In My Day
the ramblings of Hubert James

In my day it was about this time of year that the world seemed grey. All colour was bleached from the landscape leaving it tired and bare. Until that is, a shaft of fierce bright light pierced life’s horizon, slicing through the grim pale sky of destiny. Romance stormed in to give us all a warm glow.

I know, poetic or what? But then we were young and the idea of St Valentine’s Day was new and fresh. When you discovered the 14th February, you suddenly realised you could plight your troth but in secret, with no fear of embarrassment or rejection. And if there was one thing a youngster wanted to do it was to

exercise your troth by plighting it to the person you’d been staring at across the classroom, since September.

Course, trying to put your feelings into words was a stumbling block. It’s all very well knowing what colour violets or roses are but it doesn’t help if you are trying to be original.

Luckily, we had an Avon lady at the time who wrote songs. She wrote that flowery bit that I quoted above. She lived along Orchard Road and went by the name of Donna Jay Card.

She had all sorts of stuff published, poems, plays and songs. You’ll know her better as the Card of Avon.

She made up all sorts of romantic rhymes that she let us use when we sent out Valentines cards. Very helpful for a tongue-tied teenager.

And like I say she actually recorded some of her songs. This was in the days when we’d all buy singles to play on our Dansette.. As long as you could scrape together 6 shillings and 8 pence you could get five or six minutes of pure joy to play over and over at 45 rpm.

She made the youth of Finedon seem like the most passionate in the county.

We were all a bit sad when she fell in love with a chap called Crump who inherited a load of money from his uncle in New York and took her off to the USA. Someone told me that she went into politics but I might have that wrong.

The only good thing was that we still had her records. So whenever you wanted to undertake some quality courting or you needed to set up the right atmosphere for a date you could slip one of her songs onto the turntable. And Roberts your father’s brother.


You know what they say, “If music be the mood of love play Don…”.