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THE CHARABANC TRIP
by
Ivor Biggun

On the map of North Notts. you'll find Worksop
Where I lived when I was a lad
In a house with me Mam, two sisters and Gran
One brother, a budgie and Dad.

At the end of our street was a boozer
Black as stout, uninviting and glum
A den of devaprivity, it stank like a lavatory
When me Dad went to hide from me Mum.

At the end of the bar, in a bottle
Every week, 'alf a dollar he'd slip
For the annual treat, when the kids in our street
Went to coast on a charabanc trip.

We'd set off in morning from Worksop
On route for Sutton-on-Sea
With the holiday club... them as paid up their subs
Half the street and me brother and me.

There was old Mrs. Brough from the tripe shop
Big soft Doris and her two little lasses
And her sister, Ellen, with a bust like two melons
And a face like an ars'ole with glasses.

There was 'Perfumed Gordon', the hairdresser
And nobody did make it clear
Why a rude boy, named Taylor, cried out, "Hello sailor!"
And something about ginger beer!

There was 'Desperate Derek', his brother, 'Big Eric'
And 'Basher' and 'Gnasher' and 'Butch'
And Lil, who was willing for only a shilling
Which was still about tenpence too much.

There was Mavis who wouldn't, 'cos her mum said she shouldn't
There was Neville who wished that she could,
And then there was Heather who said that she'd never
But looked like she probably would.

Well my Dad took a crate of ale with him
Intending to travel in style,
Charabanc did about 25 miles to the gallon
My Dad did about a half pint to the mile.

Rain were chucking it down leaving Worksop
Through North Notts it did not desist
There were cows with bronchitis and wet sheep to invite us
When Lincolnshire loomed through the mist.

Rain slacked off soon to a medium monsoon
And the day didn't look such a black'n
When the driver, called Reg, pulled up at a hedge
And we all made a break for the bracken.

Dad rushed for a tree and he said, "Excuse me!"
And right there, one penny he spent it
He said, "Ain't it queer, one thing about beer,
You don't really buy it... you rent it!"

Well, this idylic scene, 'mid the nettles and steam
Was soon torn by my brother's plainive cries,
The poor little nipper caught his 'dong' in his zipper
And was dancing with tears in his eyes.

Then back on the coach, off to Sutton
We got there, well eeh! it were grand
And we gazed on the sea, cold... the colour of tea
And smelled candy floss, dodgems and sand.

There were shops full of rock and hats with rude slogans
There was music and cries of hilarity
There were games on the sand, there were jellied eel stands
And souvenier shops packed with vulgarity.

My brother ran down to the ocean
His intention, the water to reach
For his foot he'd just thrust in... something disgustin'
A donkey had left on the beach.

The sea was as cold as a polar bear's dick
We watched Punch kill the crocodile, dead
And after throwing some sand at the Salvation Army band
We went off to the funfair, instead.

There was a ride called 'The Comet', made you scream, faint and vomit
Half deafened, you hung upside down
And the last bit, a spinner... brought up the rest of your dinner
Not bad y'know, for just half o' crown.

There were cards with fat ladies, nudists and Scotsmen
Honeymooners and dirty weekenders
And in a machine... what the butler had seen
Dimly flickered about in suspenders.

We ate cockles and whelks and big winkles
Soggy chips, toffee apples like glue
The hot-dogs were funny'ns, something rude wrapped in onions
But we ate them and pease pudding too.

Then we went on the dodgems and waltzer
And big dipper that rises and falls
It was on this machine that my brother turned green
And his eyes stood out like bulldogs balls.

The poor little chap, he was sick in his cap
It were his best'n... he started to cry
So not wishing to spoil it, we swilled it in toilet
And he wore it until it was dry.

Then driver found us and said, "Back to the bus!"
Through the dark, we ran the whole way
Candy floss in our hair... but we didn't care
Eeh!.. we'd had such a wonderful day.

And with charabanc firing on several cylinders
We set off for Worksop and home
Rattling along highway singing songs of Max Bygraves
Accompanied on paper and comb.

In the dim orange glow of the coach-light, so low
Courting couples were billing and cooing
Hoping, perhaps, that the coats in their laps
Would conceal the rude things they were doing.

We pulled up in our street about half past eleven
There was Mum, there was Granny an' all
They gazed with admiration at the plastic alsation
We'd won for 'em at coconut stall.

I drank up my cocoa, I ate up my sandwich
And soon up in bed I was curled
I was dreaming a dream... I was leading the team
On first charabanc trip around world.

Eeh!... those things that I did... when I was a kid
Although they were simple and small
Now I'm grown up I find, I look back in my mind
I'm sure they were best times of all.

'Cos I've been to Majorca and by... that's a corker
I've been to Pompei and Hericolunamean
The French Riviera where the ladies are barer
I've even paddled in the Mediterranean.

I've drunk various vino in Torremolinos
But of all these I'll tell you for free
There's none can compete with that charabanc treat
With me brother... to Sutton on sea.

 
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