Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Thursday, 13 October 2011


 Yesterday we received this super poem by Bill Lancashire , one of our readers, with a message of which the following is part   ....   I love how it has been written in Hyde dialect, too !
"As a born and bred Hydonian (Aspland) it's brought back many memories and I've spotted quite a number of old, familiar faces and places.
Anyway, a few years ago, after reading the 'Homes for Sale' pages in the North Cheshire and the Advertiser, it struck me how - according to the estate agents - Gee Cross was seemingly expanding almost week by week.
It prompted me to write this small poem.  It still makes me smile.  So maybe it will tickle a funny bone for some of your readers.  Especially the 'older Hydonians' (like me)."


A long time ago when’t Big Tree still stood
Jay Cross boundaries were fixed.
Then, most o’ folks kept thisen to thisen
And Jay Cross an Heyd rarely mixed.

Booth’s, Barton’s and Bagsher’s
Them were’t most prominent clans.
But they ne’r ventured much outa Jay Cross
They liked to stay on their own lands.

But now things are different and Jay Cross has grown
Thanks to their invasion plans.
Rampaging thro’ Heyd, annexing street after street
Like a swarm o modern day Ghenghis Khans.

They’re led by marauding estate agents
Intent on conquering all of Heyd’s land.
If thi can say th’ouse stands in Jay Cross
It’ll put up price a few grand.

Marlborough and Dowson Roads soon surrendered
Crushed ’neath the invader’s cruel boot.
Then Cheetham, Grosvenor and Foxholes
And Clough Fowt soon followed suit.

Reading a recent North Cheshire
Am sure as it conna a bin reet.
It said, “For sale, located Gee Cross”
And that were in Bradbury Street.

The estate agent colonels keep driving their troops
And Heyd’s streets continue to fall.
It wunna be long now afore folk haf t’ shop
On’t market, opposite Jay Cross Town Hall.

Heyd’s only hope is to sign a few treaties
Wi towns who can lend ’em an hand.
Bi sendin in troops to help Heyd feyt back
As they try to reclaim their lost land.

But it’s all too little, too late now
Because Jay Cross battle flag’s unfurled.
So far it’s only Heyd that they’ve invaded
But tomorrow, they’ll conquer the world.


© Bill Lancashire December 1998

Gee Cross 1910

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  
Thanks a million, Bill ! :)


Tom said...

A cracking poem, I was reminded of the humour in one or two of James Leigh's poetry...

Dave Williams said...

Do you think I could sue the Estate Agent who sold me this house on Marlborough Road for misrepresenting it as being in Gee Cross?

Does it say 'John Street' on the map for that street parallel to Joel Lane which is now Rock Street?

JohnT said...

What a very true poem and straight to the point in my opinion. My question is, can anybody define the current (legal) boundaries of Gee Cross on a map?

Hydonian said...

Yes, it does say John Street , Dave.
I have no idea if this is a misprint or whether Rock Street was originally known as John Street - I'm off to investigate further. :)

Werneth Low said...

Thanks a million, once again, for this site. Because of the mention of John Street/Rock Street, I've been able to add another piece to my family history jigsaw. Let me explain.

My maternal grandmother lived at 47 Joel Lane, and died there in 1953. This was the house at the corner of Rock Street with railings round [still there]. The house resembled a doll's house - living room, bedroom, small scullery - but it was obvious that, at one time, it had been a part of 53 Rock Street, to which it was joined on in the building line. My grandma owned both of these properties; Rock Street being tenanted by a Mrs Rowbottom at that time. Following my grandmother's death, both properties were inherited by my mother and were subsequently sold. I have had no further involvement with them since that date, and that would have been a closed chapter if I had not decided to search the whereabouts of those grandparents in the 1911 Census. My grandfather, Elias Thickett, is listed as living at 53 John Street which, until today, I presumed to be John Street, Hyde, but clearly it was the Rock Street that we now know.

Out of further interest, I'd like to hear about the progress of these properties since 1953, ie. are they still 2 houses or 1 and has 47 Joel Lane become 53 Rock Street or vice versa?

So, to those who asked - Rock Street was definitely John Street in its previous life.

Hydonian said...

That's great news, Werneth Low. Glad we were of some help, albeit small :)

Tom said...

Excellent Werneth Low.. what pleases me most is how out of Bill's poem you have gleamed this very useful bit of information... What it proves is no matter you you may have out there, be it a memory, picture, information or a poem.. it might hold a piece of someone's family jigsaw..

Dave Williams said...

I've been up to have a look at 47 Joel Lane/53 Rock Street this morning. The door facing Joel Lane still has the number 47 on it. If you've looked on Google Earth Street View you'll have seen that the doorway facing Rock Street has been bricked-up (if that's the correct term for blocking it up with stone), but there's another door at the side (or at the back if you think of it in terms of Joel Lane). That door also has the number 47 on it, so it looks as if it's all one house now. Hope this answers your question, Werneth Low. I'll send you a couple of photos, Nancy.

Werneth Low said...

Thank you so much; I really do appreciate that. It would seem then that the property has been returned to its origins and 53 Rock Street no longer exists. I'm next in Hyde in early December and might pluck up the courage to knock on the door!