Thursday, March 17, 2011

Soft Southern Jessie

Last night I dreamt I walked the streets of my old home town. Not as it is now, with its lar-dee-dar shops for the lar-dee-dar yachting types who've taken the place over and priced the locals out; as it was when I was small - a real place with real shops: the bakery on the corner with the girl called Wendy my Mum knew, Mr Shillabeer's butchers where he'd pull coins and sometimes, miraculously, eggs, from behind my ear, Pillar's the toy shop with its window stuffed full of Dinky cars and Belli's the tobacconist by the bus stop home where my Dad would buy his tins of St Bruno.

Why at 45 am I walking the streets of my early childhood in my sleep? What is the cranky old processor in my brain up to, sifting through this hardly-used stuff on the hard drive? Who knows.

But it reminds me of when my grandad, sat in late summer out the back of the modern house we moved to in the 70s, would talk to me about the Plymouth of his youth, before the bombs fell and the 60s planners finished the job.

That place existed only in his head, and so it is now with mine and me.

I lived in Trumpton and I am a Soft Southern Jessie.

Freddie Phillips - 'Chime And Clock Theme' (featuring Brian Cant, narrator) (1967)
Freddie Phillips - 'Band Concert' (1967)

[vinyl rips from the Music For Pleasure LP]


  1. A lovely piece Mr H.

    I have been thinking a bit recently about the village I grew up in and when driving the other Saturday was teling Max about the pit bing that my brother and I used to play on when we were wee and I thought to myself that I sounded like my dad when he would talk about the Airdrie of his youth and I suddenly felt old and a little sad.

  2. I supposse that makes me a soft northern Jessie!

  3. If ever dream about 'home' - it's always back at our old flat and usually set in the seventies - great tunes (where did you dig them out)..

    Found this yesterday - Andy Partridge's walk round of the Swindon that was..and great to see the obligatory random shop (one armed bandit retail sales and icing bags in our town)

  4. My business partner and I tried in vain to drum up support for a 6 o'clock tea dance - Chigley stylee. Alas, depite running it up the flagpole, nobody saluted it. We had to settle for a dust-cutter down the local instead.

  5. Arf!

    Love the Partridge film Mond, thanks. Both the songs are from my original LP (as pictured) - I have the 'Camberwick Green' one too.

  6. PS: There was a scales shop like that Swindon one in the outer suburb of Zurich I did some work in two years back. Walked past it every morning - never anyone in it but a conscientious looking proprietor and his clerk.

  7. On a similar riff, we were in Ghent a few years back, and they had not one - but several shops on one street selling naught but vintage wallpaper.

    Have you seen the clip where Windy overdoes it on the home brew?

  8. DavyH - Straight Outta Trumpton

  9. The first tune I ever taught myself to play was the Pippin Fort 'Reveille' on a toy trumpet.

    Always loved the Trumpton fire brigade concert. Wonder if they ever learned another tune?

  10. I know. And who played guitar?

    Lee - very good. Take the rest of the day off.

  11. PS: Mick if I get a moment over the weekend I'll computerise the Pippin Fort reveille just for you: if anything the 'Camberwick Green' album is even better (although Trumpton was my favourite - because it had a fire engine, obvs).

  12. 'Chime And Clock Theme' has been downloaded 15 times, but 'Band Concert' only 12. Trust me, 'Band Concert' is a real grower.

  13. I'm ignoring this post (excellent though it is)because I was always a Camberwick Green child. I didn't like Trumpton for some reason.

    I'm also ignoring the fact that I'm now the secret to life the universe and everything. And that's older than dirt.

    Cheers DH!

  14. lol, what I meant to say was I can't believe how old these programmes are. Trumpton is older than I am!

  15. Ah.

    Here then for you Smoni, and Michael, and all you other boys and girls of a certain age out there, is Peter The Postman's arrival at Pippin Fort (including the reveille and the song 'Captain Snort Is A Soldier Man') from Welcome To Camberwick Green.

    'The Captain inspects every boy very closely'

  16. Unemployments rising in the Chigley end of town, and it's spreading like pneumonia, doesn't look like going down,there's trouble at the fire station, someone's had the sack, and the lads are going to launch a scheme, to get rid of Captain Black

    Tell PC McGarry, to get himself a mate, and arm himself with CS gas, they're gonna be out late, we've had calm conformers since 1966, and now subversions in the air, in the shape of flying bricks

    Someone get a message through to Captain Snort, they better start assembling the boys from the fort, keep Mrs Honeyman right out of sight, cos there's gonna be a riot down in Trumpton tonight.

    All this aristocracy has really got to stop, we'll overthrow the surgery and kidnap Dr Mop, and Chigley militant socialists will storm the market square, and make plans to assassinate the autocratic mayor.

    Etc Etc

  17. Windy Miller was my hero, along with Big Ben and the Pink Panther. I still walk like the Pink Panther when I'm drunk

  18. Mr Ben shurely? Or do you know something we don't?

    All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit.

  19. Clock towers could be people's heroes. And yes, I know the towers not called Big Ben...

  20. Mr Ben yes. Old age.

    Word verification: regrot

    regrots I've had a few...

  21. ..but then again, too few to menton