Here’s a thing I’ve been trying to get round to for a while now, but scanning booklets is a time consuming and laborious job – but in this case, very much a worthwhile one. Over recent weeks I’ve featured poetry here from Reg Fullelove, and I said at the time that I had a book of his to scan and present for readers.
Well, in PDF form, here is a downloadable version of ‘Two Sides of Aer Reg’, a book of poetry by local poet, churchman and raconteur Reg Fullelove, published in 1980.
The book appears to tie in with broadcast radio work that Reg was doing at the time. The foreword says the following:
￼TWO SIDES OF AER REG
Reg Fullelove. Born in Brownhills. Son of a miner. Member of Bourne Methodist Church, Heath Hayes. Was a Sunday School teacher, now takes an interest in church affairs as a steward. Gives devotional talks to fellowships in the district.
Aer Reg. Created through a phone-in programme on BBC Radio Birmingham in 1977 when ‘The Bonkies’ was broadcast in local dialect. Other broadcasts followed on Wulfrun Echo.
Aer Reg continued to ‘praych the werd uz e imagined they wood er dun yeers ago – tryin ter mek fokes loff but orlso mekin um think.’
So yow cun loff un pray by the touch of a pen.
I find it’s best if you read the work – which is often written phonetically, in heavy dialect – in the voice of Reg himself. Reg can be heard narrating the 1934 Brownhills Carnival film I posted here last year. Reg is an irrepressible character with a great local accent, and also a devout and religious man with a keen eye and memory for detail.
All these things can be observed in his wonderful poems.
Some questions arise; primarily what of the radio show ‘The Bonkies’ – who, what, where and when of course, but also do any recordings exist? Secondly, what was Wulfrun Echo? Community radio perhaps?
I’d like to thank reg for his work. He really is a local hero, and I salute his spirit and tenacity.
I’m sure there will be comment; please feel free to have your say or email me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
BLACK LEAD GRATE – DOLLY TUB
Black lead grate and dolly tub memories of the past
But they were part of a heritage that forever may it last,
A roasting fire on washing day to keep the flat iron hot,
Posh white sherts, all stiff with starch, me grannie washed the lot,
Remember the smoky boiler fire, brewhouse full of smoke
Bubbling boiling clean flannelette sheets, with boiler stick to poke
Doble event un dicky bow, shiny bowler hats,
Tweed plusfours, working boots, and evening shoes with spats
Bustle and shawl, big posh hat, nice white pinafore
This was the dress of bygone days, when house work was a chore
No gentle hum of washing machine no suction cleaner sound
But the thump thump of a dolly tub as the weekly wash it pound.
Friday was the black lead day, brasses to be cleaned
But with elbow grease and polish they soon had quite a sheen
No one had a freezer, just a pantry sill
The snap was good and simple, and yer empty belly fill
Ther wor no posh Axminsters, central heating all sublime
But a good bodged rug by a coal fire, that made brass fender shine
Every house had an iron foot, for dad to cobble shoes
Every Mom a seamstress as she sat and mended clews
Nobody had a Tele to watch till eyes went square
Yow was posh if yow ad a piano, but yow all ad time to spare
Ter say hello and hows yer health, enjoy a little lof
Ar yes terday we’ve got it all, but are we better off.