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Feather's Miscellany: Sammy Taylor an’ t’ Funeral Scones.

John Waddington-Feather tells a reight good Yorkshire tale which says a lot about us folk from the county of broad acres.

If tha’d ha’ telled mi Polly Taylor threeaped her husband to deeath, Ah wouldn’t ha’ bin surprised. Shoo nagged him through all ther married life – an’ happen beyond. Mind thi, Sammy needed a woman like her to tak ‘im through life. Baht her he’d ha’ bin like a ship lacking booath engine an’ rudder.

Tha sees, he were a quiet little chap an’ nivver pushed hissel forrard. Polly were just t’ opposite. Shoo allus pushed hersel’ to t’front and would ha’ talked to t’ gate-post if ther were nowt else to talk to. Sammy nivver argued wi’ her even though he knew he were reight.

T’only peeace an’ quiet Sammy hed wer when he went fishin’ wi’ his pal Herbert Longden. Ther were sim’lar sorts o’ chaps: quiet, sensible an’ fishers. They’d sit for hours on t’canal side saying nowt; just lewkin’ into t’ fishy deeps, more at one wi’ t’world dahn theer than t’world above. Sammy hed won a deeal o’ cups for his anglin’ an’ he got nagged even for that.

“If tha’d put as much time an’ effort into getting’ on at wark as tha does in to fishin’, we wouldn’t be livin’ dahn Garlic Lane nah,” she said. “We’d hev a nice semi up at Ruddledene.”

Ruddledene were t’ nice side o’ t’ taan, where t’ folk spoke nice an’ lived nice. Ther were bank clerks, shop-keepers an’ sich. Net workers like ther were dahn Garlic Lane.

Soa Sammy were glad to goa fishin’. It gev him a break frae Polly, whose naggin’ at hooam were sometimes worse ner t’ racket at t’mill wheer he worked as an owerlooker.

Sammy retired at sixty five after a lifetime in t’ same mill at t’ same owd job. His life allus were t’same frae start to t’ finish: t’same house in t’same street; same time in t’same pub wi’ t’same pals; hooam at t’same time wi’ t’ same bag o’ fish an’ chips for ther supper; an’ to bed after watchin’ a sooap like “Coronation Street” on t’ telly.

But Polly’s cooking made up for ivverything for shoo were a gradely cook. Shoo wore t’ britches all reet but Sammy et her cookin’. He nivver tasted owt like it. Shoo could ha’ cooked in a five-star restaurant hed shoo been minded an’ Sammy relished her cookin’ reight to t’end, which came in his seventy third year.

He lay deein’ i’ bed when t’smell o’ Polly’s cookin came up t’ stairs an’ floated into his chamer. Shoo were cookin’ scones. Badly as he were, Sammy’s maath started to watter. “Ah must hev one o’ Polly’s scones afore Ah dee,” he thowt, an’ pullin’ hisen together, he struggled aht o’ bed an’ staggered dahn t’steps into t’ kitchen.

Polly were just pullin’ a trayful o’ freshly baked scones frae t’oven an’ ther were another load on ‘em set aht on t’ kitchen table. Sammy reached aht tp tak one, but Polly heeard him an’ spun rahnd. Shoo slapped his wrist an’ shaated: “Sammy Taylor, leave those scones alooan. Ther for thy funeral!”

John Waddington-Feather ©


Threeaped = nagged
Baht = without
Hissel = Himself
Hissen = Himself
Allus = always
Owerlooker = overlooker, the engineer who maintained looms in a mill.
Deein = dying
Chamer = bedroom

Ruddledene is Riddlesden: the posh side of Keighley like Utley, which is Utworth in my stories!


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