Gertie Alden
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Gertie Alden

These peoms were written by Gertie Alden circa 1933, were both based on actual events, and given to us by her Niece Esme Porter. The one about the village band caused something of a rift between the Conductor and Bennet Hudson (Gertie's father), as the Conductor didn't appreciate the humour of the situation and apparently never spoke to Bennett again.
Esme's aunt, Annie Coates, organised the Concert Parties and was in the group referred to in T'Concert Party Ride.

The Night The Awd Coo Died

T'Concert Party Ride

The Night The Awd Coo Died by Gertie Alden

Noo hev ye 'eard the latest news?
We've 'ad a Jubilee,
T'village band tonned oot ti play
At t'Wesleyan's Annual Tea.

They got some chaps frae Filey
Ti come up and give an 'and,
An' there's nowt they like ni better
Than playing wiv oor band.

They used ti say i' days gone by
Ti hear 'em was a treat,
But someone telled mi that this do
Fair put 'em off their meat.

They started wiv 'Excelsior'
A piece they'd often had,
But afore they cum ti t'end of it
They all on 'em felt bad.

An' nea wonder, 'cos yan on 'em says,
"By gum, Ah is a cloon -,
Ah've played danged thing frae fost ti last
Wi t'copy upside doon".

Then next they thowt they owt ti play
Summat mare classy still,
Where t'bass can tremble doon below
An t'cornets quaver shrill.

There cum a bit where yan on 'em
Plays a few bars wiv 'is sen,
But could he 'ang as play it
Tho' he tried an' tried agen.

He fumbled an' 'e fiddled an' 'e
Strained wiv all 'is might,
He strove ti reach them top notes
but 'e couldn't get t'thing right

So t'chap next tiv 'im tonns an' says
Keep at it lad, deeant worry,
Thoo hev another go at it
Us lot's in nea big hurry.

An' hev another go he did
They really thowt he'd bust,
But still 'e couldn't manage it
So 'e gave up in disgust.

T'trombonist says "I'll playa piece
I'll mak t'folks all stare,
Ah've practised for days on end,
It's called t'Maiden's Prayer"

T'silly fe-al he might a' known
He'd nivver get it right,
But 'e wod 'ev a go at it
So t'others all sat tight.

By gum he te-ak it at syke a speed
Then pulled up wiv a crack,
He'd shoved t'awd handle too far out
An' he couldn't get it back.

An' nivver did - tho' some of 'em
Was trying horf o' t'neet,
An' yan 'ad getten 'is boots off
An' been at it wiv 'is feet.

By gum, they made a mess o' t'next,
They warn't all of a mind, 'cos ,
Some on 'em cum in right on t'beat
An' some got left behind.

They didn't seem ti realise it
Till they were part way through,
But when it dawned on 'em at last
My ! Weren't they in a stew?

But Bennett says" Stick tiv it lads
We come in right, Ah know,
An' if t'others wants ti catch us up
By gum, they'll hev ti blow!

Eh dear, you'd thowt it was a race
Ti see who'd finish fost,
Conductor chap kept beating
Tho' 'e knew 'is cause was lost.

They fought it tiv a finish, and
Believe or believe me not,
Yan on 'em dropped 'is instrument!
He said it got red-hot!

An' when they'd struggled though it
"Congrats" t'conductor said,
You left them also-rans behind
An' won by horf a head.

They thowt they'd better 'ave a go
At summat they knew well,
They started off wi' syke a blare
It ommost made ye yell.

"Noo Ah sarn't play another note"
Said yan, wiping his brow,
"Till we find oot whoa it is
Whoas makkin' this awful row".

"Ah think it's me" a voice replied
"Ah can't play t'thing at all,
Ah've nobbut blown it while oor lad
Runs roond ti t'goody stall".

Enow, they sets off yance ageean
An' seemed ti be gooin' fine,
But still the harmony was such
It shivered doon yer spine.

Ya chap stopped blowin' -Ah could see
He seemed all of a sweat,
He kept tonnin' ower his pages
But his place he couldn't get.

So he slips on tiv his neighbour's
Ti see his copy an' all,
Sez he "By Heck, it's 'Rosary'
An' Ah'se playing t'Dead March in Saul !".

