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The Allithwaite Blitz

by kingsdowne

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Allithwaite, Cumbria
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Contributed on: 
09 June 2005

This is a poem given to me when I was cross checking my memories of a raid on Cark Cumbria.


In days of old great tales were told
Of heroes unafraid,
But I will tell what us befell
On the night of the Allithwaite raid.

The tomcats growled, the tabbies howled
Joe Rainford’s hens had fits,
The cows all bawled, the old mare foaled
On the night of the Allithwaite blitz.

A spotted dog went tearing past
Which no one could pursue.
A warden cried as the dog he espied
“It’ll win the waterloo”

Our Vicar opened wide his doors;
A haven of refuge was that.
Folk came in droves and did not pause
To wipe their feet on the mat.

And some to Kirk Head cave did run
While bombs fell helter skelter,
But once in there they didn’t care-
Twas a natural air raid shelter.

A crippled lass who hadn’t run
For years and years and years
Cried “Ee, by gum, it’s taken a bomb
To change up all my gears.”

Four times a lady vainly tried
Her corsets to adjust.
Said her husband “Leave the darned things off,”
The while he “cust ” and “cust.”

Out of his bed, a joiner sped
While bombs fell round the houses,
One hand he used to put out fires,
The other to hold his trousers.

His laddie ran to help his dad
Oh no one there was rasher.
As the crowd he joins he girt his loins
With his mother’s antimacassar.

Dad cried “get into the pantry quick!”
His language it was nasty.
A voice in the dark cried out “What a lark;
I’m sitting in’t rhubarb pasty.”

A Home Guard in the Home Lane blast
In to wreckage was searching beneath.
He heard a voice: “I can’t come out;
I’ve lost my darned false teeth.”

Said Bill to Sall:” don’t fear we’ll stick
Together through death or life.”
But the light of a flare made poor Bill stare-
He was holding another man’s wife!

“Oh, what’s that crash,” two ladies cried
As ‘neath the bed they hid
It was only our Chief Warden,
Who’d through the skylight slid.

A blazing hen hut was the mark
For the Nazi airman’s bullets
Tom said to Frank “We’d better duck.”
Said Frank “Nay ! save my pullets”

A brave young girl went dashing out
To fight incendiary’s flame.
Her elastic ripped, and down they slipped,
But she went on just the same!

“Where’s my old cat,” a lady wailed,
As among her ruins she searched.
When hope had passed she found him at last
He was up the chimney perched.

Our butcher won his laurels too,
For quickly on the alert,
He doused incendiaries by the score
With nothing on but his shirt.

And Gillie Rigg was a lad again-
Our goalie, six feet three-
When he saw that land mine coming
He headed it into the sea!

And lots of other funny things
Did happen that Sunday night
Which only the man in the moon did see,
And he keeps his secrets tight.

And so in future years to come,
When we’re all laid to rest,
Our children’s bairns will tell their bairns
How Allithwaite stood the test.


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