In Belfast Town away long ago,

Trolleybuses ferried people to and fro.


To enter a Trolley you went to the back

And then just stepped onto the deck.


I would sit on the seat beside the door,

Where there was a pole from roof to floor.


It was nice to sit quietly at the rear,

To see people board and at them peer.


Now Trolleybuses had no doors to slide,

And you could get on from back or side.


There was a Shipyard man called Sammy Minter,

A hard worker and natural sprinter.


He always managed the Trolley to miss,

As it sped off with a swishing hiss.


Now Minter would come up from the rear,

Running through the traffic devoid of fear.


Duncher on the head, cocked to the side,

With his stocky legs opening wide.


As the Trolley moved faster and faster,

You’d swear that he would meet disaster.


Running full pelt with his head flung back,

Supported on his bull size neck.


His hob-nailed boots would smash the ground,

Over the Trolley swish they were the only sound.


As the Trolley veered around Cleaver’s corner,

I’d watch and swear he was a ‘goner’.


Sparks would fly from beneath each boot,

As out of Donegall Place he’d shoot.


Then with one almighty angled dive,

In a superhuman effort to survive,


He’d reach straight out and grab the pole,

His body following in lopsided roll.


With precision landing right on the deck,

Then saunter to his seat without looking back.


I’d watch him with lunch box under his arm,

Thinking the Lord kept him free from harm.


Then I would wonder and quietly reflect,

With his strength and agility, I did suspect.


Olympic athletes compared to him were lame,

He could have beaten them all and taken the fame.


All it required was a Trolley up ahead,

For Sammy round the track to sped.


Monty Alexander 20.2.96


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