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13 November 2014

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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire > History > Local Heroes > Owd Grandad Piggott

A cartoon of Grandad Piggott on a scooter

Grandad Piggott!

Owd Grandad Piggott

Here’s a pensioner who steals, lies, swears, threatens violence and drinks to excess. And he’s been doing it for over 35 years! The Owd Grandad Piggott stories, written by Alan Povey, are the stuff of Potteries legend

He's been 75 years old since 1970, and his records once even out-sold ABBA!

But Owd Grandad is not a nice man.  He can easily drink 10 pints a day down in Tommy Dawkins' local pub (often stealing from his wife to fund it)  in a place that sounds a lot like Longton... 
He has an inability to understand anything invented after 1930, and also a complete lack of conscience, which lands him in trouble more often than not.
But in case you think Owd Grandad is just an appalling role model, Povey makes sure he always gets his just desserts in the end.


Owd Grandad has featured as the central character in over 1000 short stories, many of which were first heard as stories read on BBC Radio Stoke.

The OGP collection of CDs and cassettes is available from BBC Radio Stoke shop.
The latest one 'The Last Grandad Piggott' goes on sale in mid-December 2009 at the BBC Radio Stoke shop.
To find out how to order copies, click on the 'Radio Stoke shop' link in the top right-hand corner of this page.

To whet your appetite, during November & December 2009, BBC Radio Stoke is running some of the new stories on its 'Good Times' programme on Sundays, just after 2.15pm.  The stories are being broadcast weekly until Christmas.

If you're new to the Owd Grandad stories, we've put up a couple of excerpts on this page for you. Just click on the audio links in the top right-hand corner of this page.

Owd Grandad Piggott 2005 CD cover

Grandad Piggot's 2005 CD

What's the attraction?

Owd Grandad started life on the pages of an exercise book from a Stoke-On-Trent branch of Woolworth's, and the achievement is even more notable when you think the outrageous old man has outlived many similar high-profile creations, such as Andy Capp and Alf Garnett.

Every short story is built on the comedy tradition of placing an identifiable character in a humorous situation. The cantankerous old rogue can find himself on various occasions stuck in a neighbour’s toilet, wedged in railings, and taking an unintended dip in a canal!
Yet despite this, the old rogue's managed to build up a large following of fans over the years, creating yet another bad guy who the public 'love to hate'.

The additional twist is, of course, the sound of Povey’s rich Potteries dialect. Without it, many of the stories would be threadbare – but fans enjoy the way the characters talk and interact, even if the world that Povey describes has virtually vanished.

BBC Radio Stoke

He has survived particularly because of the backing of BBC Radio Stoke, which brought in Alan Povey, Owd Grandad's creator, to its studios many years ago - and recorded the stories, as told by Alan himself in his own unique story-telling style.

In fact, BBC Radio Stoke saw the first scripts in 1970 and told Alan Povey (then just a 21-year-old) that they'd love to take the series, but they had no-one suitable to narrate it...

Two years after the launch of the series, Alan made two "Owd Grandad Piggott" LPs, one of which he claims beat ABBA to the number one album on its first week on sale in Stoke-On-Trent!

The rate at which Alan could write new stories to keep up with demand however proved tough.  He now only produces about a dozen stories a year, though he still intends to keep writing for many years yet.

Taken from life

But how did Alan arrive at this character? The truth is that there was no single inspiration for the character of Owd Grandad Piggott, although growing up in Longton in the 1950s gave Alan plenty of material for his stories and his cast.

But as the number of people that can relate to adult life in 1950s Stoke-On-Trent slowly decreases, Povey can see the attraction of the character decreasing as well.

And political correctness has caught up with Owd Grandad Piggott too. The days when the central character would have been able to hit his wife have ended. Even in fictional tales, domestic violence can't be a neutral issue, as it could have been when Alan started writing in 1966.

But the escapades remain as reckless as ever - and Tommy Dawkin's pub remains just as low-brow and disreputable as it was at the beginning.


Sadly, all things must come to an end and Owd Grandad Piggott is no different.

There's only a finite amount of activities left for Stoke-On-Trent's senior citizen hellraiser and after writing so many Piggott fables, Alan Povey can see the end over the distant horizon.

As Alan himself said in 2008...
"....Owd Grandad Piggott`s `aving a nap ut the moment ... Th`owd pen`s gone a bit rusty I`m afraid.... Wants a bit mower ink in it.  
I `ve written a bit o` new stuff but not enough to do a series, soo ar`m givin` th`job a miss this tarm an` prob`ly do summatt nex` `eer. 
Ar`ve bin doin` Owd Grandad fer thirty thray eers an` its gerrin` ard work ter find new stuff.   Ar`ve bin writin` fer a magazane just lately soo ar anna jed yet, but sometarms ar fale as if ar`ve got one foot in.
Ow th` best fer nar.... Keep on th` bricks an` dunner eat yeller snow.   Alan Povey..."

As a result, Povey says that Owd Grandad Piggott will probably meet his demise sometime soon.
But, when he does, you can bet he won't go without a fight.

After all, no-one can stay 75 years-old forever... although, if anyone can, OGP can.

I'll say thee.


(Please use the comments form further down the page if you want to add your thoughts too)

Over the years, we've collected some of your comments, and have put them here, but feel free to add some more!

