The Voice Of The People Of The Forest of Dean

Forest Bard Senior Section Winners

Use the menu below to view the winning entry for a particular year, or scroll down to read them all.

  • 2016 - Ann Osley of Drybrook - This byunt no voul joke! (Click here)
  • 2015 - Rosemary Morgan of Cinderford - The Green Monster (Click here)
  • 2014 - George (Dick) Dunkley of Cinderford - Garge and Jack (Click here)
  • 2013 - George (Dick) Dunkley of Cinderford - My Moyt Jim (Click here)
  • 2012 - Rosemary Morgan of Cinderford - Our Fayther an' Thic Pig (Click here)
  • 2011 - Jackie Morgan of Lydney - Chil' o' th' Forest (Click here)
  • 2010 - Tim Gwilliam of Berry Hill - Forest Pride (Click here)
  • 2009 - Annie Cavill of Mile End - Thouse Remember (Click here)
  • 2008 - Ann Osley of Drybrook - Wum Zweet Wum (Click here)
  • 2007 - Marion Boey of Cinderford - The Garden Loo (Click here)
  • 2006 - Kay Wozencroft of Mitcheldean - Bert's Vit (Click here)
  • 2005 - Maggie Clutterbuck of Bream - Tribute to a Vorest miner (Click here)
  • 2004 - Kathleen Smith of Cinderford - A Forester and his pig (Click here)

2016 - Ann Osley of Drybrook

This byunt no voul joke!

I wuz in the owd back gyardun
On me backside I did zit
Thik zun wuz shinin’ down on I
As I restid up me vit

Smell them zummer vlowers
Zurry, with I all wuz well
Nuthin’ in me yud owd butt
Well - ver as I cud tell

Then I yeard this tappin’
Twuz down there by me vit
I’d got a drop uv owd moyd wine
An I’d owny drunk a bit

I didn’ believe whot I did zee
A chickin drinkin 'me glass a wine
Ow lung ‘ad ‘er bin a zuppin' it
Dowt ‘er cud walk a line

I shuved me vut b’hind ‘er
Then I’d get zum peace n’ quiet
But no thik voul wuzn gooin’ mynd
Well, not we out a riot

‘Er wobbled an ‘er tottered zurry
Thik ‘en 'ouse ver down th’ gyarden path
Er yud wuz skewed - ‘er vit wuz crossed
‘Er gid I quite a laff

Zo I carried 'er back ta thik ‘en ‘ous
Ta zleep of ‘er pilfered tipple
Zurry, I wunder if ‘er loys on egg
Will it be a razzbree ripple?

I spect ‘er’ll ‘ave a yudache
When thik cock - at vust lite - da crow
Now ‘er noes th’ peckin’ order
An’ on thik wagun ‘er must go


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2015 - Rosemary Morgan of Cinderford

The Green Monster

Ar faythur ad an ol green van
we thought un pretty smart
an it oud be quite nifty when it felt inclined to start.

You ad to do this we an andle
an thic andle wuz somut thick
if yu didn’t do the job aright it ud give yu helluva kick.

Now this van it wuz an ibrid
thatda mean all mixed up wi bits o tack
there wuz a lorry cab in front - and a made up body at the back.

Corse, o butt, this wuz well afor the days of driving tests, MOTs, an the like
– if you’d got cash fer petrol - well yu could stick yer bike.

We didnt ave no fixed seats, all un um moved about
but doesn’t thou sit in faythers or else you’l get a clout.
Ar mother ad a coach seat, wi babby on her lap
ar Bob coud crouch behind er - he wuz big enough to read the map.

Chuck in a couple of cousins, an uncle and an aunt
put nanny in the middle - whatcha mean ya can’t?
See my boy there’s room to spayer
cos nan’s got wheels on er chayer.

Stack them parcels on the running boards tie em nice an tight
av we fergotten anything - nope everythings awright.
Now ida like to tell a yam an kip en short an terse
But ida recall the day thic van wen up Porlock, in reverse.


