Poetic Writing of ROBBIE KENNEDY BENNETT © www.rkbpoetry.co.uk Born in Wolverhampton of English and Scottish parentage. He grew up on the Rough Hills Estate area of the town and his Scottish ancestral roots are in the Kingdom of Fife and Dundee. The author is now residing in Codsall, Staffordshire. Drawings, pictures and writing are copyright of the author Robbie Kennedy Bennett.

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© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Were You One of The thirty
Who Played In The Dixon St Game?

Dixon Street playing fields in Parkfields, Wolverhampton in the 1960’s. Plenty of lads from the Rough Hills Estate and All Saints would congregate and play a match for hours on end. Far too many for a 11 x side game. If you were there you joined in and played. Quite often it was 10 goals for half-time and twenty the winner but come Sunday it was a monster of match. We kicked off in the morning and resumed after dinner in the afternoon. The pitch was probably as wide as it was long. The one touchline was the path that went from Dixon St to Kent Road and Pond Lane. At about mid-day when the Monkey House pub opened blokes would pass by on their way for a pint sometimes stopping for while to see our game.

I was recently in conversation with someone and mentioned this poem. He knew Dixon Street playing fields very well. He played for Coseley Amateurs and recalled the old tin huts that were so called changing rooms. One game had to be held up as another path ran diagonally across the pitch and a woman was walking to Pond Lane with her shopping.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

The playing field at the time of writing is being redeveloped and levelled to make another flat pitch and the Monkey House is boarded-up. Whenever I drive by I can still feel the excitement. I recall that time in my life over 40 years ago when those games meant so much to me and I’m sure that there are others who feel the same way.

View from the corner of Major Street about 2004
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

The idea from writing the poem came from being invited to Goodyear’s Social Club for Roger Bull. Not wanting to go into detail at this moment, it was nice to be remembered and contacted. There were lad’s there I hadn’t seen for over 20years and we were soon talking about the football matches on Dixon Street.

For many years I have written poems about the old days. I realized that there were many like me who knew we had something special in the playing fields at Dixon Street.

It played on my mind for a while and I knew that I should write a poem about ‘our’ field. I was down there last Sunday (March 2009) watching 2 games of football. Whilst there I heard a motorbike coming out of Cheviot Road. I instinctively looked over to see if it was my elder brother. That’s inside of my mind because it’s what I used to do when I was a teenager playing down the fields.

For a few hours my thoughts were all over the place seeing how it had changed. Trees and bushes around the field with a perimeter path. The MEB offices had gone, so had the old tin sheds with the fence behind and the Monkey House was boarded up.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett
See pubs in the area at this link

The council are working hard levelling the ground for new football pitches and there is in now a park for youngsters. So there will be football and memories for other generations to come.

On a week day dinnertime workers would be over the field playing a game of football. On the odd occasion they would be one short and I could ‘get a game.’
Also on a Thursday afternoon when walking home from school a match would be on for the shop workers. At that time Thursday was half day closing and there was a football league for all who were unable to play on Saturday.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

After a few years of playing games amongst ourselves we decided to get opposition from lads from other areas. We needed a name and chose Rough Hills Rangers. This was a time before youth football leagues and no adults shown interest except Peter Morton’s dad Bill. So we had a team and an adopted manager but who chose whom? This proved to be fine except we did not have a regular goalkeeper until about 1966-67 when ‘Hoddy’ came to the estate. Barry Hodson, a proper goalie, not forgetting young Malcolm Hodgkinson moved to the Rough Hills from Eastfield and was immediately given the number 1 slot.

So the ‘Thirty’ poem about lad’s from Rough Hills, Parkfields and All Saints is alive and kicking. Prompted by Roger Bull who lived further a field near to Snow Hill.

Early in December 2010 along with many others I attended the service to celebrate the life of Roger Bull. By all accounts he had been very brave after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was dignified and inspirational throughout. It was interesting to hear of his life since those childhood days. Playing football and cricket as a young man and being a founder member of a football club where his son’s were playing.

Although obviously sad, folk were encouraged to wear something bright. Afterwards at Fordhouses Cricket Club Roger had once again brought a smile to the faces of old friends.

View looking over to the Junction of Dixon Street and Rooker Avenue. The ground is in the process of being levelled for a new football pitch.
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Are you one of the lads that played?
Enter you name into my guest book and I will mention you on this page.

