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Friday, 31 May 2013

Poetry Corner

Talking with Tony Allcock at last night's party, we discovered that we had a mutual acquaintance by the name of Jack Harrison, who was a real character, a man of many talents, a brilliant hands on engineer, a poet, cyclist, motorcyclist, and a really down to earth chap who called a spade a spade. As they say about Alan Sugar, what you see is what you get.
Sadly Jack died of leukaemia  some years ago, but both Tony and I have copies of some of his poetry and here is the one that I have, written in Derbyshire dialect which he spoke as a native (but not all the time).
It was written in 1993 when mountain bikes were just becoming popular, and the poem was published in the Derby Evening Telegraph.

Cycle for 'ealth
I can see that we're going to have trouble with the spellchecker here!  Ed
Ah wus trundlin along on me pushbike,
It wur 'ealthy the Telegraph sed,
When a car took the leg off me trousers,
An ah nutted the kerb wi' me 'ead.
The DRI were fantastic,
An' sawed off me 'at in four bits,
An' stitched up me leg an' bad shoulder,
The nurses wus lafffin in fits.
Tell us agen  'ow it  'appened
Asked a nurse wi' ample physique,
But afore ah'd finished telling me tale,
She'd gone all girlish and weak.
In ten days the moaning subsided,
An' ah got on me feet from me bed,
An' went down to weigh up me pushbike,
That Bobbies 'ad put in me shed.
The missus 'ad bought me a new 'un,
It cost nigh thray 'undred quid,
T'were painted all jazzy wi' flaming gret tyres,
Wi' a note sayin, "Love to our Sid".
Well ah'm Jack, but it don't really matter,
Tis the thought wot counts so they say,
An' the thought that the bike weighed fifty odd pound,
Milled most of the fun off the day.
Ah rolled along really sedately,
Dahn potholes as ud bury an oss,
An' grates as ud loom up like caverns,
Wi' lorries wot proved who was boss.

Ah won a VC on Raynesway,
An' another at Pentagon's Isle,
Ah just missed a third on t'inner ring road
But the trucky gen me a broad smile.
Ah wanted an 'ill to try out me gears,
An' Green Lane were just about right,
So selectin' what ah thought were a good 'un,
Ah shot up wi' all on me might.
Ah wus stood up quite tall on me pedals,
Me legs in a sort of a blur,
Wi me 'air damped down nicely wi diesel,
When t'chain made a kind of a whirr.
DRI were fantastic,
As they got all me vitals to work,
For the crossbar had arrested me violent downfall,
But descriptions of damage ah'll shirk.
Me favourite nurse was enraptured,
As ah regaled me sad tale of pain,
They wheeled me away on t'trolley said she,
Good luck lad ah'll see thee again.
Well, Telegraph said it were 'ealthy.
A viewpoint that ah don't doubt,
But before you tek on traffic an' such,
Look what it's really about!
Notes (for those who don't live in Derby).
DRI = Derbyshire Royal Infirmary
oss = horse
Bobbies = policemen
Pentagon's Isle
The Pentagon Island  at the junction of the A52 and the A61. Five roads meet  here (hence Pentagon) and in 1993 it was a nightmare for cyclists. Since then however, Toucan crossings have been installed and it is quite easy and safe for cyclists.
A section of Derby's outer ring road, built to provide work for locals in the depression of the 1930's.  It was one of the first roads in the country to have separate cycle lanes alongside. Recently modified to "improve" access to the A6 trunk road, it is now one of the best places in Derby to get lost.


Littleranger said...

That is just brilliant poetry and it will be trundling in my head as I set out on our annual cycle ride around Norfolk this week.

John SWAN said...

That's a reet gud un eh,Leslei.
Tell um like shots from a gun.
Shunt ride yu bike in the winter,
Wait till we gerrus some sun.