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U3A Writing: The Well: 10 - Landlady

...I know Jack don't work here no more
But I promised long ago he could have
The back room when he got wed
A few pies, a bit of beer
and a good knees up, that's all.
Been like a son to me has Jack...

Paddy Webb continues her account in verse of the hard life of her great grandfather, one of three generations to bear the name John Charles Ayling.

"The world turned upside down."

Push that stool over here, George,
My bunions are giving me gyp.
Put my tea there, and have a cup yourself.
It's quiet for a bit.
I don't know how I'd have managed
Without you, George,
Especially Since my man died.
But I know you George, and you've got the hump.
You bothered about my little party?
I know Jack don't work here no more
But I promised long ago he could have
The back room when he got wed
A few pies, a bit of beer
and a good knees up, that's all.
Been like a son to me has Jack,
and no parents coming to see them done right.

She's a good girl, his Ellen Elizabeth.
I knew something was brewing when he went
To the pawnbroker, bought that striped blazer
And a boater, we had a laugh about that.
Seems her Grandad had a pit in Wales,
Lost it all when the miners went on strike.
There's eight girls, all out to service.
Ellen bumped into Jack, going round a corner.
He helped her up, walked her back as far
As the area steps, been calling every Sunday since.
Ever so romantic. They've an offer
Of two rooms, so they are starting well.

You've got a good position here, George,
And I'll not deny I rely on you, but I'm not
Having any sulking when I choose to do something.,
So lets be clear. Now then, we'd best get ready for the rush.
Put back the stool, then make up the parlour fire.
How do you think the new girl is shaping? I think
We could do with a new pot boy as well.

I think I'll wear my blue for the wedding.

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