.What about you?”
“Nothing to write home about; a couple of buttons and a
Sometimes there were rich pickings to be had; a sixpence, a
pair of leather gloves and a silver ring had been left behind.Finders, keepers was their motto; the benefit
of doing the dirty tasks, that and the complimentary tickets they
received.Not that she and Billy still
went to the pictures together.He worked
late shifts at the foundry and the house was full of children.She wondered if her Susan would soon be
courting on the back row.She looked at
the clock again.Almost time to get back
to the real world and collect the younger ones from school.