A Poem

A poem, author unknown, describing  Seaham characters of the

early 1900s’ it was found among the belongings of Joe Corkhill

(another Seaham character!) who sadly died recently,

sent in by his daughter Elizabeth Heskett.

OLD SEAHAM CHARACTERS We’ve all heard the tale of Loppy Dick    who followed the bunker and knew every trick, And Pot Pie Jack of Colliery fame,    who ate pot pies till he looked the same, And Wooden Legged Sally of Irish Back Street,    who rolled off her leg when she fell asleep, Of Pudden Scott and the likely tale,    of a number of pints and the pease pudden pail. Glass Alley Pudden who caught us each day    out came his alleys and we had to play. The blasphemy of Claes Prop Meg    if you wouldn’t buy a prop or a few claes pegs. The Humpty Backed Barber of local fame    who nicked your face again and again. Showlder Deglin who worked at the Nack    abused Auld Swallow and got the sack.

There was Pantomime Mary who used to gan    to the silent films with her man She couldn’t read and he couldn’t write    there sure was a pantomime in the Empire that night. Remember Abe Smith on the scavenger cart    dressed by Dr Neilan, a la carte.

The Lady in Grey who lived a recluse    for thirty years till she turned herself loose. There was General Buller with his ice cream cart,   Tommy Hogger of Bottlehouse fame loved a jam tart Old Moore the postman of toyshop fame    with such a big nose it was really a shame. And Stumpy Miller of the football game,    and little Sally Clough of Army fame Crowds would gather on a Saturday neet    to see the Black Dentist pull out teeth.

The blood and screams, the howls and yells    beat the Gaff with all it’s tales The Mouth Organ Pie Eater in Dawdon canteen    and Matty Duffy the best haircut you’ve seen. The Army Band with it’s sound of brass,    and Fatty Waister’s mighty blast

Though echoing through the evening air

could’nt drown out Davy Maitland’s prayer

Jakie Willis gave us many a laugh

   sat in the threepenny’s in the Gaff.

There was the Hunchback of Marlborough Street,

   who wore his leggings day and neet.

Auld Hughie Doyle in the Gaff was a riddle,

   whatever did he play on that old brass fiddle?

There were two who were very matey,

   Crutchy Laverick and Bobby Batey.

There was Bessy’s Hole and Nanny Goat Path,

   and Clogger Wood’s lodging house what had no bath.

The Penny Bazaar and the Hall Flower Show,

   what fun we had when we used to go.

At church Bill Spoors played the organ

   and law was kept by Inspector Morgan

If at the docks you sought to linger

   you sure had to keep a watch out for Ginger.

The Jubilee Grounds and the Featherbed Rock

   the Duckyard and the Terrace Clock

The Ball Alley off which your ball would stott

   down Boosey Alley to stagger, after a tot

Few of these could aspire to fame

   but loved their town and it’s good name.

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