The following poems were written by Joe Wild who’s nickname was “Wishbone”and who lived in Hawkins Street. Those of you with a few grey hairs may remember a 1960’s TV series called “Rawhide” featuring a young Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates the Ramrod and a cantankerous old cook called Wishbone played by Paul Brinegar who drove the chuck wagon. Click on Rawhide to get the opening and closing credits. We think Joe Wild got his nickname as he had a food wagon on the M4 motorway when it was being constructed.
Rodbourne is a lovely place, just outside Swindon Town.
It’s full of friendly people, full of life and never a frown.
You can walk into the Co-Op, other shops, and yes the pub.
And you are served with much politeness, not a strange look or snub.
The tradesmen in the village, some come from near and far, will stop and have a friendly chat, and ask how you are.
There’s Glyn, now he’s the Butcher the one most people use and Stewart in the Dolphin who serves you up your booze.
There’s John who runs the Post Office, along with all his staff, you can go and draw your pension and be certain of a laugh.
The Chemist is just further down from where you get your bread, and then the Chinese take-away or there’s fish and chip instead.
A laundrette and café, the Barber who’s quite good, the DIY to get your nails and paint and bits of wood.
Of course we’ve got the Railway works, the mainstay of the town.
We only hope and pray someday that it will not close down.
The people aren’t all local some foreigners you’ll find, but people here don’t bother for inside they’re good and kind.
There’s Mr Wicks the Newsagent, a man of high esteem who pops the papers through your letterbox while you lay in bed and dream.
The weather may be sunny or cold with mist and rain but he jumps upon his bicycle, and delivers just the same.
We’ve got Ron’s the local handy stores who sells you anything you need, there’s pet food, wood and nails and most of your garden seed.
The Greengrocer just down the road grows most of it himself. Tomatoes, cabbages and such are all upon the shelf.
We haven’t got a Lock-Up, so that experience is saved. The people here in Rodbourne are very well behaved.
The Clubs we have are homely and also very clean; you can play a game of Bingo or go to the fruit machine.
On Saturday nights they hold a dance or Disco if you please, and as you’re gliding round the floor it puts your mind at ease.
I think I’ve wrote just what I think about Rodbourne, and still there’s some that’s never satisfied.
Well you know what they can do , get the hell out of here.
All in the Game
I am known as the motorway cowboy, and my name is Greaser Joe.
I’ve travelled many highways, from Lands End to Scapa Flow.
Instead of punching cattle in and out of deep ravines, I go around with oil and grease and take care of big machines.
I started work for Blackwell, twas early in the Spring, without a dime, nowhere to sleep, a smoke or anything.
The agents name was Bruno, and words he said to me, “Joe, do your work and play the game and you’ll get along with me”.
From that day on I got stuck in and worked the clock around, then one day he said to me, “Wishbone I think you’re sound”.
“I’ve watched you oil and grease them up without you even knowing. Now the winters coming on, I’ll be sad to see you going.
Well never mind you’ve done your job, no moans or anything. So cheerio old Wishbone, I hope to see you back in Spring.
Just a Thought
Friends are very hard to find, especially when you’re old.
You’ve time to think about the past, memories you enfold.
There’s some that’s good and some that’s bad, and some are happy while others are sad.
You think of life that’s past you by, and you think of the land, the sea and the sky.
You think of the things you never thought, and those simple things you never sought.
The kids like birds, have grown their wings, and flown away to better things.
Those photographs you put aside, with your letters and the rest, are brought back out with tears and pride from your old treasure chest.
Then you start to think of things you did, when youth was on your side, of those antics played when just a kid, and those smiles you couldn’t hide.
While you are young, be rich or poor, these things please do remember. When you get old and lonely, life is just a dying ember.
Bare Headed Facts
I was invited to a party by W.C. French & Kier.
I had a rake of whiskey, cigars, fags and beer.
But late on in the evening as time went merrily on, I put my hand upon my head and found my trilby gone.
Now one of the boys among the crowd took a fancy to my hat. Now that boy didn’t return it, and old Wishbone dont like that.
It’s not an ordinary titfer for it means a lot to me, for I had it brought me special from across the Irish Sea.
Now I hope the bloke that took it, be a workman or a toff, when he puts it on his head again his f………. ears drop off.
Now I told my friend who got it for I thought he’d like to know, and he said the lousy b……..d is only a latchico.
(latchico is Irish slang. I’m not going to tell you the definition, you’ll have to look it up)