When I was young and just a boy,
To play in rivers was my joy,
And as I made my way to school
I’d dam a stream and make a pool.
Then later on, returning home,
Release the stream and let it roam.
I found this such a lovely game
That ‘River Reevo’ I became!

In Weston Lane on Saturday
With my friend Arthur I would play
The Burbury Brick Works were our goal
To clay pits and the River Cole.

On steam train trips I’d often go
With Dad, and Uncles Cyril, Joe.
The Arrow, Avon, Severn, Wye
To fish those rivers we would try.

Then wartime came and off I went
Like many chaps to Europe sent.
In ‘45 we crossed the Rhine
Our armies then were doing fine,
Rhine was in flood, so very wide
We made it to the other side.

The war was over, back to Brum
By now a teacher I’d become
And Yardley Wood was my first school
Near River Cole and Trittiford Pool.

And then I moved to Colmers Farm
But still a river had its charm,
For nearby was the River Rea
Which I have followed to this day,
For as it flows towards the tame
Its helped to make our City’s name.

My thoughts go back to childhood days
What brought about this river craze?
From playing games in local brooks
To leading walks and writing books.
Is there some water in my liver?
For now I’m known as ‘Old Man River’!

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