Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Mountain Glide

Jennospot 91 The Mountain Glide

Yew wouldn't fink it, if'n yew were ter come all casual loike ter Widdlin'ton, that the whole village (that is ter say all the kids) are dead keen on soapbox racin'. Widdlin'ton is in a valley, see, wiv the river runnin' along the bottom, so on either soide there are slopes wot are pretty 'andy fer ridin' down in soapboxes.

Any'ow, up on the east side, where the slope is steepest there are several old quarries, an' the one just above Lions Avenue where Peter lives is the biggest. They used ter get gravel out of it, but it ain't been worked fer quite a while now, not since Oi c'n remember any'ow. Down the soide of this 'ere quarry there's a steep slope wot we call the Mountain Glide. An' when Oi say steep, Oi mean it's real steep. When yew stan' at the top lookin' down, yew c'n get giddy real easy if'n yew ain't used ter it.

It's so steep that when yew ride down, yew 'ave do it zigzaggin' loike ovverwise yew'll go so fast yer eyes'll start a-waterin' an' yer wheels'll likely fall off. Any'ow, yew can't really go straight down 'cos there's prickly stuff, loike bramble bushes an' gorse, wot grows in clumps 'ere an' there. So yew 'ave ter zigzag ter go around 'em.

There's anuvver zigzag place wot we call The Zigzag wiv a capital Z, It's a path at the side of the quarry where lorries used ter go up an' down. But Oi don't reckon as 'ow no lorries c'd go there no more, 'cos parts of the path 'ave been washed away by the rain. It's okay fer racin' down though, 'cos we've done some repairs ter the worst bits. It makes an int'restin' change from racin' down the glide, 'cos it's a bit narrer in parts, as well as 'avin' ter go a bit careful over the roughest bits. That aside, it ain't bad fer learners neither.

We go racin' often an' there's a whole lot about our soapbox cart racin' in Peter St John's "Gang" books. Oi got a racin' cart wot's called Emmeline P, an' Oi've raced 'er a few toimes down the Mountain Glide, an' down the Zigzag. So if'n yew like excitin' racin' stories yew c'd do worse 'n take a look at an' go exploring from there. There's some pictures an' all. There's even one of me…

Luv from Jenno.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Widdlington Village Shops

Jennospot 90  Widdlington Village Shops


Moi village o' Widdlin'ton is a noice little place, only it ain't really all that little. They reckon as 'ow there's nearly eight 'undred people wot live there, give or take a few families; only most o' the men are away now at war, wot makes fer a few less.

We got a church, wot is called Saint Mary's. That's where Peter sings in the choir wiv Winnie, an' Pearl, an' Mr Earthy, an' a few of the ovvers. It's Peter's aunt wot plays the organ, only she don't play too good from wot Peter tells me. Oi wouldn't know really, 'cos Oi don't go ter church 'cept jus' sometoimes fer weddin's an' funerals an' such.

We got a Chapel an' all. That's where Penny Garman goes, wiv er bruvver Wesley, only Peter's aunt don't fink much o' that 'cos she reckons them Chapel folk are pagans, wot makes life difficult fer Peter 'cos 'ee's got a bit of a mushy crush on that there precious Penny. But Oi ain't takin' no sides, well not much any'ow. Oi ain't that daft…

There's a little tin shed in Widdlin'ton too, at the far end o' Lions Avenue, wot belongs ter the Salvation Army. They don't come there very often, but when they do, they rile ev'rybody 'cos they make a real racket wiv their bells, an' trumpets an' taborines. Cripes, yew c'n even 'ear 'em from moi place! Reckon as 'ow they do some good though, 'cos they look after poor people an' them wot are sick, so yew can't complain; 'cept fer Peter's aunt o'corse.

Widdlin'ton 'as got a lotta shops fer it's size. There's ol' Ma Jennings' at the corner o' Pepper Mill Lane, wot is where Oi live. Kinda 'andy bein' so close when yew want a packet o' biscuits or a bit o' butter. Then between 'er an' moi 'ouse there's Mrs Mayhew's newsagency, wot were where Peter 'ad is cart pinched once. But that's anuvver story…

Up The Street, wot is the real old part o' Widdlin'ton, there's three shops, if'n yew don't count the Post Office, wot Oi don't, a-cause of spiteful ol' Mrs Jackson, wot is the Muvver o' Heebie Jeebie, wot got Peter inter trouble wiv the Law. That's enough said about that…

Any'ow, where was Oi? Oh yeah, shops: There's Bates the butcher; 'im wot's the dad o' Bill Bates wot's the leader o' the Streeters Gang. There's Bowman the baker, in the middle. An' then there's Hibberd's General Store, an' cripes, Oi do mean general. Ol' Hibberd is our Home Guard corporal. 'Ee' wears glasses loike the bottoms o' two beer bottles, an' then 'ee keeps on a-losin' 'em. Cripes…

O'corse, if'n it's vegetables yew're a-wantin', yew c'n always ask ol' Dummy at the allotments, only 'ee ain't exac'ly a shop. Besides, 'ee's got 'is reg'lars, so it ain't likely 'ee'll be able ter 'elp yew none.

Well Oi reckon that's about it fer Widdlin'ton shops, 'cept fer the wool shop down by the Mill, but they only got stuff fer knittin', fer makin' clothes an' curtains, an' all that sort o' fing, wot ain't really moi cup o' tea.

Oi've put a few pictures in, so's yew c'n see wot Oi'm on about. If'n yew'd loike ter know more, yew c'd always read some o' Peter St John's "Gang" books, wot are described on But only if'n yew really want to, that is. There's even a couple o' pictures there o' me, but Peter ain't put 'em on the first page, dunno why. It means yew gotta search fer 'em. It's a pity, but then 'ee don't never take much notice o' me 'cept when Oi make 'im…


Luv from Jenno.