Simon Askey, All Saints and Park Hall Juniors
Roger Bentley ( well done for spreading the word)
John Meese (lads listed below by John)
The Browns
Dave Brown ( He kicked lumps out of me)
Big Chris
The Pitts
Billy Walker
Ian Bosworth
Barry Hodson (a proper goalie)

I'm honoured that the poem has found the readers.
With Thanks to guests below.

i loved that one about the thirty robbie and your comments after about it now. rick
Comment by: rick
18 May 2009 - 16:35:42

They say that a goalie has to be daft, he has to be daft and has to be saft, Well there's no one dafter than Hoddy, no one safter than Hoddy. Have I told you they have to be brave, occasionally be able to make a great save? Hoddy was brave and could make a great save, that's all that I want you to know. But I must be daft and I must be saft, to blow up his dam blasted ego!

Comment by: Robbie
21 April 2009 - 05:51:53

thanks for the mention about being a real goalie good for the ego
Comment by: barry hodson
21 March 2009 - 14:47:02

hi robbie told you i know how to get on the page sum good stuff but i thought i inspired you good luck mate
Comment by: barry hodson
21 March 2009 - 14:36:17

Guest Book message from Dave Brown
so bennetts into poetry and i guess he`s pretty good,he was`nt a bad footballer especially in the mud . those good old sunday mornings playing till we dropped usually finishing off the game around 4 o`clock.
best wishes dave.
Comment by: dave brown
13 March 2009 - 11:50:25

Guest Book message From John Meese
Joined 67-68 season,probably the youngest of the 30, never threatened,always encouraged,what lovely memories and happy days. The Browns, Big Chris, Weave,Clampy, Kiddle,Pyder,Bully,Benny,H,The Pitts,Billy Walker and all. I remember Rough Hills Rangers played a friendly at Bantock Park arranged by Micky Brown. Won 2-0. The opposition wanted to buy Robbie and Ian Bosworth for 10 shillings. Best mates, great memories!
Comment by: John Meese
12 March 2009 - 22:55:28

The first Guest Book message from Simon Askey
I was one of the thirty but five years later. Also played for Park Hall juniors in 73 on pitch by The Monkey. Played for Park Hall Juniors on the pitch by the Monkey. All Saints Sports Day,winning the 60 mtr sack race. Many happy memories playing football and cricket down the field.
Thanks for the memories.
Comment by: simon askey
16 February 2009 - 19:45:00

See poem My Adidas Santiago at Footie Poems

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

I recall how bright the floodlights were,
When I played on Fellows Park.
They were nothing quite like the old streetlights,
Where I learned my skills in the dusk and the dark.

My Adidas Santiago gleamed,
And distracted a driver or two.
After tea every day where could I play?
What else could a football youngster do?

The ball that I used sometimes went on the road
And I had to then make chase,
That’s where I learned to use my speed
It was where I needed my pace.

I often pass by that same old field
And see boys playing there like I used to do,
I remember the time I heard the news
A Police car had hit and killed Michael Pugh.

He was only chasing a ball,
Now there are bushes and shrubs five feet tall.
Too late to save a young boy who’s gone,
Planted where my Adidas Santiago shone.

RIP Michael

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Printed on the website
Poetry, Songs and Writers of Scotland

Selected as one of two poems of the week

© Poetic Writing of Robbie Kennedy Bennett www.rkbpoetry.co.uk

An errand ran this Cheviot child he jogged there up the alley,
Aside the Rough Hills Tavern,
And over the land we called the patch.
The chip shop there I’d reckon,
I could run home in hundred seconds.

Rooker ‘chippy’ had a counter of stainless steel,
Falsified faces reflected then came our meal.
Salt and vinegar showered upon,
Newspaper wrapping then ready and gone.

Dispatch and over the patch back down the alley,
Aiming to beat my tally.
The chip shop there I’d reckon,
I could run home in hundred seconds.

Morality conveyed from boy to man,
Get the job done as best as I can.
Targeting the touch of our outhouse door,
Ninety-two, ninety-three, ninety-four.

An errand ran this Cheviot child he jogged there up the alley,
Aside the Rough Hills Tavern,
And over the land we called the patch.
The chip shop there I’d reckon,
I could run home in ninety seconds.

Home in Hundred Seconds © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

As a lad I liked run and found an errand a challenge. If it was a chip shop tea we were having my mom would give me the order and off I went. About 200yards down our road was the garages and an alley that led to a piece of wasteland alongside the Rough Hills Tavern, now sadly adrift and derelict and most probably will soon be gone. That wasteland we called the patch is now houses. Writing this makes me recall it was a haven for caterpillars and crickets. In Rooker Avenue, which stretched from Dixon Street to Parkfield Road, was a line of shops with the chippy at the far end. I can even remember the first time that they started selling hot sausage rolls. A piece of heaven at the time was sausage roll and chips.

