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Obit: Allan Smethurst, Singing Postman (1927-2000)

Related threads:
Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (12)
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Jon Freeman 23 Dec 00 - 11:12 PM
catspaw49 23 Dec 00 - 11:17 PM
roopoo 24 Dec 00 - 01:33 AM
Jon Freeman 24 Dec 00 - 01:55 AM
roopoo 24 Dec 00 - 02:09 AM
Max Tone 24 Dec 00 - 03:41 PM
Geoff the Duck 24 Dec 00 - 05:40 PM
Chanteyranger 25 Dec 00 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,Cornishfisherman 19 Oct 10 - 07:14 PM
Dave Earl 19 Oct 10 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Oct 10 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Oct 10 - 02:10 PM
open mike 20 Oct 10 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 Oct 10 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 Oct 10 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Oct 10 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 Oct 10 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Sarah, Barnsley 20 Oct 10 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Oct 10 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 21 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,grockle 21 Oct 10 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Oct 10 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Oct 10 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Jon 22 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Eliza 22 Oct 10 - 04:26 PM
Long Firm Freddie 16 Mar 18 - 11:31 AM
Rusty Dobro 17 Mar 18 - 01:02 PM
The Sandman 18 Mar 18 - 07:13 AM
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Subject: The Singing Postman Dies
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 23 Dec 00 - 11:12 PM

This will probably only mean something to UK people but I was reading the teletext with my dad when we noticed that Victor Borge had died and he commented that 3 musical entertainers had gone in a couple of days (the great Jimmy Shand being the 3rd).

Alan Smethurst, The Singing Postman achieved unexpected fame (including "Top Of The Pops" in 1965 with his Norfolk dialect songs and was best known for "Hev You Got A Loit Boy". He never could handle the fame and got out of it. He finished up living in a Salvation Army Hostel in Grimbsby and died aged 73.

Sad week this week...

Jon


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Subject: RE: The Singing Postman Dies
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Dec 00 - 11:17 PM

Sorry Jon, I wasn't familiar with him. But this has been a tough week....Pops Staples too.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Singing Postman Dies
From: roopoo
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 01:33 AM

I remember him. When I was a wee tot I lived in Sheringham, in Norfolk, where I think he came from or worked, and we used to often return for holidays. I can remember his "Hev yew got a loit boy" record being advertised in the local shops. It was only a couple of years or so ago that one of the weekend newspapers tracked him down in the hostel where he was living, and did an interview. I think it was the drink that did the damage, sad to say.

It really has been a bad week: Kirsty MacColl, Victor Borge, Alan Smethurst, Pop Staples, Jimmy Shand.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: The Singing Postman Dies
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 01:55 AM

Mouldy, according to the EDP, he was born in Lincolnshire but moved to Sheringham as a youngster.

Useless info but if you know that area, I am stopping with my parents in Roughton for Christmas and walked the beach and returned on the coast path from West Runton to Sheringham yesterday.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The Singing Postman Dies
From: roopoo
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 02:09 AM

My dad worked in Jordan's chemist shop on the main street, and we lived above the shop. I was 3 at the time. We moved from there to London. (I spent most of my early years on the move!) One of my old friends from the midlands moved to Sheringham some years ago, and has now just moved to West Runton. By the way, how close is Beeston Church to the edge of the cliffs now? Plus I trust you are sampling the fresh crab?

Last time I went to Sheringham was about 9 years ago. Stayed in a B&B where it turned out the owners were in the local morris side.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: The Singing Postman Dies
From: Max Tone
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 03:41 PM

At least the older ones who've gone will be happy that they've avoided another Bloody family Christmas!
I was about to post a Jimmy Shand thread, when I found this one, so I can't put in a blicky, yet -- up soon.


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Subject: RE: The Singing Postman Dies
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 24 Dec 00 - 05:40 PM

Spaw - His most famous song probably never left the British Isles, but contained the wonderful line (if I recall correctly)
"Old Molly Wimbley
Smokes like a Chimbley
But she's my little nicotine girl"
GtD


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Subject: RE: The Singing Postman Dies
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 25 Dec 00 - 01:25 AM

I didn't know of him, either. Did his fame make it across the Atlantic? At any rate, that is sad news, especially his circumstances. I'm sorry for his fans and admirers.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Cornishfisherman
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 07:14 PM

Much under rated for his dialect which was first class, Norfolk at it's best! I have met one or two people that resembled Alan Smethurst and spoke like him too. One thing that always amuses me about the Norfolk accent and speech is, what ever class of person or education most use the word Miss for Mrs and Bootiful for Beautiful- I just love to hear it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: Dave Earl
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 07:33 PM

And it is pronounced -Hae ye gut a layt buy.

