Gordon Kerr-Smith
Gordon Kerr-Smith
Illustrations by D. Ferguson
On Salisbury Plain stands Stone Circle
Whose origin's long been in doubt,
And experts get 'ot under t'collar
When they can't agree what its about.

But t' story is really quite simple;
A sad tale, but true nonetheless,
That proves British 'aven't changed that much
When it comes to pure pigheadedness.

Once, in Old Ancient Britain, lived Druids,
Whose job were to sell spells and such;
And though t' spells were sometimes successful,
There was none of 'em earned all that much.

They went round from 'amlet to 'amlet
Wi' briefcase containin' their wares,
And were wont to set up exhibitions
At gath'rins like Wakes Weeks and Fairs.

Sam 'Iggins were one of these Druids
With feet always bandaged and sore,
Which were due to 'is not 'avin' clogs on,
On 'is rounds, when 'e shoved foot in t' door.

As salesman, poor Sam were a failure,
Not bein', like, cut out for the trade.
'E expected 'is "Cards" any moment...
Till wond'rous discovery 'e made.

'E were soothin''is poor achin' tootsies
In a pond at t' side of the road,
When 'e 'appened t pick some blue berries
Which left stain on 'is 'ands... It were Woad!

Sam realised at once the potential
That Woad would without doubt unfold,
For, as Ancient Brits went about starkers,
They was gen'rally just blue with the cold.

If they painted their torsos with this stuff,
They'd look blue when t' weather were 'ot,
And as blue were a colour much fancied,
It were certain 'e'd sell quite a lot.

In no time at all Sam made fortune,
And by t' Druids were voted 'ead man.
But 'e called all t' Woad salesmen around 'im
And told 'em "Sell t' lot while yer can!"

For Sam 'ad discovered a drawback
That no-one 'ad noticed till then:
That, once applied to t' epidermis,
This Woad wouldn't wash off again!

This slight 'andicap became serious
When t'next year's spring fashions were known,
Dictatin' that Woad style were over;
And straight off folk started to moan.

For despite every modern detergent,
And scrubbin' till skins was all raw,
Thon blue dye just couldn't be shifted.
So t' victims appealed to the Law.

The 'Igh Court was of the opinion,
When t'Judges 'ad 'ummed and they'd 'awed,
That, all things considered, yon Druids
'Ad perpetrated a great fraud.

Poor Sam and 'is mates was arrested
And brought before t' Beak straight away,
Who, scrupulous fair, though indelible blue,
Sentenced shipment to Botany Bay.

The Clerk of the Court coughed discreetly,
And to stop t' Law becomin' an ass,
Told t' Judge Australasia weren't found yet,
So that Sentence 'e couldn't pass.

The Judge, in 'is most 'aughty manner,
Announced 'e'd reviewed case again,
Decidin' to reduce the Sentence
To exile on Salisbury Plain.

And so t' Druids shouldn't be idle,
'E'd find 'em some real work to do -
Erectin' a new Garden City
Wi' chariot parking, and view.

So off to the site they was trundled,
And soon they 'ad drawn up the Plan
For t' buildin' of t' New Town of Stonehenge,
And housin' Neander-thal Man.

They'd notions for caves built in tower-blocks
With everything Man might desire,
And just to provide central 'eatin'
One Druid 'ad invented Fire!

So certain were Sam of the venture
Bein' instant success right away,
'E gave lads the nod to start buildin'
Before t' Planners 'ad any say.

On viewin' the pro-posed constructions
The Plannin' Authorities frowned.
They said as they wanted square buildings,
While Sam said 'e wanted 'em round!

For ten years they argued the details,
Till both sides was startin' to wilt,
And before compromise were arrived at,
The Main Shoppin' Centre were built.

The Druids, at Sam's instigation,
'Ad made it from stones they they'd cut
In Wales, and 'ad dragged 'em right down the M4,
And into position 'ad put.

Its said they 'ad trouble wi' t' cross stones;
Bein' 'eavy, they needed a crane,
But sein' as a crane weren't invented
They 'ad to use tree trunks and chain.

One day t' Planners came down by charra
To see what the Druids 'ad done,
And though most, on the quiet, were in favour,
They stopped t' lot for jumpin' the gun.

So t' New City never got finished,
And Stonehenge stands there to this day...
The first Shoppin' Centre in England,
And t' only one never to pay!
The end