In that line of shops was a grocer, butcher, hairdresser, greengrocer, sweetshop, handy stores and a cobbler. All soon to be affected by the shopping stores to be introduced to towns and villages alike. Also there was the nearest red telephone box to our house now also almost a thing of the past with home and mobile phones.

The obvious challenge in the chip shop was how quickly could I get back home with the family tea. Years later when in my thirties and in marathon training I used to run the two and a half miles to work along Dixon Street every morning passing Rooker Avenue. I would race against my time and within a couple of months reduced it dramatically, which had great affect when next entering a race.

The recent photograph of the shops in Rooker Avenue was taken in 2009 after I had visited my mother on her 80th birthday.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Home in Hundred Seconds © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Poetic Writing of Robbie Kennedy Bennett ©

Our Grand National
no not the one you think it be,
not the one from Aintree
not the one in Liverpool,
shadows in the night
of the lampost light
we raced and chased after school.

o’er privet and hedges oh yes!
cheeky little beggars I guess,
that race was so inviting
extremely so exciting.

Our Grand National
oh what a race,
cover your tracks
and cover your face

running over gardens
running out of luck,
at the imaginary Chair
and Beeches Brook

jockey’s without a horse
nor stirrups and saddles but
we had a course

our Grand National
not the one but it was to us
juvenile delinquent’s
to some on the number 30 bus

Our Grand National
no not the one you think it be,
not the one from Aintree,
around about eight o’clock
kids went running around the block.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Kids on the estate entertaining themselves during the dark nights.The ‘National’ was mentioned to me twice in 2 days. First in Fordhouses Cricket Club at the Celebration of the Life of Roger G. Bull and the next day by Hoddy who left a message in my guest book. OUR GRAND NATIONAL © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

just a thought how about writing a poem about when we would run the grand national over the hedges round the block good luck
Comment by: hoddy
10 December 2010 - 13:05:38

Just discovered your site while doing some family research. Ex-Cheviot Road and All Saints school. Football - Dixon Street or Rooker Avenue/Lawn Road. Anyone remember Glynmar FC or Bridge Sports (1967+)? Speedway at Monmore Green in the 60's. Trainspotting (steam) by the 'cut' or by the bridge near Monmore Green stadium in the late 50's. The Rooker Avenue shops. The no. 30 bus. Thanks for the Rough Hills photos and memories, Robbie. Keep up the good work.

Comment by: Derek Mills

12 January 2012 - 16:35:37

THE EAST PARK PADDLING POOL © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

And a load of us
trekked down the road
at Dixon Street,
happy little faces, happy little feet

six weeks off school
and the East Park paddling pool

there was many of us
why? Cause the summers were hot
and bet me not
there, was the place to be
for a 1960's kid like me

laugh oh aye as we passed Matt's Cafe
Speedway bikes there out at the back
maintenance, spanners and pliers
autographs, Dugmores bicycle tyre's

that gang of us
giving up keeping calm
with a towel and trunks
rolled under our arm

six weeks off school
and the East Park paddling pool

Park gates are now in sight
this was our Buckingham Palace alright!
down past Monmore Greyhound track
always longer on the road going back

running on fast past the bandstand
gunning for the top of the steps
here was the place to be
for a 1960's kid like me

swings, slides and sunbathers
all shapes and sizes
Punch and Judy
ice cream, Lucky Bag surprises

our towels claimed a piece of ground
all kind o' kids were around
ruffians, scruffy uns, counting
stripped off and heading for the fountain

six weeks off school
and the East Park paddling pool

never missed a chance
never missed a trick
on the witches hat
'till we felt quite sick

six weeks off school
and the East Park paddling pool

and a load of us
trekked up the road
to Dixon Street,
clean little faces, clean little feet

there till the dusk or dark
in a Wolverhampton suburb
down on the East Park

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Six weeks off school and it's time to head for the East Park 1960's style. Without doubt this was the next best thing to going to the seaside. Excitement would be in the air as word got around that we were to get a towel and trunks as we were off to the East Park.

It's strange how life can sometimes spring surprises. I had penned this poem about a childhood memory of going to the East Park paddling pool to hear the very same paddling pool mentioned 3 days later in a reading for a celebration of life in All Saints Church, Sedgley.

