Here is a piece from my book, 'A Lifetime's Journey - Old Man of the Tyne':
“Somehow, in the blink of an eye, it was Sunday morning, and I was still standing outside St. Cuthbert’s church. Sundays always seemed to be sunny; everything stopped... no shipyard noise, no buses - hardly any traffic on the roads really. There was a stillness - a quietness as old as time. It might seem strange, but the flowers, the roads and even the houses seemed to relax in the mid-morning, summer heat. I made my way up to Coquet Street, and watched very old, kindly looking ladies - probably in their 90s - dressed in their beautiful outfits, slowly walking by on their way out of St. Aloysius Church. They wore immaculate dark suits, black shoes, and lovely hats covered with net - and some with feathers and brooches. The lovely old gentlemen behind, wore their Sunday best, too: plain suits, ties and highly polished shoes.
“Later, after the church had empty and everyone had gone, a lady carrying a baby in a christening gown, walked towards me, flanked by two attendants: a lady and gentleman of about the same age. I was hoping the baby was a girl, as it is a tradition while carrying the child to church to be christened, to give the Christening Piece from the Christening Tea, to the first male one meets if the child is a girl, or to the first female one meets if the child is a boy. The lady was very happy to see me, and for good luck, gave me the parcel, which I accepted gratefully and respectfully. I put my hand into my pocket, pulled out a silver sixpence and put it into the child’s hand for good luck. The lady, very much content, thanked me and then carried the child into the church, followed by the godparents. I opened the parcel; there was a piece of cake, two biscuits and a half crown...”
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