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2014 - George (Dick) Dunkley of Cinderford

Garge and Jack

Two Vorest varmers zat in the pub,
Avin a pint an a bite of grub
The weather said Garge da git better each day,
I bin thinkin' about gettin' in all my hay.

But the truble is thic old hoss o' mine
That da frisk an frolic
Av gone down wi a dose of the collic.

Thou's wunce 'ad a hoss dissunt the Jack
That 'ad the collic a vew years back.
Wot didst giv'n ver a remedy?
Ah now! I gid'n turpentine and Scotch Whisky.

I'll giv'n that zaid Garge wen I get back wum
An try gettin 'im back on 'is vit agyun!
Zo Garge an' Jack went on thar way
An met up agyun another day.

Wot dist thou zay thous gid thic hoss of thine ver a remedy?
Well, I gid'n turpentine and Scotch Whisky
I gid mine that an the poor bugger died,
An mine did, zaid Jack an' I zat down an' cried.

The moral of this story is,
Never listen to an idiot when your hoss has the collic.

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2013 - George (Dick) Dunkley of Cinderford

My moyt Jim

"Ware bist thou gwoyn" I asked our Jim.
I be gwoyn vur a pint down the Anchor Inn.
Hang the on a bit till I get me jaket
I'yll invarm the missus an putt up we the rakut.

Her zed. " Thas twice thees wik
Thou's bin we thic Jim
I dunnow wot ever thou zee in im
Thou's think less on me, an more on im.

But our Jim an me be good varest males
We da ave a veou laffs an a veou ginger ales.
We da moyt up we our moyts down thic pub
An all we da talk about is drinkin an grub.

Zum da talk about futball, an tothers osses,
An tothers da brag about their winnins an losses.
But me an our Jim we dun zoy a lot
We da jus sup up. then vil up our pot.

Then arter a veou jugs we da stagger back wum
Then arrange ver anuther sesshun agyun.
I goo droo the door an zhout, "I be wum"
Then woyt ver the volyume of thic naggin tung.

And her da rant on, "I dunnow
Thow's think thou bist still zingle an vree
An bluddy drunk agyun".
I da zoy, "Oy an me".

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2012 - Rosemary Morgan of Cinderford

Our Fayther an' Thic Pig

Our fayther wuz a miner, ee wuz wiry, ee wuz strong
an ee wuz a vree miner, a speshul kinda mon.
ee worked the shifts, cum wum tired an black
with a vire in is belly, in is eyes an on is at.

But the thing with being a collier, an ee found out pretty quick
is being a Dean Vorest miner will never make you rich
So ee considered all is opshuns fer making us some cash
mendin bikes, cuttin air, saving up yer trash.

Didn't work, no none ont, wusunt wuth a fig
until the day our fayther cum wum with a pig
oh ee wuz a proper pig, ee wuz pink an ee wuz fat
an even though ee wiffed a bit we didn't care fer that.

Fayther putun in the coal shed where ee squeeled an put iself about
ee wouldn't let us in the door, so then the vire wen out.
Next day our dad cum wum an is green van wuz packed
with nails an tin an asbestos, an odd that ee ad acked.

ee set about a buildin, an it lacked a lot
but the finished article was sposed to be a very fine pig's cot
an so at last our pig wuz in is proper place
it didn't av no windows, no curtins trimmed with lace.
But ee ad leaves ta lie on, an ee ad aproper trough
mind you ee wuz lazy - all ee did was yut an poo an sloth.

But fayther couldn't stand lazyness, said it wuz a sin
ta lie in muck all day - he'd soon settle 'im.
Next day there wuz a plan in place, and off did fayther go
to see a chap called Organ - spelt like piana don't ya know.

Ee cum wum with a lady pig with a pretty turned up nose
an popped er in thic pigscot sayin that'll kip un on is toes.
an it did - at least we think it did but couldn't say fer sure
cos every time we looked at em they wuz lying on the floor.