It was sad reading in the Express & Star in August 2012 that Geo Dugmore's cycles in Bilston Road, Monmore Green had closed after more than 108 years. This shop was a part of my childhood as a bike for Christmas was chosen a couple or so times. I could smell the tyres as I entered the shop. Remarkably the business had been passed down 3 generations serving many a Wulfrunian for over a century.

The East Park Paddling Pool © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

The Monkey House is boarded up and empty
changes are a plenty

The MEB has gone
I think of who I am and where I’m from

and who shall carry the can for who I am?

run once more on Dixon Street once more,
down Dixon Street up Major Street once more

down Dixon Street up Major Street
with youngsters feet once more

seems yesterday my first school day
up Major Street
past the twin peaked wall at Bayliss's
Bayliss Jones Bayliss's

the 'Monkey' alias the Moulders Arms
the fence around the football ground
the double gates
at Bayliss's
Bayliss Jones Bayliss's

The MEB has gone
I think of who I am and where I’m from

and who shall carry the can for who I am?

Caledonia Store was opposite Adey's
customers came on Steelhouse Lane from Bayliss's
Bayliss Jones Bayliss's

was it Marandola's doors that I recall?
the cinder wall seemed trait and tall
near the Summerhouse on Steelhouse Lane
All Saints
where a register had my name.

how strange? a register had my name.

The MEB has gone
I think of who I am and where I’m from

and who shall carry the can for who I am?

run once more on Dixon Street once more,
down Dixon Street up Major Street once more

Cable Street and Eagle Street
with youngsters feet once more

and who shall carry the can for who I am?

confided and then guided me from boy to man,
and walked with me on streets
where I once ran?

and who shall carry the can for who I am,
and help scatter the contents
of that battered old can?

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

View looking up Major Street 2012
© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Poem completed on the first day of school of my second eldest Grandson. I wonder what memories he shall have?

My story poem of how areas of upbringing change in one way or another and what a person learns and passes on. Good and bad influences in a young persons life can make a dramatic difference.

Upon researching and speaking to my mother about Steelhouse Lane she reminded me of where she was born and of a story that was passed down to her of the cinder wall.

Who shall carry the can for who I am?
The answer could be parents, family, friends who walked together in early years of life. Educating each other and learning right from wrong. Perhaps God himself had something to do with it?

See Link to the MEB offices (Midland Electricity Board) now demolished

The MEB Has Gone © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Dixon Street,
WV2 2BG.

I find it rewarding to hear that my writing has reached people near or afar. I am always aware that if I write about a certain person or place, at some point in the future someone may be in touch. An example of this is relatives of James Forsyth from Kelso who came down to the Midlands and one of his sculptures is the water fountain in Dudley. Another would be a message from a Gt Gt Grandson of Robert Taylor from Auchtermuchty in Fife. I had wrote Auchtermuchty Fields (See message from Scotland's Enchanted Kingdom);

'My Great Great Grandfather Robert Taylor was Born In Auchtermuchy, Fife, Scotland Circa: 1802 Married Elisabeth Henderson Nov. 06, 1825, left there in 1831 for lower Canada.
I really enjoyed your poem Robbie it made me feel connected. I live In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA '

And not forgetting people I have grown up with, those I have worked with. It never ceases to amaze me how far the written word goes.

Today (26th July 2013) I was to receive an e-mail (with permission to show);

'Hello, my name is Edward Powell, I am the parish magazine editor of St Martin of Tours, Dixon Street, Parkfields, Wolverhampton, WV2 2BG. Our church was built in 1939, adjacent to the now closed Black Horse Pub. I am currently looking for story and writing contributors, who would be willing to display pieces of their work and poetry in our parish magazine. I have a feeling there are quite a lot of people in our local community who would like to hear your thoughts and stories. May I have your permission to place your poems in our parish magazine, in their original wording, you would have complete ownership over your work, or alternatively, every month could you write a small story or poem to go in our magazine'.
I truly was delighted to hear from Edward Powell, as I know the Church of St Martin of Tours very well, as I was raised less than a mile away. Weddings, Christenings and funerals have had my attendance many times, therefore I look upon this request as a great compliment.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


Just a wee lad with a watchful eye
Visiting my Aunt Mill’s house
Where cars and lorries drove on by

She lived on a busy main road
At Thompson Avenue
Opposite a flowerbed
Where pretty flowers grew

A bus would stop a few minutes or so
And to Wolverhampton town would go
It circled around the flowerbed
At Thompson Avenue
The pretty, pretty flower bed
Where pretty flowers grew.

