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JOHN BALDY
by
Tony Darke

John Baldy's a Blackpool tram driver
Who spends all his day on the prom.
Driving his tram up to Fleetwood
And then he's to drive it back again, from.

He quite likes the ride by the tower
And it's all very well past the piers
But he don't like the wait by the fairground
'Cos the noise makes assault on his ears.

John's ears was nearly quite famous
So large was they, and so very red
And he looked like a cab with doors open
So far did they stick from his head.

To some he was known just as wingnut
But not by his friends that is true.
Some passengers sitting behind him
Complained they obstructed the view.

One quite stormy day in the summer
When a southerly wind was ablow,
The Mayor got a message from Fleetwood
Saying "We need you up here, don't you know".

"Fred's chip shop's to have a grand opening
But Dilly the donkey's dropped dead,
And as she was doing the honours
We thought we'd have you here instead."

Now the Mayor were fond of chip butties
As a matter of fact, so's his wife
He thought if he opened the shop up
He'd probably get free chips for life.

The thought of this set his pulse racing
And Fleetwood weren't very far
So he opened the door of his office
And yelled "I'm off out, get the car".

But the Mayor's car was in the garage
Having a new toot in the the horn
The mechanic he said "It's not finished,
You can't have it back 'til the morn".

This made the Mayor quite crestfallen
And under his breath muttered "Damn"
His driver said "You can make it.
Go down to the prom, catch the tram".

So he quickly made off to the tram stop
With his chain and his robes, quite a swell.
And there was an open top tramcar
With John Baldy ringing its bell.

"All aboard, we're off now to Fleetwood.
10 seconds and then we'll be gone.
And them as not bought a ticket,
There's fourpence to pay, when you're on".

There's no pockets in the Mayor's outfit
So he'd not got the money to pay
And as the conductor got closer
He wondered just what he could say.

He explained the events to the tram man
And said "Let me have a free ride,
And I'll see that your tram gets a repaint
With a big coat of arms on the side".

But the conductor wouldn't have any of it
He said "Be you beggar or toff,
If you haven't got funds for a ticket,
At the very next stop, you're chucked off!"

Just then the tram started slowing
When the lights went out, ee it was dark.
The power had gone from the wires
There was nothing left, not a spark.
"How will we get now to Fleetwood?"
The passengers cried in dismay.
"We think it's a sin and an outrage
And after you've made us to pay."

The Mayor stood up, very calm like
And said "You have nothing to fear,
I'll get you all up to Fleetwood".
To John Baldy he said "You come here".

He took him up into the open
And lashed him up to front rail
He said "Put on my cloak and with your big ears
You'll probably make a good sail".

John did what was said, with the wind to his back
The tramcar made an advance.
The Mayor said "That's great, if the wind doesn't drop,
We're probably in with a chance.

The tram rattled on up to Fleetwood
And the back of poor John got quite wet
The passengers cheered, thanks to John and his ears
That'd been the fastest trip yet

The chip shop was opened quite nicely,
But the free chips request was denied.
So feeling quite blue, the Mayor went from the shop
To find tram crew waiting outside.

"You've not paid your fare, there's fourpence to pay
And as we don't want the sack.
You better pay up and I'll tell you what's more.
It's eightpence if you want a ride back".

The fee for the Mayor to open the shop
Was sixpence, seeing as he hadn't to talk.
So fourpence for fare, and two penn'orth of chips
The only way home was to walk.

And that's how the Fleetwood service was saved
The story was soon round the fleet.
So John got a medal for his daring deed
The Mayor, he just got two sore feet.

 
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