Holinworth Lake (Prose)

A poem by John Hartley

Th' mooast remarkable thing 'at aw' con recollect abaat this time last year, wor a trip to Hollinworth Lake. Ther'd been a collection made at the Longloin Sunday Schooil for a new gas meeter; an after they'd getten th' brass, they bethought 'em 'at th' old en could be made do, an' soa th' taichers agreed to have a trip wi' th' funds. They argued a gooid deeal abaat ha to spend it, an' at last it wor decided they should walk all th' rooad, an' spend it as they went on. They started aat at four o'clock one Setterday mornin' i' furst rate fettle. Ther wor six men an' seven women; but as th' superintendent wor as big as two, they considered thersen weel paired. They trudged nicely on till they gate to Bolton Brow, an' then two or three began to feel faint, an' Swallow (that's th' superintendent's name) propooased 'at they should have a drop o' drink to revive 'em. Noabdy had owt to say agean that, soa as th' public haase wor just oppened, one on 'em went in an' browt aat a quart pitcher full an' handed it to Swallow to sup th' furst. An' he did sup - for when he left lause ther wor nowt left but th' froth on his upper lip to tell at ther'd iver bin ony. "Well" said Lijah, "aw've heeared swallows called burds of passage, but if they'd all a passage like thee, they'd sup th' sea dry." "Tha sees, Lijah," he said, "awm unfortunate, for aw've a thirst on me 'at aw cannot quench, an' aw darn't sup watter for fear o' havin' th' dropsy." All th' women agreed' at he wor reight, an' soa after another quart amang em they went on.

What wi' laffin, an' talkin,' an' smookin, they gate to Blackstone Edge Moor, an' some of the women thowt it time for a rest, soa Swallow stop'd all at once an' said, "Do yo all see that stooan post 'at's standin' thear? That's the stooan at devides Yorksher an' Lankysher, an' aw think this a 'varry fit time to say a few words woll yo ease yor legs a bit." Soa up he climb'd onto th' pooast, an' began praichin away, an' kept at it woll they wor all hauf pined to deeath. At last Lijah said, "Hang it up, ha long are ta baan to talk? aw wonder thi conscience doesn't prick thee!" "Prick me!" he said, "Aw defy owt to prick me when awm laborin' for a gooid cause." Just then he ovver balanced hissel an' fell slap into th' middle ov a whin bush; but he wor up in a crack, an' one o' th' lasses said, "if his conscience hadn't getten prick'd summat else had," an' they went forrard, but Swallow kept his hand under his coit lap for a mile or two. They gate to th' lake at last, an' after enjayin' what they call th' seea breeze, they started off to see some o' th' places ov interest. One o' th' furst they steer'd to wor th' birthplace o' Tim Bobbin. "An' who wor Tim Bobbin?" said one o' th' lasses. This puzzled 'em, for ther worn't one i'th' lot 'at knew; but one o' th' chaps said he thowt, if he worn't mistakken, he war th' inventor o' th' spinnin' mule. Th' superintendent said that wor varry likely, for he'd oft nooatised when readin' history books, 'at chaps gate ther names throo summat they'd done, an' soa varry likely he gate called Tim Bobbin for that reason. After that they went back an' had a ride in a booat, an' as nooan on em knew ha to row, th' watter were varry sooin ankle deep inside; some on 'em began to grummel at this. "Oh, niver heed," said Swallow, "yo'll niver catch cold wi' salt watter." It worn't long afoor they wanted ther tea, soa they went into th' haase an' ordered a gooid feed. Aw've heeard cunjurors say, "Quick, Jack, fly," when they've been puttin' summat aat o'th' seet; but ther worn't time to say that wi' them, for th' breead and butter went like leetnin'. One plate full after another kept comin' in, till at last th' mistress said, "Aw think yo must ha' been hungry?" "E'ea, it's change o' climate 'at does it," they said. Soa shoo browt in a fresh lot, but it made noa difference; away it went after tother. "Do yo' know,". shoo says, when shoo coom in agean, "at yo've etten two pund o' breead apiece?" "Why what's two pund when its cut thin," they said? An' at it they went agean. When they couldn't find room for ony moor, they paid ther shot an' started off hooam, whear they landed safely. Th' next Sunday neet, when th' gas wor lit at schooil iverybody wor capt to see what an' improvement th' new meter wor. Soa after passin' a vote o' thanks to th' superintendent an' th' taichers for th' trouble they' been put to, th' matter dropt.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Holinworth Lake (Prose)' by John Hartley

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy