They Loved Their Racing

Time doesn't stop for anything. Not man nor beast. The day comes when all we have left are memories. Those images of days we once took for granted. Now appreciated. I so wish we could go back in time, just for a moment, to sit with old friends, family and strangers with a common voice: horse racing. 

My love of horse racing came from my late father, Colin. He loved going to Great Yarmouth every September to the Eastern Festival, which is still going strong and very popular. That week brings a lot of people and business to the Norfolk coast. 

Dad used to go to his regular public house called the Lord Nelson, in March, Cambs. It had a long history with land lords and ladies changing infrequently from Joe and Ivy Case at al. A small gathering of friends to chat over a pint. 

I remember sitting at the table with my dad, Jack Allen & Mick Kean. They knew each other well. Jack was a lovely Irishman who had lived in March from a very young age after a childhood in Waterford. He loved his racing. Telling his stories of betting, winning and losing. By all account him and my uncle Keith used to lose most of their wages going to the casino at the old Cellar Club in March. He told of the day when he saw a trainer at the course trying to light a cigar, so Jack rushed over and obliged. Then asked of the chances of the runner in the next race. A nod and a wink. Bet placed. It won!

I often think of all those innocent days and wish I could go back in time and sit at that same table. I'm sure they would wonder why I sat quietly, listened and upon saying good bye I had tears in my eyes.