Now time goes on an piggies begin to settle down
They yut their grub, thet rooted round, found acarns on the ground.

Oh we loved them piggies, Bob, Dave an Geoff an me
We scratched their backs, we fed em
give um pigswill fer their tea.

Till they grew fat an fatter, they wuz porkers, weighed a ton
so fat, so round, so solid, like a massive currant bun.

But slowly, oh so slowly the penny began to drop
just as our dad remembered them pigs wuz is a cash crop.

We cried, we stamped out little vit, tried talkin kids to man
as down the road there trundled the big meat market van.

We wuz very sorry kids - our playtime all to ell
we miss our pigs, we missed the mess, we even missed the smell.

Our mam tried to console us, give us sweets to munch
but we always hid when she called us fer our lunch.

Come on you kids she yelled an yelled
can't you kids yer me
up to the table quick she said
there's pork chops fer yer tea.

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2011 - Jackie Morgan of Lydney

Chil' o' th' Forest

Thee walks in me footsteps, chil' o' th' Forest,
Though thee be no' aware I be there.
Thee stands wer' I once stood, chil' o' th' forest,
Wi 'nither a doubt nor a care.
Thee plays wer' I once played, chil' o' th' forest,
Thy 'ood it be green now no' black,
Trees cover the ol' mine, chil' o' th' forest,
Wer' I carried slag o' me back.
Thee sleeps wer' I once worked, chil' o' th' forest,
Taks rest, wer' I once toiled fur pay,
Thee breathes i' th' fresh air, chil' o' th' forest,
Wer' I once saw no light o' day.
Thee plays wi' thy football, chil' o' th' forest,
Wer' I once 'ad stones as me ball,
Thee paddles i' streambeds, chil' o' th' forest,
Wer' I garnered water fur all.
Tak' time t' grow older, chil' o' th' forest,
Tak' all o' th' time tha' thee can'
Grow strong i' th' sunlight, chil' o' th' forest,
Do na' rush t' becum a man.

Fur here on th' hillside, chil' o' th' forest,
Beneath thic sma' grassy mund,
'Tis wer' I be buried, chil' o' th' forest,
Snug, i' th' rain watered grund.
Enjoy all thy freedom, chil' o' th' forest,
Breathe deeply th' air I once breathed,
Enjoy thy swee' boyhood, chil' o' th' forest,
'Tis part o' life's tapestry weaved.
An' as thee grows older, chil' o' th' forest,
An live all th' years I could na',
Live fur too, chil' o' th'forest,
A' eight years I wuz placed i' thic spot.
Thee walks in me footsteps, chil' o' th' forest,
An' I pray thy walk's longer than mine,
Tread lightly wer' I rest, chil' o' th' forest,
On thee may th' sun always shine.

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2010 - Tim Gwilliam of Berry Hill

Forest Pride

I was strolling through Edge End with my two lads you see
when the eldest stopped right by an oak, and him did ask of me.

Dad why can't we live somewhere where there's a yup to do
like gooing to a big theme park, a city or a zoo.

I sat him down and cooched the tother, his eyes began to close
now listen Jake I'll tell thee why, as Fred do 'ave a doze.

There be a lot of places, more famous that I 'ave sin,
but thee'll never find a better wum than the Forest of Din.

When all the tothers be so consumed with affording this and that
have a stroll just down the road and look off Symonds Yat.

You bist quite right we be a long way from Twickers or Wembley
but thee'll never see a better game than the Hill agin Lydney.

And in these times when all the shops and pubs they be a shutting
thee always know that the ship'll still walk and the deer will still be rutting.

Thee grancher were a Freeminer a proud and splendid breed
one of thoy's worth a thousand of them bankers with their greed.

Dussent think thee be the first to think the way you do
there's many that 'ave took to the skies, away now they have flew.

