Hidden Lives Revealed. A virtual archive - children in care 1881-1981 * Image of handwritten text

Penny Up

Photograph that inspired this poem or story

a street game

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Playing for money,
It's not funny,
If I lose,
I wont have no shoes,

I need to play today,
Maybe all-day,
Because I need some dinner,
So I wont be a sinner,

My mate Bert,
Got badly hurt,
His dad hit him with a strap,
When he got beaten in a scrap,

Bert and me were best mates,
We were always getting into scrapes,
Nicking stuff off the stalls,
Fighting cussing breaking rules,

My dad don't buy me shoes,
Because he spends it all on booze,
But then I try to win,
But gambling is a sin,

I hustle gamble for my life,
I walk down the streets with a pocket knife,
My other mates steel and beg,
One of them Charlie has a broken leg.

by a pupil at The City of London Academy

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