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- Iggy & The Stooges and Suicide Live at Hammersmith Apollo 2.5.10.
- Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music Trio live at The Royal Festival Hall 19.4.10.
- The Velvet Underground Under Review DVD
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simonovitch on The Velvet Underground Under R… Mrs. Nemo on The Velvet Underground Under R… Slyvia Biedrzycki on In Memory of Phil Phillips… Haley Machey on Stories from the Kadishim Adolph Lara on Stories From The Kadishim
To commemorate dad passing away 10 years ago today I am posting some pieces in the next week or so that I wrote around the time dad died. I’ve decided that the two pieces I post today are a poem Bending Country Roads and its far longer explanaition, this was written about a month after dad died. The photos are from The Phil Phillips Photo Archive and are shots dad took as part of his Know Your London series in Taxi Magazine in the early 1970’s. Any typo’s are all mine!!
Bending Country Roads
The road is vertical in front of us,
Up this never ending hill we climb,
Engine straining gears descending,
wondering what’s over the hill,
Could it be more of these endless fields,
With the odd tree and the hedges breaking in two,
Or would there be houses and a village,
The village we’re looking for perhaps,
No on the other side was an even bigger drop,
Then we climbed back up the next hill,
This was going on for what seemed like days,
It was only hours at most “are we there yet?”
Are we lost yet what direction is this,
So bent out of shape twisted and turned,
Are we heading east or going west,
The way these roads bend who’d know,
What did that sign say what what,
Puddletown and Dorchester no Tolpuddle,
No Tolpuddle but I know it’s here,
I’m sure we’ll find it soon,
We’re lost we’re lost Dad’s got us lost,
we’re coming to a junction around this next bend,
There’s another sign what’s it say,
Dorchester left Tolpuddle right,
Maybe we will find it after all,
Narrow bending lane leading us in,
Leading us deep into the valley,
Then the village appears,
Thatched roofs and bending walls,
Cobbled streets down to the Piddle,
Old Oak Standing proud and alone,
Standing up for it’s rights.
History unfolding as we walk around,
Secret meetings in this house,
Arrests made in this house and tavern,
Martyrs made and pilgrimage paid.
Dad’s Crossword Answer.
I was sitting doing the crossword in the Mail On
Sunday yesterday, it is the one crossword that
when I lived at home we would all do together in
an effort to pool our general knowledges and
complete it, anyway I got to 25 down and heard
dads voice giving me the answer and a big smile
spread across my face.
The question was “Village in Dorset that gave its
name to a group of agricultural workers
prosecuted for Trade union Activities in 1834 (9)”
The answer that was in my head before I finished
reading the question was Tolpuddle and the smile
came as it took me back not to 1834 but to about
1971 or 1972 and our family summer holiday to
Bournemouth, we had driven down in dads Hillman
Minx it was a C reg I seem to remember, and the
journey had of course been hell like you’d expect
a four hour drive with two young boys, I must
have been six or seven years old and Andrew would
have been nine or ten years old at the time.
Anyway while we were down there one of the day
trips we went on was to drive to Tolpuddle as dad
insisted we all go, I know it wasn’t my choice of
days out back then, but off we all went with a
packed lunch that the hotel we were staying in
had prepared for us, and then off for what my
memory recalls as an awful long drive with us all
singing “The red red Robin is bob bob bobbing
along along” and “Bye bye Blackbird”, and driving
down these endlessly bending and dipping roads
that went up and down and all over the place
through the countryside until we finally arrived
at Tolpuddle and we parked up and dad started to
take us round to make sure we saw the tree where
the guilty men were arrested and telling us the
story as we walked around the village of how this
was were the trade union movement was born, and
finding out that the original six members of the
friendly society they had formed were transported
to Australia for 7 years for the crime of
forming a trade union. They were eventually
allowed back with the convictions quashed after
a huge protest movement began to get them justice.
I remember the village as being very pretty with
this really narrow little stream running through
it, that we crossed over the bridge a few times
and as we went to eat our packed lunch was the
cue for the typical british summer rain shower,
so we ate our lunch under the shade of the old
oak tree, and I don’t recall if that awful song
was out yet, as I’m sure if it was we would have
been singing Tie a Yellow Ribbon round the Old
Oak Tree too.
I know that it was definitely dads idea to take
us on a pilgrimage to the birth place of the
trade union movement, and I know I can still see
that day so clearly in my mind. We then took off
down the long winding roads to make our way back
across Dorset by a different route to Bournemouth
were we were staying, those roads are imprinted
on my mind as they dipped and bent the trees and
fields whizzing by and the sound of us all
singing in the car then the usual mayhem and
fighting in the back between me and my brother.
The other thing about that day I am trying to
sort out in my mind is whether or not that was on
the same day that we went to see Stonehenge as I
know we also went there on a day out from
It really is amazing what doing a crossword can
bring back into my mind.