Granny came from Norfolk (very rural part) and she would have said it thus.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 07:51 PM

Funny, Norfolk accents, Dave. My father is the only one from these parts (like my mother I was born in Shropshire) but he is from Norwich. One from the city is slightly London like and if I can get away with posting this, he calls it "bastard cockney"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 02:10 PM

I have lived here in the depths of rural Norfolk for thirty years, and taught most of that time in Primary School. The accent is delightful, but quite difficult to imitate if not born here. Many people try with more of a Somerset burr, which sounds nothing like Norfolk. What I adore is the intonation, which rises alarmingly several octaves at the end of a question, and the elongation of vowels. Alan Smethurst gave several examples of this in his songs, eg "Hev the bo.o.o.o.o.ottom dro.o.o.o.pped owt?" and, "What, yew arn ha.a.a.a.a.arliday?" The usual daily greeting here is "Ar yew oroight?" ending on a very high note. A village near me is Sparham, generally pronounced Spa.a.a.a.a.a.a.arham. (You can elongate it almost to infinity!) I have all Alan's CD's. They often bring tears to my eyes, he was so vulnerable, but managed to capture the essence of Norfolk in every song. This is oral history at its best. He actually DID perform in the USA I believe, shortly after his success in the charts with "Hev You Got a Loight Boy?" but naturally no-one there could relate to his accent!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: open mike
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 02:19 PM

did he actually deliver mail, then?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 02:35 PM

On place names, one is Potter Heigham. It is Potter Ham to my dad. Not far up the coast from where I live now is Weybourne. It is not Weigh Born to him but Webbun (as in for SP, That's a lot of Squit, "They Used to shot the shells from WB down to Wells..."

Cley might be pronounced Cly.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 02:43 PM

OM, He was genuinely a postman.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 03:25 PM

I expect outsiders find the place names here very quaint, Jon. For example, there's a tiny hamlet near me called Fustyweed. And Little Snoring and Great Snoring. (Whole new meaning to 'sleepy village') I'm still not sure how to pronounce Guist or Belaugh. Bill Bryson has written quite a bit about strange and funny British place names. Like Alan Smethurt's songs, there's a whole lot of fascinating history in these names!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 04:59 PM

"Say" fustyweed for me. With parents and mum at that time into brass rubbing , I think I do know   the Snorings (Walsingham way?) as places - probably was dragged round them as a kid.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Sarah, Barnsley
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 07:21 PM

much more on the norfolk dialect here;

http://www.norfolkdialect.com/

"bootiful" is usually pronounced boo'iful, btw


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 08:17 AM

I know a lady who lives in Fustyweed and she pronounces it exactly as spelt. (But she is quite posh, so perhaps that isn't the only way to say it!) I do get annoyed at those Bernard Matthews ads on TV, it certainly ISN'T 'bootiful', but boo'iful, as you so rightly say Sarah. Bernard should know better!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (200
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 11:45 AM

Eliza...my wife's granny came from Letheringsett (near Holt) and claimed it was pronounced 'Laancet'...is this right?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,grockle
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 12:13 PM

Guist is pronounced 'geest'.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 12:52 PM

"Cley might be pronounced Cly."

My granny was from Wells and I'm sure that she said 'Clay' and not 'Cly'. I think that several generations of bird watchers have now decided that it is 'Cly'.

My grandad was brought up on Lord Leicester's estate at Holkham. Quite a few people have told me that it is pronounced 'Hoke-um' or 'Hook-um' - but my grandad pronounced it 'Holk-um'.

Similarly, my granny called Stiffkey, 'Stiff-key' and not 'Stue-key' - nevertheless cockles from thereabouts may have been called 'Stue-key blues'.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 04:37 PM

Thank you Grockle! Geest. My neighbour today said 'Gwist' but I like Geest better! Yes, Jon, I have heard Letheringsett pronounced as you suggest, but more like 'Lairnset'. There's been a movement fairly recently to attempt to over-ruralise Norfolk in rather a twee way, due I think to the North Norfolk posh set who have arrived from London. They search for quaint (but non-existent) ways to pronounce words, like Cly, Stewky, Hookum etc. But the very old people born and bred here are I feel the best sources. Also, the Norfolk accent is very different from the Norwich one, which is much more nasal.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM

Not sure with and the question raised re Cly, but it is my father's born 1936 way.

Maybe though to add to the confusion we can have more than one way? My Shropshire mother and her mother called the town nearest to them (who were Westbury) Shrows Bury, Salop. Another might have Shrews Bury Shropshire,


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 04:26 PM

You're right Jon. Here we have Sprowston, and I've heard 'Sprohston' and 'Spraouston' from the people who live there. It's just part of the rich variety of British life and language I suppose. I'm sure there are regional folk singers like Alan Smethurst from all parts of the UK, each with their own accent and dialect. I feel their recorded songs are a very valuable source of knowledge about local culture, language and issues affecting the ordinary people of that area. (I studied Linguistics and Phonetics as part of my Uni course, and I'm fascinated by all this!)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 11:31 AM

Here's a link to a BBC Radio programme about Allan Smethurst, the Singing Postman. It cites Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family as being amongst his influences. There's 29 days left to listen and it's being broadcast again tonight at 20:30.

Singing Postman

LFF


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 17 Mar 18 - 01:02 PM

A very interesting programme, and a sad story.

Alan's Epiphone Texan gets a mention, but some photos show a fairly ornate acoustic with 'Singing Postman' inlays with 'Andreas' headstock. That's a new one on me - has anyone come across these?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman (2000)
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 07:13 AM

Thankyou what a brilliant programme ,he was folk singer and a good song writer, R.I P.


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