(These poems work best if read out loud in a broad Yorkshire accent. Give it a try!)

Shaken, not stirred

Photo by cottonbro on
Stanley, a butcher's assistant
Lived at home with his mum, and his gran
A dog, fifteen cats and a budgie
And a lodger from Uzbekistan.

The dag was a mongrel, named Scruffy
Stan fed him 'scrag end' from the store
'Cats got bits of fish from the chippy
'Bird, seed, from the pet shop next door.

They all rubbed along pretty nicely
And 'lodger 'elped out wi' his keep
They'd sit round 'gas fire watching telly
Until granny and mum fell asleep.

From his gran, Stan had picked up a problem
Shaking hands, like the leaves on a tree
This made eating and drinking a problem
And soup were a catastroph-ee.

'Butcher's patience had finally run out
When young Stan cut his hand, with a yelp
"That's umpteenth time, only this week lad
I think you need medical 'elp."

Before he could visit the doctor's
His mum checked out how he were dressed
"We don't want no tittlin' or tattlin'
I've laid out on 'bed 'Sunday best."

Stanley sat doodlin' in 'surg'ry
A bit feeling down in the dumps
Wi' 'coughers and 'sniffers and such like
And a boy wi' a bad case of mumps.

His first diagnosis was Parky's
Which came as a bit of a shock
But after some prodding and poking
He was sent to a specialist doc.

"You've something called ee-senshul tremor,"
Stan was told,with some justification
"It's not a life threatening condition
We'll put you on strong medication."

The specialist prescribed him three tablets
One yellow, one white and one red
Two to be taken at mealtimes
And one with his cocoa at bed.

Medicated, he shook like a jelly
More discussion, and consideration
The hospital theatre were beckoning
For a bit of a brain operation.

At the hozzie they gave him a checkup
His ticker was tocking so slow
That knocking him out for the surg'ry
Was a lux'ry he'd have to forego.

Six hours with no anaesthetic!
Two big 'oles in his 'ed, Stan were stressed
Sticking 'lectrodes and probes in his noggin
And a pacemaker thing in his chest.

A fancy remote he were given
Big improvements is what he were hoping
'Operation did help him a bit
And with eating his food, he was coping.

Soon, Stan was back at the butcher's
Let loose with this 'uge boning knife
A 'glass half full' kind of person
Who looked on the bright side of life.

So, pleased with the little improvements
He gave 'budgie a peck on its beak
Granny's bird had the avian flu though
Stanley curled up his toes within 'week.

His mum, mortified at his passing
Had checked Stan's insurance again
One payment short on the premium
She'd have to make do wi' free pen.

The family were very upset
Played his favourite song at the wake
The group were 'The Swinging Blue Jeans,'
The record was 'Hip' Hippy Shake.'

Shakin' Stanley it said on his 'eadstone
Shook his last, no more 'Rattle and Roll'
'All shook up' on a permanent basis
And may God rest his shiverin' soul.

To his wonderment, Stan went to 'eaven
Passed the Man in the Moon and the stars
Gave Orion the 'unter his belt back
And took a sharp right after Mars.

When he reached 'pearly gates, Stan were baffled
Saint Peter had asked for a word
"I've got you a job in the bar, son
God's Martinis are shaken, not stirred."

The icing on the cake

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on
Bill Ogden adored his girl Annie
Loved her with all of his 'eart
They'd only been courting for six months
When he promised 'Till death do us part.'

The way to man's 'eart goes the saying
Is feeding him good things to eat
And when William got married to Annie
He knew he were in for a treat.

See, Annie loved cooking and baking
'Twas truly her passion and pride
A bit of a gourmand was William
What more could he want from 'is bride?

She conjured up pasties and pastries
Cooking food that was fit for a king
Baked cakes that were light as a feather
Sweet puds that could make 'is 'eart sing.

As William grew fatter and fatter
Annie's expertise started to grow
She began by exhibiting wares
Near to Thirsk, at the Borrowby Show.

The cheese and onion pie got a mention
Her chutneys came in with two thirds
First prize for her Dutch apple pie though
And Annie was strugglin' for words.

Her signature dish was established
Perfecting it show after show
This pie always nabbed the top prize
Leaving contenders with nowhere to go.

Bill worshipped his wife's home-made cooking
In the kitchen, he'd often be found
Feeding his face with her goodies
As his belly grew ever more round.

Of all of the shows held up North
The biggest, and so most prestigious
Annie pursued the 'Great Yorkshire'
With a drive that were almost religious.

This show is the Creme de la creme
A real agricultural force
To exhibit your baking or jams
Your gin, or your spuds, or an 'orse.

It was an era, post 'foot and mouth'
Many livestock were tragically dead
But also a time before Covid
Had raised up its 'orrible 'ead.

Annie knew that she could have played safe
With her old apple pie reci-pee
But Victoria Sponge was her choice
To broaden her cook's repartee.

Practice makes perfect they say
And Bill was in 'throes of delight
Each cake tasted hot from the oven
Until Annie had got it just right.

Come the big day, she were nervous
'Reputation had drawn a big crowd
'Judge frowned when she say Annie's offering
"Icing on 'cake's not allowed."

A dusting of sugar's permitted
But paragraph three clearly stated
Victoria sponge is not iced
And poor Annie was 'umiliated.

"I'm afraid rules are rules," preached the judge
"It is something we cannot re-visit.
I'll still try a small slice or two
My dear, this is simply exquisite."