T'new member sez "Let's play t'Lost Chord"
Says yan "Thoo wait a bit,
Thoo's bin playin' t'Lost Chord' all neet
An' hesn't fun it yet".

"We're hevin' sum mat lively noo,
Summat as goes wiv a swing -
I hev it" says conductor chap,
"Ah hev the vary thing".

But when he gev their copies oot
There nearly was a row,
It was 'Ora Pro Nobis'
and 'Alice Where Art Thou?'

An' they played it wi' syke feeling
That iverybody cried,
An' a poor awd coo at t'top o' t'field
Just beald oot once, an' died!

Last on the list -'God Save the King'
An' Ah heard someone saying,
That t'King 'ud tak sum saving
If he heard that lot a-playin' !

"Free suppers next" says yan on 'em,
"An' plenty there to sarve it,"
"That's why we come" said t'Filey chaps
"Ah'm seer we all desarve it!".

"Desarve?" replies another yan,
"Thoo did a bit, Ah'll own,
But if Ah'd stopped yance ti tak a breath
You'd all a brokken down".

Another said he'd dean 'Is best
He'd played frae fost ti last,
Tho' mony a time for bars on end
His valves were all stuck fast!

But deean't ye think frae what yuv heard
They owt ti change their 'abits ?,
And drop all this musician stuff
An' tak ti keepin' rabbits?.

In years ti cum they'll talk aboot
The grand times that they've had,
And to think the past's all done wiv
Why, t'will mak 'em all feel sad.

But nut yan on 'em can e'er forget
No matter how he tried,
That School Treat -Nineteen Thotty Three
The night the old coo died.

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T'Concert Party Ride by Gertie Alden

We'd seed her strugglin' up Castle Hill
That rattlin' Market bus,
We'd heerd 'er mony miles away
An' knew she'd wait for us.

For we war off ti' Kirby
Ti' spend a pleasant neet,
They allus hes a Social Doo
Efther t'Garden Feet.

An' me an' Bennett gans ti' 'elp
An' sort o' taks the lead,
An' we enjoys oorsens an' all
An' gets a rare good feed.

Enow - t'bus cums, an' 'in we gets
Tho' really t'warn't no joke,
For t'thing was mare an horf full then
Wi' local market folk.

Wi' boxes o' butter, cases of eggs
An' a great ord bag o' tea,
An' what wi' all oor thraps an' all
There was horf a seat for me.

But nivver rnind, we scrambles in
An' we starts away on t'road,
Squashed like, but makkin' best on it
Wi' syke a 'eavy load.

Ah thowt ya chap in t'corner there
Was le-akin' rather bad,
So Ah reaches ower an' nudges 'im
An' says "What's up me lad?"

"Whats up"? he says, "Why thoo'll sean knaw
Thoo nobbut wait awhile",
An' then he tonned as white as chalk
Tho' he did 'is best ti' srnile

"We've 'ad an awful ride" he says
"An' there's still wuss ti' cum,
But Ah'll say ni mare just noo,
By lad, my 'ead dis 'um !

"Hoo - that's a rare good start" thinks I
"Ah 'ope we'll be all reet",
But ya glance roond sean telled me
They'd all on 'em 'ad a freight.

"It must be t'driver bloke" thinks Ah
"But Ah's nut gine ti' worrit",
So Ah nods ti' Bennett cheerful like
Says "Noo me lad we're for it !"

Fost mile or two, it wasn't si bad
Why, nowt ti fuss aboot,
An' we stops at bottom o' Cansdale
For ya body ti get oot.

It te-ak 'er minnits ti find 'er things
She 'ad ti soort an' sift,
She'd parcels on t'rack an' under t'seat
We all on us 'ad ti shift.

She'd meat an' groceries, pots an' pans
Scattered all owet t'place,
An' a bran' new pair o' stays an' all
An' yards an' yards o' lace.

We gethers 'em up, an' she waves Goodbye
An' doon agen we sat,
T'ord bus sets off - when back she comes
A-shouting "Mi 'at! Mi 'at!

