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Script for audio journal

Champion at Keeping Them Rolling

There’s no fool like an old fool, they say, so what happens when a bunch of oul’ coots gather together to make music? The next batch of posts may enlighten you as to the question just posed and may also, perhaps, enrage or entertain. Anything’s better than a yawn, I guess. And everything that is not that bloody virus is a plus. At the moment we can’t meet as a group, as we are in lockdown, so I have set out a version of songs that are in our repertoire but which have not yet been recorded. With any luck (and, as three of us are north of 70, we’ll need it!) we will be able to resume our normal practice of meeting weekly and playing tunes, singing songs and generally enjoying the crack.

This song was written in the 1950s by Ewan McColl about the truckies who plied their trade throughout Britain before the advent of the motorways when roads were treacherous and rigs were prone to breakdowns. To wrangle the gears on these old beasts you needed finesse and strength. This particular version of the song I dedicate to the memory of John Reddington, married to my wife’s sister, who gave me, from time to time, employment on his lorry, when I was a teen, as he travelled around the place with a variety of loads. One of his son’s, named John also, kept up the family tradition by trucking around Ireland, Britain and Europe (or he used to).

Ewan McColl used the music of the Irish song, The Limerick Rake, for his account of the truck drivers of England in the decade after the end of the second world war.

By Quentin Bega

I was born in the middle of the 20th Century and have, somewhat to my surprise, found myself in the next one with something more to say and do.

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