Gutted and crying was Annie
Bill tried of his best to placate
"Get your coat on my treasure, we're leaving
You're coming with me.  Harro-gate."

Now Harrogate's a beautiful town
Like Leeds,only smaller and posh
Bill escorted his wife into Betty's
And treat her to well fancy nosh.

Their high tea were served silver service
The waitresses pampered and fussed
Served fancies all smothered in icing
And sandwiches shorn of their crust.

Holding hands, Bill met his wife's eyes
"My darling, please make no mistake
I love you with all of my 'eart
You are my icing on 'cake.

Tommy’s birthday

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When Tommy Ramsbottom turned eighteen
He said to his mum and his dad
"I don't want a present or nothing
I'm off for a drink with the lads."

The Ramsbottoms lived on the 'social'
And struggled to make both ends meet
But they stuck twenty quid in his pocket
And told him to, "Have a good neet."

He met all his mates round the corner
At a pub called the 'Satin and Lace'
Tom struggled to grow any whiskers
So he took some I.D, just in case.

Our young hero wasn't a drinker
He gen'ly just had one or two
But this was his birthday remember
And he managed to sink quite a few

With bravado he said to the barmaid
A lass wi' a lovely big smile
"Could I have one of those pickled eggs love?
I haven't had one for a while."

His hunger was partially sated
They started a mini pub-crawl
When 'clock on 'town 'all chimed out ten
Then,"Let's go and eat," was the call.

Our Tommy had never 'ad curry
And the menu was quite complicated
He was drunk, but not daft, was the lad
He sat, and he watched, and he waited.

Tommy's buddies had been here before
They all seemed to know what to do
And fair split their sides when he said
"I'll 'ave same as him, vindaloo."

Well, after a couple of mouthfuls
He were sweating and mopping his 'ed
And afraid he'd be poorly at 'table
He rushed to the lavvy instead.

It were there that our Tommy met Hughie
After which, he were feeling much better
Then off to the nightclub they went
A swish place, called 'La Vienetta.'

The drinks were expensive in there
It was almost ten bob for a beer
And with 'glitter ball spinning on 'ceiling
Tommy started to feel a bit queer.

Tommy spied a young lady in 'club
His mates said,"Yon girl is a cracker."
But with curry escaping his pores
He had no chance of getting a smacker.

His romantic intentions cut short
Tommy thought he would call it a night
And waving drunken tarrahs to his friends
He staggered home feeling 'not right.'

Once home his dad went ballistic
Because Tom had forgotten his key
"Sorry dad, I'm desperate for 'toilet,"
Tommy's attempt at quick repartee.

Following morning though, Tommy felt rotten
Met his pals for black coffee at Gregg's
His 'ed and his stomach protested
Never again, would he eat pickled eggs.

Where there’s a will

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on
You'll have heard of Albert and 'lion
At the zoo, how he poked in its ear
With 'is stick with its 'orses 'ead 'andle
And 'ow 'lion made 'lad disappear.

It was penned by one Marriott Edgar
Not sure that it's totally true
A British tradition the monologue
For telling a tall tale or two.

This then, is the story of Doris
A frail little lady from 'ull
And Joseph, her fisherman 'usband
'Andsome when younger, but dull.

When Doris met Joe in her twenties
She thought him 'a bit of a dish'
But since working away on the trawlers
All he could talk of was fish.

Sadly, Joe passed away in the Autumn
They'd been married for fifty six years
Though she'd not miss his moods, or his washing
She managed to shed a few tears.

He'd left her no money or nothing
Joe was 'ardly a millionaire
And Doris had toasted their parting
With a small glass of vin ordinaire.

What he had left her though, were a parrot
Called Polly, an African Grey
This parrot could swear like a sailor
Vocab'lary badly astray.

The bird was some comp'ny for Doris
They'd sit and they'd have a good chat
Until Doris developed arthur-itis
And the council coughed up wi' a flat.

"No pets," council lady insisted
Handing 'keys to her new maisonette
'Where there's a will, there's a way' though
So t'old lady were not too upset.

She covered Poll's cage in a blanket
And smuggled her into the flat
What with gas central 'eating and carpets
Doris treasured 'er new 'abitat.

Old 'abits die 'ard with a parrot
Who soon took to swearing again
When 'neighbours began to ask questions
Doris guessed, they were going to complain.

But, at just passed three in the morning
Doris fell out of bed, on t'floor
"Get up, get up," Poll' was squawking
As smoke trickled through 'bedroom door,

Doris weren't a girl given to panic
(The parrot were 'ighly impressed)
Pulling clothes quickly over her nightie
She rushed from the flat, barely dressed.

She managed to wake all her neighbours
The firemen brought cheering throughout
But standing there, bird cage a danglin'
Doris knew that her secret were out.

The fire had been caused by her cooker.
Commented senior fireman, Paul
"Thanks to Doris's lightening reactions
The extent of the damage is small."

The neighbours rolled up their shirt sleeves
As the clean up immediately began
Elbow grease, and Fairy, (original)
Soon had Doris's flat spic and span.

Poor Doris was all of a dither
When 'council called later that day
"I'll see what I can do," said the lady
"Because, where there's a will, there's a way."

Guide dogs are let in by the council
From the rules, they are simply excluded
Whilst a dog for a dis-abled person
Is allowed, and expressly included.

These pooches are called 'elper canines
Doris still has her pet, to this day
It is 'ull's very first 'elper parrot
Because, "Where there's a will, there's a way."