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.