Ode to Digging

Tha's heard of a place called Yorkshire,
Renowned for its potholing clubs,
They're staggered all round t'dales like,
But most of 'em staggers round t'pubs.

Ther's t'Bradford and t'Craven and th'Earby,
And t'Red Rose arrive when they've time,
But the pride of this army of cavers,
Is a group known as t'Northern Pennine!

Now one day they all went out walking,
Batty thought this a bit of a twist;
He'd wanted 'em all to go digging,
But most of the buggars were pissed.

They found themselves trekking on Leck Fell,
So they took a short cut down Ease Gill,
And Batty were proddling in holes like,
While t'others were just feeling ill.

"I'm knackered", said Stan, and fell over,
"Ah can't keep up with you pigs";
Said Batty, "We'll rest here a spell then,
And I'll soon make it one o' me digs.

The response was an absolute silence,
Some tried to run off over t'dale,
But he rounded 'em up like a collie,
To stand in this howling gert gale.

He got some of 'em dragging out boulders,
And other sods dragging 'em in,
'Till soon he'd a bloody big wall built;
The bottom he covered with tin.

T'week later he had 'em all back there,
Heaving out boulders and mud,
Chester said, "Batty, you pillock -
This is doing my tin leg no gud!".

Just then the dig rattled and rumbled,
And Simon exclaimed, "Bless my soul",
So Crossley grabbed Brandon by t'bollocks,
And thrust him head first down the hole.

When he screamed out they pulled him to t'surface
And there wasn't a trace of a grin,
But he said, "If it doesn't collapse first,
Somebody small could get in."

Bill Pybus weren't list'ning just then though,
He wor scrounging a fag, or a lift;
And before he knew what was happ'ning,
He was going like hell down this rift.

Kev yelled out, "Bill, take no chances,
I'm not keen on t'requiem mass,
And if it looks dodgey and nasty,
Come up and we'll send down our lass."

"Tha' can," Margaret said, "if tha' wants to,
I'm not bothered at all, am I heck,
'Cos up here I'm soaking and frozen,
Wi' chucking these stones into t'beck."

Well Brandon was getting impatient,
Saying, "No-one was doing their whack",
So he grabbed Eric's krabs's and his tape slings,
And lost 'em in a little blind crack.

Tha' should have seen all th'excitement,
They were singing and dancing on t'heath,
And Tiger he must have been smiling,
'Cos in t'midst of all t'hair they saw teeth.

They were all dashing round getting dressed then,
Into goon-suits and wet-suits and such,
And Jim Eyre, 'the film star on t'telly',
Donned yellow and thought he looked butch.

A queue formed at t'top end o' t'pothole,
They were fighting to get on to t'ramp,
But Chester's pal Steve couldn't join 'em;
He'd had to lend Pybus his lamp.

Stan looked at the size of the entrance,
He thought it looked small for his pod,
But Simon just kicked him in t'crutch piece,
Saying, "Get down, you silly old sod."

'Stupendous' - 'Collosal' - 'Gigantic',
Were t'cries coming up from below,
Which only made t'folk still at t'surface,
A bloody sight keener to go.

At last they were all in the cavern,
All twelve of 'em dashing round t'maze,
And though they didn't really achieve 'owt,
They got t'bloody cave in a daze.

At last it was time to be leaving,
Away from the mud and the shale,
But they all said they'd celebrate later,
In t'pub with some gallons of ale.

They met later on in 'The Helwith',
The beer flowed with sparkle and foam,
But Batty, alas, he was missing,
He was digging his garden at home!

S. Rhodes


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