Grandad Piggott's pavement removal
My favourite of all the stories I have heard Alan tell, is the one about when the council came round to repair the pavement. Pure magic and it is reminiscent of the days when Goms Mill was having road and pavement repairs. I can relate to how the workmen were in those days, always drinking tea and taking weeks to do a job. Alan is a wonderful story teller and evokes so many memories and his descriptive accounts make it so easy to visulaise what is going on.
Paul Barnett

Owd Grandad & Alan Povey
I remember being at school (Longton High) with Alan, and a teacher thowing him out of the English class with the words "You dirty little gutter snip, get out of my class, you'll never pass 'O' level English". Anyway, fishing came up as an essay topic that year. This was Alan's hobby and he was one of only three people from the class to pass that year - and he won the English prize into the bargain. I often wonder if "Gus" ever listened to Owd Grandad!
Chris Bloor
Langley Park

owd Piggott "Piggin disaster"
The moment owd Piggott is in the butchers and is telling the butcher that he wants half a pigs head to match the other half by saying it needs to be pointing towards ''th' owd hut'' to describe whch half he needs is one funny line!
John Smith
Newcastle staffs

New ideas for Owd Piggott
Alan lets keep Owd Piggott going. Thowd hut wouldna bay th' same withyte him. Other things he could get up to... Decorating ,dressing up for the theatre,taking grandson to Alton Towers,swimming baths,visiting the inlaws in a posh neighbourhood . Please dont let the old man fade away.
John Smith
originally Longton now Newcastle u lyme

Owd Grandad
I used to listen to AP do Grandad when I was a young girl in the 70's growing up in Northwood, have since moved to deepest Hertfordshire!!! cant beleive it is still going, I must order the CD, p.s. can you give me a definitive spelling of cos kick a bo' agin a wo' wiv'yer'ead till yer bost it??
Julia Ball

owd grandad Piggott
I get a warm feeling every time I listen to any of the owd grandad Piggott tapes. I can relate to the surroundings having lived in Longton during my early childhood
I think I have all the tapes available and always look out for any new ones Long live Alan Povey and owd Piggott
John Smith

Owd Grandad Piggott
My sons could not get out of bed quick enough on the mornings that the tales of Grandad Piggott was on Radio Stoke. We have still got the 2 Lps that Alan Povey recorded. On the reverse side of the second record is a photo of Ralf Hammersley - my fathers cousin! I was unaware that the tales were still going.
When next in Stoke I will be calling in to buy the series! Keep them coming Alan!
Kay Hopley
Starcross, Exeter Devon

Owd grandad Piggott
Owd Piggott is a timeless classic and has place in our local heritage. I grew up listening to Piggott stories at 'wom' in the 70's and i still enjoy his exploits as much now as I did then.
My kids, however, David 13 and Lucy 10 cannot understand the dialect used and I have to translate!! What is the world coming to?

I hope that Povey continues to spin us yarns of "th'owd mon" for years to come. (PS, Mr Povey, if you read this, please release your back catalogue on CD format they would sell "faster than potteries demolition workers strip lead from a roof on 'tarm n ayf'")
Graham Goodwin
Longton (neck end)


Ed's note:  PS - don't forget the spelling! It's not Old Grandad Piggott; not Owd Grandad Pigott; or Owd Grandad Pigot; or even Owd Grandad Piggot! 
It's Owd Grandad Piggott!
(You'd think Povey could have chosen a simpler name, huh?)

last updated: 23/12/2009 at 07:45
created: 06/12/2005

Have Your Say


Morris was my uncle, you may know him!


mary elizabeth gallego
i was born in hanley in 1934 & left when my husband Antonio & I left for the u s . i still hear a DUCK popping out now & again!i now live in san diego california . my grandfather used to tease me with this one cos kick a bow agin a wo til it bosts ? i am not sure of the spelling but i think i got the sound right . what do you think ? ta ta for now Mary

colin white
I remember you from when I was a kid . keep going you old tup.

John Waiterhays
Hey up owd mon... looks lark thee owd mate Alans gorra fetch another bottle of quink ink from Staples or someweer like that befer hay can get thee ite of yer bed. Still,at least thee ale money will be minetin up if thay atner drowin it ite ith Post Office .Club paper Jack, Nostrills Moffit and the rest on em will av ti manage withite thee fer now. Thay wutner Know this but ar wuz Potteries John ite of that film they made abite May un Mar Lady an t'other people from th'pots. I sometimes write a few simple poems in the Queens Potteries language and send em to Radio Stoke Any road up, I'll say thee!

could any body put the propper potteries spelling of:I'm old and I'm bad I amas it ia a favourite owd granddad piggot quote of my own grandads, so we are going to put it on a bowl for him. Thankyou.

Ow at? I am only 19 years old and I love Owd Grandad Piggott. The Potters should honour him. Don't forget your heritage Stokies, ow arate?!

Phil Scott
Owd Grandad Pigott.My name is Phil Scott I am 18 years old and since i can remember, i've been listening to Owd Grandad Pigott. I would personely like to thank Mr Alan Povey for all the great stories of owd grandad pigott, more more more storys on tape and cd i say. Your Number One Fan

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