Aye, sure enuff there was 'er 'at
High up at t'top o' t'rack,
So we oppens deear an' chucks it oot,
We warn't for tonning back.

We started ti gether a bit o' speed
T'ord bus swayed this way an' that,
So Bennett shouts "Just stick ti yer stalls"
An "Missis - hang on ti yer 'at !"

Too late ! A poor ord woman there
Was oddin' a bag o' tea -
(There warn't nea room fo't anywhere else
So she 'ad it on 'er knee).

An whether wi t'joltin' o' t'bus or nut
Ah nivver really knew,
But doown comes a case frae t'top o' t'rack
An' cuts it clean i' two.

We rushed ti save what tea we could
Poor dame, she war all of a flutther,
When Bennett yells "Hey Missis le-ak oot -
You've getten yer feet in t'butter !".

An' sure enuff, she'd getten 'er feet
Weel planted in t'butter box,
She war grease reet ower t'shoe-tops
An horf way up 'er socks!.

You owt ti hev 'eard 'er carry on -
"He can't be reet iv 'is head,
He's driven just le-ak a fe-al all t'way,
Ah'm sure ah feels horf dead".

By gum, them wods was true an' all,
Ah was ne-an si' good mi sen,
"Nobbut get this ride ower" thinks Ah
"An' nivver, nay nivver agen" !

Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird
Why, it really wasn't in it,
T'feal went that fast, ah thought
He'd hev us ower ivery minnit.

Ah te-ak a glance at Bennett there
As we were roundin' t'bend,
Poor chap, what bit of 'air 'e 'ad
Was standing straight ower end.

"By lad" Ah says tiv 'im, "Ah'll bet
Tha's thinkin' se-am as me,
If thoo'd only knawn what was ti' cum,
Tha'd ne-an 'av 'ad thi tea".

"That's reet" he says, "thoo's guessed me thowts
Ah feels ower bad ti' talk,
An' if he disn't ease up soon
Ah'll be out iv 'ere, an' walk" !

Ease up, bi gum, nea chance o' that
The silly fe-al gat wuss,
Anuther gre-at swerve, an' lamp-a-saw
Goes an egg-crate frae t'top o' t'bus.

"Stop! Stop !" we shouts, an' stamped oor feet,
Them women, they war in a stew,
'Cos each one on 'em thowt it was 'er box
'At was fast disappearing frae view.

But o' course all t'time they were 'opin'
That it wasn't theirs at all,
An' bi' t'time we'd getten t'driver stopped
That egg-box was le-akin' small.

"Driver'll etti gan back tor it
It's ommost a mile" they said,
"Sarve 'im jolly weel right" thowt Ah,
But that driver was seeing red.

He shouted an' chuntered when 'e knew
He'd etti gan back again,
An' said we owt ti' ha stopped 'im afore
Ah could ha said lots mi sen !

All was calm till he lande back wi t'thing
All brokken ti bits an nae good,
An' then they all set aboot 'im
By gum, they war just in t'mood.

They called 'im all t'names they could think on
An' then yan on 'em said,
"If thoo tries ony mare o' thi monkey thricks
Ah'll rahve all t' air off thi 'ead" !!

By lad, he was mad -proper blazin'
But 'e climbed back in tiv 'is seat,
An' the way 'e drove that last orf mile
Tiv all on us, t'was a treat.

But efther all we'd gone thro'
You ma guess we war all in a state,
But Ah shakes mi sen down an' says to me pal
"Now lad, is me 'at on straight" ?

"Just le-ak in t'glass, an' then tha'll see"
Says 'e wi' a comical grin,
Ay -t'crown was on me 'ead all right
Wi t'brim danglin' under me chin !

That beautiful 'at cost me fower bob
But - thanks be ti' heaven - t'bus stopped,
We'd landed at Kirby, what a relief
In two seconds, oot we'd 'opped.

By lad, there was some chatterin'
Some were soortin', some still givin' vent,
But me an' Bennett wi' thremmely legs
Just grabbed oor thraps -an' went !

An' if ivver Ah'm asked ti Kirby age-an
Tho' Ah'm nut one for makkin' a fuss,
Ya can tak it frae me, ah'd rayther walk
Than gan on that market bus !!