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Bernard Wrigley


Frank Hovis

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Many years ago, late 70s I think, a friend borrowed a record from his older brother and we played it laughing because it was "rude"!

I don't know why but I was moved to look it up the other day, I thought it was called The Pools Collector's Plums but it's The Ballad of Knocking Nellie.
 

Quote

 

3: THE BALLAD OF KNOCKING NELLY

Gasman, coalman, water board or the bloke who mends the telly
They’re all the same to Harold’s wife, the famous Knocking Nelly
She handles all her creditors, for years she’s had no bills
But of Harrys, Roys and teddy boys I know she gets her fill

Last week when Harold’s out at work she’s upstairs with a bloke
He’s the football pool collector and he’s Nelly’s latest poke
She’s got his vest and trousers off, she’s asking him for more
But then she hears her husband dear come waltzing through the door

She bungs her lover in the wardrobe door, and then she shouts “Oh crumbs”
For dangling out the wardrobe door were the pool collector’s plums
Then Harold he comes up the stairs and says “Now hello dear
The boss gave me the day off work ... and what’s these dangling here?”

Well, Nelly’s seen this all before and a very good tale she tells
For “I’ve just been out shopping and I’ve bought these couple of bells
But they’re not of the ringing kind, in fact they’re just a joke”
So Harold lifts his finger up and he gives the bells a poke

Now Harold keeps on poking and agrees the bells are dead
And the bloke inside the wardrobe’s going a peculiar shade of red
Harold says the bells‘ll ring if he clouts ‘em with his hammer
And Nelly sitting on the bed can hardly raise a stammer

Harold smacks ‘em once and twice but still the bells won’t ring
He raises up his hammer then to have one final swing
He’d sworn to make the bells go ‘ding’ by George he wasn’t wrong
For the bloke inside the wardrobe shouts “For Christ’s sake - DING DING DONG”

 

 

Anyway and here is the mildly interesting bit, given that this was over forty years ago I wasn't particularly hopeful of finding the lyrics or the singer as I've never heard the song or heard it referenced since.

I did but also found that they were by Bernard Wrigley who I saw only the other week in Phoenix Nights, though didn't know who he was, and he's still acting and touring his folk songs though they all look to be in the north west.

I had assumed that given he was a recording artist in the 70s he would be long since retired but no, he's still going strong at 71.

This is him, at the front, in Brassed Off.

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https://bernardwrigley.com/#_=_

https://bernardwrigley.blogspot.com/2007/07/blog-post.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Wrigley

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13 hours ago, MrPin said:

Ha. Live and learn. I never heard of him.

Ditto.

I knew his character from Phoenix Nights but had no idea that he was the same bloke whose folk songs had made a couple of schoolbys giggle back in the 70s "DING DING DONG" :D

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