Two and Six by Martin

Two and Six by MartinWhen I was eight years old there was a colouring competition in the Irish Independent Newspaper.  It was a picture of, ‘One Hundred and One Dalmatians’.  The picture had to be coloured in any sent into the competition along with a story.  At eight years of age I didn’t know too many stories. So I decided to write about someone I loved, my granny.  I was one of the winners.  

The prizes for the winners was a day out to the cinema, The Metropole, the cinema was in O’Connell Street, where Penny’s is now.  We were also invited to the Independent Offices to see how the paper was printed.

It was interesting to see how the machines worked and all the winners got their names printed on a sheet of paper from one of the machines.  After this we went to The Rainbow, an ice-cream parlour also in O’Connell Street.  I had an ice-cream called a Knicker Bocker Glory.  It was the best ice-cream I ever had in my life.  I really enjoyed the days outing.  It was even better when I got home to tell my mother and father and of course granny about the day I had.

When I was young my granny used to mind our family.  When we went to school in the morning I would look forward to coming home as my granny would have the dinner on the table.  My brothers and I used to go hiking.  When I was older we saved up for some knives and hatchets to cut wood for the fire when hiking.  One day we decided to go hiking, we were looking for our knives and hatchets but we could not find them anywhere.  We never did find where they had gone.

My granny was always watching over us.  Sometimes boys would call to our house to look for a fight, my granny would tell them to go home and leave us alone, that we were good boys.  This is how we got the name, “The Granny Gang”.

I got work on Saturdays helping to deliver bread with a man who drove the Boland’s van.  My wages was two and six and I would have it spent by Saturday night.  On Sunday my granny would let me borrow two and six to go to the cinema, then I would give it back to her the following Saturday,  That formed a bond with my granny and I for a long, long time even up to the time I was getting married.

My granny had saved up all my two and sixes and with it she paid for my wedding album, her present to us.

Two and six played a big part in my life, even up to the death of my granny.  When she took very ill, I went up to see her in hospital.  I spoke to her and she asked me to get her purse out of the locker and hand it to her.  When she opened it she gave me two six and said, “That’s your last two and six pence from me”, one hour later she passed away.

To this day I still have my granny’s last gift to me, my two and six pence.  To our surprise when my brothers and I were clearing out granny’s house, what did we find?  Our knives and hatchets safely stored under her mattress.

Exercise 1 Questions

Q1 What newspaper was the colouring completion in?


Q2 Name the shop that now stands where the Metropole once was?


Q3 What did Martin like best about the day?


Q4 Why did Martin like coming home from school?


Q5 Who did Martin work for on Saturdays?


Q6 How much did he get paid?


Q7 Where did the brothers eventually find their knives and hatchets?


Exercise 2

How many times do the following words appear in the story?

Two and six_________________________________________