Now I yun saying it chunt alright to 'ave a look around
but what I'm saying will come back to you, of that I'll bet a pound.

Cos 'ere is all the beauty, the fun, the love and some,
always be proud to stand and say the forest is thy wum.

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2009 - Annie Cavill of Mile End

Thouse Remember

I look down at me 'ands, tough and black wi grime
All me working life spent down this owld mine
In me yud I bist walking along thic track
Heading for thic mine we no turning back.

Me pit lamp shows the woy down thic shaft
Me 'air on end gooing through thic draft
Now I bist at thic bottom me pick in me 'and
Crouching on thic floor we no where else to stand.

I bin working 'ard we sweat pouring off me brow
Me owld back be breaking, I've 'ad enough now
Ivor was calling have yur tommy have yur tea
Come on owld butty these stop and squat by me.

Thouse know it was a minute since I squat and 'ad me tea
It be Ivor shouting one agyun these come and work with me
I bist low on me belly we Ivor by me side
Thic carbide lamp is burning it fills me 'art we pride.

Me arms be working faster me hunched up body sore
I feel like a mole in darkness working on this floor
Hist up lads I'm shouted, thic shift be at an end
Up in thic owld cage me body im wunt bend.

The sweat of them miners stood in thic owld cage
Their arched bodies breaking whatever their age
Not much noise is heard from any of them owld men
Thinking tomorrow they'd be on the shift again.

Now I con feel thic freshness, thic sweetness from them trees
I con smell them bluebells wafting in this breeze
I con see this sunshine glistening on the hay
I con sit and close me eyes and think another day.

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2008 - Ann Osley of Drybrook

Wum Zweet Wum

Many yearz agoo Ol Butt
when I wuz in me prime
A lived in a little cottage oy
Back yearz agoo in time

Thik little cottage on the 'ill
Two up, two down, no more
No bath or vlush toilet we 'ad
But a warm welcome on the door

Flag stone floors drowout in-zide
That mother used ta swipp
With old rag rugs upon the floor
Made it warmer fur yur vit

A large black lead grate upon one wall
With a vire a burnin' bright
Was all we 'ad ta kip us warm
On a cold an' vrosty night

Two large cubuds either zide a the grate
With Lard knows inzide
Prob'ly Mother's best china oy
Or a few bob put aside

A meal she'd cook on thik old black grate
An' round the big table we all zat
Whatever thous 'ad upon thee plate
Thous yut an' an' that wuz that

A piana stood alung wun wall
An' Mother, 'ow she could ploy
We'd 'ave a zingzong now an' then
If we all got our woy

There wuzn nun uv this DFS
Vur yur vurniture - no woy
Thous got what thou was given
An hoped there wuzn nowt ta poy

We 'ad a slot bob meter
Ver the lectric light ta moyk
But when no more money we 'ad got
Zat in the virelight yutin' coyk

The back kitchen poynted bottle green
A large china zink an' copper
That wuz used ta boil the wayter oy
An' the vire undern got 'otter

The weshin' wuz dun in the copper
We a wesh board and zum zoap
On a Mundee marning Mam scrubbed like 'ell
Lard knows 'ow she did cope

We didn' av a fridge or nowt
Just a zafe ta kip off the flies
An' when yer cheese did turn mouldy
It wuz cut ta a much smaller zize

Out in the back yard yer toilet
We cut newspopers on a string
It ponged of Jeyes vluid a bit
But airfreshener wuzn't the thing

And on vriday nights in vront of the vire
The tin bath wuz putt ver thee scrub
Wayter wuz fetched fram the copper
We all got weshed down in thik tub

The fust un 'ad clean wayter
But as it went fram the youngest on up
The soap scum built up in thik ol' tin bath
An' the wayter got slimmy Ol' Butt

The stoyers wuz steep ver thee ta climb
An' such narra steps thoy wuz too
An' wuz no good thee yellin' "no" ta bed
Cuz Mother'd still 'ould make thee goo

