Our Local

Ghost walks

You can tell a local’s pub

There are chairs where you can’t sit

There are tankards above the bar.

Heads turn as you walk in.

But, we had not just a seat but a corner.

Top corner of the Wheatsheaf lounge.

Mum, Dad, Fliss and Rod and uncles and aunts.

Then friends flanking us.

The protocol didn’t end with the seating.

It extended to the entertainment.

A sing along with songs owned and rendered by specific people

So can you hear the call “Come on Dennis, let’s have THE tape.”

We all knew the sequence.

Dad would sing Sheikh of Araby

“I’m the Sheikh of Araby” and we would chorus “With his boots on, kicking up the dust”

As he did a Wilson, Keppel and Betty sand dance.

Mum would sing “Pride of our Alley”

“Sally, Sally” she would encourage us as a West Country Gracie Fields.

Drifting further North from Gracie’s Lancashire she belonged to Glasgie

Stopping at Mother Kelly's doorstep

She moved on and Broke the bank at Monte Carlo

Before meeting Burlington Bertie

Then promised that we would look neat on a bicycle made for two.

My turn now, but only as a straight man to Mum.

“Climb upon my knee, Sonny boy

Though you’re only three, Sonny boy”

And even though I was twenty something, I climbed upon her knee.

Looking like a grotesque ventriloquist’s dummy

As I awaited my lines in the finale.

“There’s no way of knowing, there’s no way of showing,

What you mean to me ……”

I say “What’s my name”

And the pub yell “Sonny boy!”

Then as a family we tell everyone that “Ours is a nice house”

We hail “Hello! Hello!” and ask, “Who’s your lady friend?”

Only to segue into “Sons of the sea, bobbing up and down like this”.

We lament the loss of our love to Antonio, the ice cream seller,

And threaten revenge.

But we can assure Joshua that he is sweeter than lemon squash, you are.

Later, after time is called, we would sing “Now is the hour”.

Community singing by a community

It’s what made our local , “Our Local”.