Excerpted from Gradients. Glimpses of Sheffield.
As I left my Lipton’s where my father worked and walked out onto the bustle of Exchange street, I observed, as I often did, the open pit of the bombed out store. Carbrook city store I was told, which my grandmother had helped to have built. The fish market still stood, a little damaged but still there. As I turned the corner onto Dixon Lane, all the little stalls appeared selling fruit and veg in the brisk Yorkshire air, loomed over by the structure of the Market Hall. I heard the trams rock past and sure enough my friend, a little older than me, who had come from Rotherham, was there to meet me. We walked through the market hall and outside to the rag and tag, where the Tilley lamps glistened in the morning dew and the pot man sang his song of banging metal. We had pocket money and an aim, to find the American comics which came in on boats. Not just comics but trading cards and photographs of the film stars. Two little boys, walking through the market to find Humphrey Bogart, smiling in his white lapels, so out of place in the bustle and the noise of the rag and tag.