The bedrooms there wuz just two ov um
An' a stove ver zum warmth we 'ad
An' blankits topped by a patchwurk quilt
An' we'd be tucked up by dear ol' Dad

An' on the floor bards wuz rag rugs
An' a chest ver all yer stuff
Thees 'ad a drawer apiece ol butt
Too bad if it jus' wern't anuff

Thee cuz leave thee door unlocked zurry
A key Mother vever did 'ave
Nobody would ever steal vram us
Cuz if thoy did these' tell our Dad

Them mem'ries I wudn choynge ol' butt
As a tear down me cheek da run
I veel 'onoured to av' known such good ol' doys
An' con remember ev'ry last one

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2007 - Marion Boey of Cinderford

The Garden Loo

If thee as lived as long as I,
I bet thee used to 'ave
A toilet up the garden,
a murky outside lav.

With cobwebs on the ceiling,
and 'anging by a cord
Some squares and sheets of paper,
thou couldst read if thee got bored.

And if thy folks was lucky,
thic loo was just for thee
While some a'tother families,
'ad ta share wi' two or three.

And this was mighty ockered,
if they was taken short
And hurried up to find thic loo,
locked up just like a fort.

They hammered on thic 'ooden door,
and begged to get inside
But all they heard was some bloke's voice,
"Go wum, tis occupied".

Now how they managed atter that,
thee disn't wanta know
But I can tell thee straight that they,
was nowhere near a po!

Now some a these eer toilets,
were made with double seat
And if thee 'ad a friendly pal,
'twas just the place to meet.

For on a summer's evening,
thou could sit there with thee mate
And talk about the weather,
or simply contemplate.

But when them winter snows came down,
they filled us all with dread
'Cos if thy chamber pot was full,
thee 'ad to leave thee bed.

Then hurtling down them 'ooden stairs,
thee trod on moggy's tail
Thic cat fair woke the neighbourhood,
wi' such a strangled wail.

Then fumbling in the darkness,
thee found a coat and shoes
And slithered up thic garden path,
to find a loo to use.

And when thou's come back wum again,
with vit like blocks of ice
And freezing fair to catch thee death,
thou's thought it would be nice.

To do away with garden loos,
and try instead to 'ave
A warm and cosy toilet,
a modern, inside lav.

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2006 - Kay Wozencroft of Mitcheldean

Bert's Vit

Zee Bert im got these vit,
‘Im ave allus ad um I think,
But wot do irk I a bit
Is the way the buggers do stink!

It chun az im don’t wesh mind,
Imz allus in the tub
Usin the ol’carbolic
An givin iz vit a good scrub.

But nuthin do zeem to alter
The woy iz vit do pong,
If im stuck um in scented water
They udnt smell nice ver long.

Im took um to the doctor
To ex fer iz advice,
But when im took iz shoes off
Doctor keeled over –twice!

Im zent Bert to the ‘ospital
To ave zum test or another,
But once they got a whiff of iz vit
They didn’t even bother.

Zo as a last rezort
We took ee to a vet –
Well, wi a problem o’ thic zort
Thous need all the ‘elp thou con get.

Zo vet ad Bert up on iz table
An ee exed ‘im to tek off iz shoe,
Zaid im would elp if im’s able,
But wi‘in seconds im ad turned blue.

Im staggered out o’t surgery
Lookin a long way vrum well,
A gaspin’ wi’zum kind o’ urgency
An gibberin’ about the smell.

Im vinally collapsed in’t gutter
Right there in the ‘igh strit,
Last words we ‘eard ee utter
“Tell’t missus I were killed by they vit!”

Now Bert ‘im took this to ‘eart,
An feelin’ responsible like
Decided az ee would depart
An travel round t’world on iz bike.

Well im mad’ iz woy dru channel
On thic Eurostar train
An everyone as zat by im
Zaid they wuzn’t goin thic woy again!

