Monday, 12 December 2016

557 The Lancashire Lads

First  viewed  : 6  August  1982

Back  to  the  Friday  night  regional  TV  slot  now  and  this  rather  nice  little  series  provided  a quietly  dignified  end  to  Bill  Grundy's  TV  career.

Bill  both  wrote  and  presented  the  six-part  series  celebrating  some  of  the  Lancashire  dialect  poets  of  the  eighteenth  and  nineteenth  centuries. Five  of  the  episodes  concentrated  on  a  named  individual, the  final  one  was  an  anthology  of  light  rhymes  from  various  sources. When  Bill  wasn't  delivering  to  camera,  a  montage  of  vaguely  appropriate  scenes  or  illustrations   was  on  screen. It  was  excellent  just  before  bed  viewing . particularly  as  many  of  the  poems  such  as  "Bonny  Brid "  and  "Come  Whoam  To  Thi  Childer  An' Me"  celebrated  simple  domestic  sentiment.

The  subject  of  the  first  programme  was  Rochdale's  Edwin  Waugh  ( see  above )  which  Bill  delivered  from  the  foot  of  the  Blackstone  Edge  Roman  Road  just  30  minutes  stroll  from  our  house  ( and  in  Littleborough  not  Rochdale  but  never  mind ). He  never  moved  an  inch  from  the  spot  in  the  entire  30  minutes.  

The  other  poets  covered  were  Ammon  Wrigley, Samuel  Fitton , Samuel  Laycock  and  Ben  Brierley.

It  was  repeated  in  1984  and  I  think  that  was  the  last  we  saw  of  Grundy. He  popped  up  again  as  co-host,  with  Paul Morley,  of   the  G-Mex -The  Tenth  Event   music  festival  in  1986  , ( not  such  a  bizarre  choice  when  you  consider  Grundy  and  Tony  Wilson  worked  together  at  Granada ) then  vanished  into  obscurity. He died  of  a  heart  attack  in  1993  aged  69.

At  the  time  the  programme  was  broadcast,  there  were  quite  a  few  local  societies  dedicated  to  keeping  the  memory  of  these  guys   alive. I  don't  know  how  many  there  are  now  but  at  least  the  Edwin  Waugh  Dialect  Society  still  seems  to  be  reasonably  active. Long  may  it  continue !

1 comment:

  1. I gather Grundy was "well refreshed" at the G-MEX event you mentioned, commenting (according to the journalist Mick Middles) that "seldom have I seen so many scruffy, lazy cunts in one place at one time".