ALBERT AND VICTORIA
by
John Bilsborough,

"Our resident poet", for BBC Radio 4 'P.M.'
to commemorate the opening of
Buckingham Palace to the public, 1970 summat.


It were Albert Ramsbottom's birthday,
And his mam and dad asked what he'd like.
He said, "Day trip to Buckingham Palace,
'Cos' it's too far to go on me bike.

They're trying to raise cash to pay't builders
For that one as got burnt to the ground."
"Well, they should have been with the Prudential," said Mother,
"at per tuppence per Palace per pound."

So Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom and Albert
Set forth in the fullness of time,
Aboard Birkinshaw's Luxury Charabanc,
An event little short of sublime.

On they glided through village and valley,
Till they stopped at a great iron gate,

  By a lawn with a fountain and cherubs,
And the driver says, "Don't be back late!"

The doors whispered open, like magic...
Albert's eyes opened wide with delight
On vast vistas of opulent splendour,
Great chandeliers, glistening bright...

And Albert turns round and says "Mother..."
And Father lets out a gert laugh
And says "Nay, is it first time our Albert
Has been to a motorway caff?"

Later, stood in the queue at the Palace,
And Guide says "Now then, follow me.
No smoking, no dawdling, no sitting on thrones,
Off we go... In twelve seventy-three..."

"And what's through this door here?" says Albert,
Struggling hard to keep up with the crowd.
"Queen Victoria's personal parlour, that's what.
Out of Bounds. No Day-trippers Allowed.

And I have heard it said that room's haunted..."
Says the guide, "meanwhile, just along here..."

Continue Return