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Lyr Add: Old Folks Tea at West (recitation)


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*#1 PEASANT* 15 Apr 02 - 11:23 AM
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Subject: Old Folks Tea at West (recitation)
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 11:23 AM

Old Folks Tea at West Stanley

I've been at grand suppors, grand dinnors and teas;
In chapels and churches, likewise in marquees;
Enjoyment and pleasure I always could  find
If the company I met with were lively inclined;
I've had some grand treats in the days that's gone by,
But I went to a tea, the thirteenth of July;
I never saw such a grant set-out before,
Like the Old people's Treat at West Stanley Store.

Seven hundred old people, all hearty and gay,
Some were bald-headed, while others were grey;
With sticks and with crutches, 'twas grand forto see
The way that they hobbled upstairs to the tea.
On entering the hall where the tables were set,
The sight which I saw I shall never forget;
People from sixty to eighty, and more,
Were all at the tea in West Stanley Store.

White bread, well buttered, and brown bread the same,
And many more spices than what I can name;
There was teacakes and custard, seed bread and rice,
Tarts made of apples, biscuts and  spice.  There was all kinds of
Jellies and blackcurrant jam,
Beef, tongue and mutton, pickles and ham;
Tomatoes bananas, was there in galore
At the Old People's Tea in West Stanley Store.

I would like to have mentioned each working man's name,
But to mention the Clubs will perhaps do the same;
The Excelsior and Norman, and Empire true;
The central, Oxhill, and the Social, South Moor,
The Union, Victoria and the Pioneer sure;
Are working together as they have done before,
For the Old People's Tea in West Stanley Store

The Old People's Treat has been on seven year,
It is not provided by the brewers of beer,
All is provided by Workingmen's Clubs,
There's not much to get from the owners of pubs.
Those owners have men to look after each bar,
While writing it is not to them I refer;
For, like other workmen, they just have a wage,
Paid by the ownders wo do them engage.

Thanks to each steward, each stewardess as well,
The good they have done there's no one can tell;
Likewise the committees and members the same,
For helping old people, they've made a good name.
The waiters, God bless them, we should not forget
The way the old people was cared for and treat;
If we live till next year, I will meet you once more
At the Old People's Tea in West Stanley Store

One Good Source:Polisses & Candymen, The Complete Works of Tommy Armstrong, The Pitman Poet,  ed. Ross Forbes, TommyArmstrong Memorial Trust, 1987.

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