CHRISTMAS RECOLLECTIONS. 'Twas long ago, I just forget,
A Christmas time, I'll ne'er regret.
Methinks I hear the joyful sound
Of Christmas greetings all around.
I remember well one Christmas eve,
The moon was out so plain to see.
I thought I'd just have a run around
To find some fun and merry sound.
To Bolton Hall I made my way,
Where Mitchell's lived for many a day,
Whose very kindness to the poor,
Brought lads and lassies to the door.
And then we all began to sing
"Christians Awake!" and other hymns.
By gum! I never shall forget that neet,
A royal welcome we all did meet.
And then, into the morning breeze,
I retraced my steps, how it did freeze.
At Brannelly's I had to call,
A hearty welcome given to all,
The mirth and dancing all galore,
Such a sight I'd never seen before.
Pat's helping hand he'd give to all,
A friend in need who liked to call.
The "Daggers Inn" that Christmas day
Was full of people bright and gay.
Each table was bedecked with victuals,
Spice-cake and cheese and various pickles.
Then with your kind and polite attention,
A few old friends I'd like to mention,
Whose names most of you can recall,
Their time has gone, God bless them all.
John Marsden is the first I'll take,
A farmer him and no mistake.
Next on my list is old Jack Hill,
When the flood was out, his home he'd swill.
Charles Otley, he was such a corker,
He was known to be a famous walker.
Dicky Webster, a shooter by repute,
At knocking down sparrows he was very cute.
The man in the corner I thought was a smuggler,
I found out after his name was "Juggler".
I remember him well, at feast-time especially,
In the "Daggers" long room you'd find him mostly.
With his friend "Thricket" and their concertinas,
My word it was grand, perhaps you have heard 'em.
Our next is Alf Martin, a tale he could tell,
He made folks laugh when they weren't half well.
Sam Sunderland was there, no beggar he'd pass,
He was always as sound as a bell made of brass.
Our old friend Bill Moore, I noticed came in,
As judge of a beast there was nowt to touch him.
Cocky Rhodes, he wanted to get up and jig,
But more in his line was killing a pig.
Gassy Holdsworth was there with a flower in his co'et,
Folks wondered how ever he was able to grow it.
Old William Ratcliffe, a spice shop he kept,
I once won a walking stick, there's none of it left.
When t'flood was out, his cart you would see,
Takking folks across t'watter for a very small fee.
A farmer by nature, I remember him well,
His crops were so good they always would sell.
Joesy Sonison¹, the sexton, he'd have his own say,
He's buried in t'cemetery with his feet the wrong way.
He once had a donkey, I quite recollect,
My word he could kick if in his way you did get.
Tommy Naylor, a fiddler, just within my recollection,
At playing the music he was up to perfection.
Gaffer Johnstone, the schoolmaster, so long ago,
His walks round Lane Ends every morning he'd go.
His "Good Morning, children." I can fancy I hear,
He had always a smile for friends far and near.
Not forgetting John Batty, the School Board clerk,
You'd find him in the morning up with the lark.
Ike Batty for gardening he'd take some beating,
A flower he'd give you, if you went a-courting.
An Oddfellow² true, the books he did keep,
He would do his duty, he wasn't asleep.
Charles White, a good shot, we all must agree,
He'd sooner shoot game than go to his tea.
Harry Hurst was frightened his dog would be drowned,
I once heard him sing- Good Lord! how it did sound!
George Longley, a good man with trowel and mortar,
He liked a cigar with whiskey and soda.
Jack Trickett, the miller, his whiskers were red,
You could depend on his flour for making good bread.
Bob Bailey, who lived by himself in the house,
He once ate ten herrings, besides bread and souse.
Most of us remember our good friend Charles Totty,
A good turn he'd do, he never was haughty.
The memories and doings of them that are gone,
Will not be forgotten by many a one.
With respect have I penned these few lines together,
Trusting that everyone will read them with favour.
In my humble effort I have tried to please you,
So buy up these copies, it's the best thing to do.
There's a festive time coming, let's all be merry,
And put on one side dull care and worry.
As Christmas is near, be of good cheer,
Here's wishing everyone a happy New Year.
Notes: These lines have been written and composed with apologies to all, and will be sold for the benefit of the Mexboro' Montagu Hospital.
M.N., Bolton. Nov. 1912.
end of sheet.
¹ Joseph Saunderson. (AC)
² The Society of Oddfellows (WN)
Note. M.N. was Matthew Naylor. He was a bachelor and lived with his mother in the second cottage low side of the High School on Goldthorpe Green (now Dearne High School). The first cottage was occupied by the late Charlie Swift³.
After his mother died, Matthew lived with Freeman's at No.9 Angel St., Bolton. His brother lived in what was called the Wagon Yard just past the Churchyard in High St. Bolton.
The above note was added by the late Albert Cook, to whom I am grateful for giving me the rhyme and saving it and its picture of Bolton upon Dearne in the 1860/70's from obscurity. Albert was born in Bolton and was a retired Overman at Hickleton Main Colliery.
Matthew Naylor was 62 in 1912; his age being obtained from census returns.
³ These cottages (the oldest in Goldthorpe) were totally dismantled in 1984 and two new ones built on the site with the stone. --Walt Norris
Transcribed jointly by
Walt Norris and Ronald Crossland, ©1991.
Reproduced here with the permission of Barnsley MBC
Archives and Local Studies Department