Funerals (1957)

Young as we were, you knew that if a funeral parade was going to pass you, you kept still and silent until it had passed.

The news has got round that the old dear up the road has died.  She will be laid out in the front room for family and friends to go round and pay their respects.  Now, us kids were told in straightforward English that if we were caught playing, on or around the house, we would get a clout.  Now, when they say clout it need not be from your parents but any one of the neighbours.  In these times you either showed respect for the dead or you got it knocked into you.  Young as we were, you knew that if a funeral parade was going to pass you, you kept still and silent until it had passed.

The giveaway about someone dying was also the curtains were kept shut until after the funeral had taken place.  Today’s kids are not really bothered because very few, if anybody, has the deceased at home, plus the respect we showed our neighbours does not apply to 90% of today’s lot, as quite often you could not tell anyone what your neighbour was called 2 or 3 doors up.  Respecting the dead was what we were taught, but today it means nothing to the younger generation, which is a shame.  When you see some of the parents and kids at funerals they are laughing and carrying on, but are also dressed in sports gear like Nike, Adidas, etc.  In our time it was black or else.  I suppose this is just another old tradition gone down the pan.

If you've enjoyed this memory and would like to share a story of your own why not go to our Contact Page to find out more.