Sep 17, 2008

Kettle Whistle

"Hurry up Martin and Michael, it's 'harpast four', he'll be here soon, take up your positions!"
We'd all stand around the front gate nonchalantly chatting to each other, eagerly awaiting for the man who Mum said, invented the Kettle Whistle ???!
As sure as eggs, an elderly man would appear over the crest of the hill like clockwork. His little derby hat perched, and his suit from a lost time always appealed to me.

"Let's see what I've got here," he would smile and say, reaching into his waistcoat pocket, his watch dangling. He'd palm a handful of coins and pick through the brown money and give the big kids a penny (that was me) and the little kids half pennies, 'haypnees' we called them. I'd often wonder if he had any farthings that he kept for babies. ??

"Oh gee, thanks Mr. McKnight", we would all chorus angelically and looking everso grateful whilst eyeing off our icecream money. We'd then watch as he continued down to Aunty Billy's. Was he searching for more coins along the way? Mr McKnight's face was always very close to the ground as he struggled along with cane in hand, Mr McKnight was bent over double from curvature of the spine. What a lovely old gentleman he was.


diane said...

I thiught you had given up on this blog, but here is another gem.Keep them coming.

virgolynne said...

Smalltown RN said...
What a lovely post....I haven't heard "haypenny" since my mum....and she is the only one I knew that spelt mum that in Canada we spell it "mom"...but I much prefer the "mum" just kinda works....wasn't there a little ditty that went along with the haypenny...something like....."if you don't have a half penny a haypenny with do" I know there was more to it than that but that is all that is coming to me right now.....thanks for stopping by my blog....Happy Easter!

virgolynne said...

I have a few pennies and half pennies in my collection. Must scan them.

The ditty is familiar

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