All told im wuz gone ver a fortnight,
Im missed out zum countries, I think,
Im didn’t need to write im wuz on iz woy wum,
I knew becoz o’ the stink!

I woke up early one marnin
To the thud o’ faintin’ ship,
Zo I didn’t need no warnin,
I knew it were Bert an iz vit!

Now I still got me a problem
But I just az to put up wi it,
Atter all zaid an done, it con be much vun
Bein Bert an avin iz vit.

Now not everybody do mind um,
The Army an’ Navy Store bloke
Do shift more gas masks than in’t war time,
It’s becoming a bit of a joke.

An az ver dealin’ wi vermin,
Zuch as rats livin’ under thee shed,
Ol’ Bert do jes shove iz vit in’t ‘ole
An rate be zoon enough dead.

It chun the stench as do get um,
They don’t wait long enough fer that,
One wiff o’ Bert’s vit do convince um
To fling their selves in front o’ the cat!

Now zum men do snore like machine guns,
An’ zum men do booze a wee bit,
So I spose I be one o’t lucky uns,
All I got to worry me’s they vit!

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2005 - Maggie Clutterbuck of Bream

Tribute to a Vorest miner

My fayther wuz a miner - sinewy and tough
'is muscles bulged
as 'im hauled the coal,
'ands calloused, torn and rough.

These rugged mon
- salt of the earth -
worked 'ard and played much 'arder:
a pint of ale, a rolled-up fag,
bread 'n' drippin' vram the larder.

My fayther wuz a miner
- 'is life spent in the Vorest -
amongst the oak and pit dust,
'im was allus proud an' honest.

Nurn a shower to kip 'im clean,
nor 'ot water vram a tap,
Just an old tin bath in vront the vire;
a wife to scrub 'is back.

My fayther is a Vorester
- 'is mind is made of leaves -
'is body turned ta brittle twigs,
broken by the breeze.

'is eyes be as sharp as a buzzard,
soaring in the sky,
'is memories as long as the paths
'im did ploy on as a bwoy.

But my fayther wuz a miner
- 'im were made of steel and grit -
part of'n now is wi' us still,
the rest is down the pit.

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2004 - Kathleen Smith of Cinderford

A Forester and his pig

'Ow is it me ole butty,
'Ow bist doing today?
I've lined out thee bedroom
Wi' clean straw and hay.
Though I noticed when cleaning
A strange lodger 'ad come,
An old tired 'edge 'og
'Ad made it 'er wum.

It's a strainge sort of bedmate
Fer thee me ole pal,
An' I see now 'er little uns
'Ave come there as well.
Thee's better watch out
Where thee's putting thee snout,
Fer if thee's met 'er prickles
It'll fair make thee shout.

Now I've mixed up thee breakfast
So eat up old pal.
There's some fresh tater peelings
An' cabbage as well.
Zo eat up me butty
Get thee snout in the swill,
Th'oult get thin an' ill.
A pig should eat plenty,
As much as 'im's able,
To get nice and fat
And just right for the table.

Now dussent do that,
Stop looking at I.
Tha's knows well as I do
Thus all gotta die.
I da know thee 'as bin to me
Like a good friend.
But thee's know that we all
'Ave to go in the end.
It's one of those things that
In life is a must.
Th' only thing is
Thou's gotta go fust!

Now shut up thee snuffling
An' then if thou's good,
I'll let thee 'unt acorns
Right up in the 'ood.
Tha canst snuffle and sniffle
As much as thou's please,
When tha's got the 'ead buried
Amongst them dyud leaves.
An' I'll cooch close bezide thee,
Right under this oak.
I'll jus' puff on me pipe,
An' enjoy a good smoke.

An' we'll share our contentment
Jus' thee pig an' I,
And we'll stay close together
Till the day that thee's die.
Thee snuffling around -
Me zitting there puffing.
Thee dreaming of acorns,
And me of pork stuffing!

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