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The Smokers' Friend

Down Westminster Avenue
At the East Park lake end
Stood the little shop that
Housed the Smokers' Friend.
You could buy a pack of ciggies
Or buy them in twos or threes.
In fact, so long as you had the money
You could buy as few as you pleased.

Walk in a weekday lunch time
And the air was thick with smoke,
Full of underaged schoolkids
All laughing and cracking jokes,
And always at the door
A watcher ready to shout
And give us all the time
To put our ciggies out.
For we were never sure when
The Head with his stately walk
Would cross the lake bridge
To give his regular warning talk.
And the keeper of the shop
Would listen and nod he understood;
Like water off a duck's back
That talking did no good.
For the very next day
With consumate ease
He was back flogging cigs
In ones and twos and threes.

Schooldays in the Fifties
Very different from nowadays;
More respect for the teachers
And the school's rules and ways
But all my years there
They could never bring to an end
The special service provided by
That shop run by the Smokers' Friend.




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The Smokers` Friend