Len Stedall

'Twere spring as I dug in t'garden
At t'back o' t'ouse we'd just bought
From t'things I dug up you'd almost believe
'Twere there t'last war 'ad bin fought.

There were all sorts of pieces o' metal
Some bits o' which shone in t'sun
There was one bit that looked like t'tail of a plane
An another that looked like a gun.

I'd bin digging for over 5 minutes
And were getting a pain in me back
So I called to the Mrs. to get me a beer
An a slice o' black pud fer a snack

As she gave me my drink she noticed
A most peculiar thing
In between all t'pieces of metal
Were some brown greaseproof paper and string.

'Twere all tied up like a parcel
Which we eagerly undid to view
A stick wi' an 'orses 'ead 'andle
And a cap and three tickets t'zoo.

Now you've `eard `ow young Albert Ramsbottom
At t'zoo up at Blackpool one year
Wi' a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle
Gave a lion a poke in the ear?

Well I looks at the Mrs. and she looks at me
And we both stare in total surprise
At t' stick that had once poked Wallace
And we couldn't believe our eyes.

'Hang on a minute...' I hear you say
'How can you tell it's the same?'
A lad allus knows his own playthings
And Albert Ramsbottom's my name.

I remember that zoo day at Blackpool
Aye, I remember it well.
An me stick wi a 'orse's 'ead 'andle
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.

I remember how Wallace had swallowed me up
I remember the man from the Pru
An Dad sending me back wi' a shilling
To see what t'tigers could do.

I could say thee a reet load o' stories
Bout places I went as a lad
Bout the good times I 'ad wi' me Mother
And t' trouble I had wi' me Dad!

Like the time as 'e ruddy near drowned me
In t' Mersey 'e made me take t' dip
By refusing to pay Ted the boatman
Per tuppence per person per trip!

Fivepence for three, that's the most that I'll pay",
Said Father, "Don't waste time in talk".
"Per tuppence per person per trip", answered Ted,
"And them, as can't pay, 'as to walk!"

"We can walk an all..." said father. "Come Mother
It's none so deep, weathers quite mild
He 'adn t' took note of the fact they were tall
An I were only a child.

Then came the time I were sickly
With pains in me stummick an 'ead
The Doc. said it was my ab-domain
So straightway I got sent to bed.
He sent up a bottle of physic,
Wi' instructions on t' label to say
To be taken in a recumbent posture
One teaspoonful three times a day .

The Doc said, 'In Latin that means lying down.'
Said Father, 'That's just what I thought!'
But under his breath 'e were thinkin
'Twer a bottle o' medsun I'd bought.

'You're not dosing my lad with Latin!'
Said Mother, her face looking grim
'Just plain castor oil's what he's havin'
And I'll leave the posture to him!

I remember one day for my birthday
They took me to visit the tower
We took charrybank t' metrollopse
And got there at quarter to fower .

'Twere a grand trip an' all I can tell thee
Tho' I didn't see Anne Boleyn's ghost
I 'ad lots o' fun wi' t' eadsman
And a slice o' cold drippin toast.

Just a stick wi' an 'orses 'ead 'andle
But it brings back some mem'ries for sure
I've enjoyed reminissin' me childhood
And I'd love to tell thee some more.

But I'm getting old and as 'appens
With age the memory goes
But if thow'd like to know more about me
Ask Marriott Edgar... 'e knows!

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