Sunday 24 March 2024

Sunday Serial, 240 x 70, Gill James,9. Music Store 26 October 2018, milky coffee,

She came here every Saturday.  It reminded her of her youth. Back in the good old sixties. When she saved her halfpennies.  Every  time she’d got enough for a record she’d pop into town to a shop just like this one. If she had enough she would buy a record. 

If she remembered rightly , a single cost six shillings eight pence.  “Six and eight,” you used to say.  That was a real fortune in those days. Well, a pair or smart trousers cost 39/11. To be precise, one pound nineteen shillings and eleven pence. A ticket to the gig at the Students Union was £1.50 in today’s money.  

“What? Big bands like that?” asked her daughter when she explained.

“I suppose that would be about £20 now.”

“Even so.”

They browsed through the records. She didn’t need to listen to them. She’d just read the title and the tune  would come up in her head loud and clear. 

“Eh Mum. Do you know this one? ” Her daughter had loaded the vinyl and it was now playing.

She took the other set of head-phones. Did she know it heck? She’d seen Procul Harem at the Sheffield students’ union. Whiter Shade of Pale had always been one of her favourites.  


“They did something that good back then?”

“Cheeky! ”  

“Shall we get it?”

“Why not?”  Though god knows how they’d ever mange to listen to it.

“Nice one,” said the man at the counter. “That’ll be £38.99, thank you.”

God,  that was a lot of halfpennies.  That would have paid for a whole terms’ worth of Saturday night gigs at the Students’ Union or ten nice pairs of trousers.       

About the author

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown.  

She edits CafeLit and writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation.

She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.



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