It circled around the flowerbed
At Thompson Avenue
The pretty, pretty flower bed
Where pretty flowers grew.

The pretty, pretty flower bed
Where pretty flowers grew.
Where my pretty, pretty cousins lived
On Thompson Avenue.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett 2008


An early childhood memory of visiting an Aunt and Uncle's house to see them and my cousins. Uncle Ern would sometimes take me a walk down his garden to show me the plants he was growing.

The daily activity of people and vehicles on the main road was fascinating for a 'wee laddie' like me. The bus from Wolverhampton would stop for a while by the flowerbed before turning around and heading back to town. The Midland Red also passed by but carried on along the Birmingham New Road.

On these visits I often asked my Aunt Mill if she had an ‘opple' to eat. I loved the taste of a sour cooking ‘opple!

When older, I would occasionally bump into my Uncle Ern and have a pint with him in either the Red Lion on Parkfield Road or the Parkfield Tavern. Both pub's now are other business's denying me a nostalgic drink whenever I am this side of Wolverhampton.

When driving by the house I always have a sea of memories flooding back. God bless Shaz.

The Pretty, Pretty Flower Bed at Thompson Avenue ©

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


Owen's of All Saints
Kicked a casey
(Name for an old fashioned ball)
In the playground
Against the school wall

The streets of All Saints
And Steelhouse Lane
Eagle Street
Whence the Owen's came

Owen's of All Saints
Played their sport
Punched and kicked it
Batted and caught

In their uniforms
And in their teams
Owen's held their own
It's in their genes

Owen's of All Saints
In forces for war's of this world
Looking smart in their uniform
Man and girl

And upon a pitch
There is a descendant of
An Owen of All Saints
Me, a poetic artist
What a picture it paints!

Owen's of All Saints © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

Ode related to poem; I Never Knew Him as Grandad ©
Benjamin Owen, played in goal for Merthyr Tydfil before the First World War.

My branch of Owen's from All Saints are known for having a sporting interest, representing the school of that name and been in forces and the Special Police during both the first and second world wars. One was a senior member of Popski's Private Army, a Special Force in the Middle East. An aunt was a Spotter attached to the guns of the ATS.

My mother was born an Owen was also in the ATS and suffered injuries in an accident whilst serving in Egypt and was transferred to Aldershot hospital where she met my dad.

Connected to story on Page Fifers Day.

Picture courtesy of Mick Duncombe


September sky
Striking it is, oh why?
As I try to write of, Sarah Ann

A Sunday light blue
And I'm writing of you
A Sunday light blue, Sarah Ann, I can see
As the evening draws in, gradually

Fifty nine summers so far
Fifty nine summers
None shared with Sarah Ann
My maternal Gran, Sarah Ann

A father of two I became
Feels good to tell you and write your name
Bloodline, from the same
Aren't we Sarah Ann?

Fifty nine summers
Fifty nine summers, Sarah Ann, I have had
Four children call me Grandad
And for your daughter, my mother, I am glad
Sarah Ann, your story is sad

Motherhood, a premature end
Your six children couldn't comprehend
From newborn up to aged eleven
Asking why, their mother, had to go to heaven?

A mother of three boys, your baby daughter became
Feels good to tell you and write your name
Into my mind you came
My maternal Gran, Sarah Ann

We missed you Sarah Ann
In the passing of time
Now, Sarah Ann
You are sharing these minutes of mine

September sky
Amazing, why oh why?
As the sky is red Sarah Ann
And now, a Sunday dark blue

A Sunday dark blue
As I'm writing of you
A Sunday dark blue, Sarah Ann I have said
Is it you in that September sky, that September red?

That September red, Sarah Ann I have said
If true, Sarah Ann, if true
My fifty ninth summer
... Then I've shared this summer with you!

Picture courtesy of Mick Duncombe

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


I wrote this with careful consideration of the two people I consider of being my Grandparents. My brothers and myself loved them wholeheartedly. Sad circumstances concerning our maternal Grandmother but love overcome of which we are thankful. Sarah Ann, died within weeks of our mother's birth.

On another note, on the first day of September 2013, at the time of writing, the sky was a colourful delight. Coincidently it was also noticed by a cousin of mine and the pictures are down to him and the poem, Sarah Ann.

Sarah Ann and the September Sky © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

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