The pope;no news…

It might have been a folk tale but when I resided in that great city of Manchester, it was said that on a slow news day, the newspaper sellers would put the headline ” The Pope;no news!” headline on their little boxes from where they dispensed their wares. This was in fact true, within the pages of their papers there was no news of the Pope. So it was all factually true a it shifted quite a few of the papers as there are many Roman Catholics in the City ( generally the Manchester United supporters ) and quite a few protestants ( Manchester City supporters ) who might look just to see if they had grounds to upset the United supporters.

The sellers themselves would wear a non-commital scarf and the “endless” gloves were an essential fashion accessory, especially in the cold weather.

This is another drawing from the Missing Persons book and what follows are Gordon’s words from the book and give a flavour of the type.
Wordman


 

Newspaper Seller

Any sightings should be reported to the Natural History Museum.

There are plenty of people who stand about selling papers but specimens of Newspaper Seller must, by definition, be recognisable in the dusk and rain by their cries alone. Saying ‘Big Issue? Have a nice day’ in a polite, self-effacing tone does not make one a Newspaper Seller, quite honestly.

The real thing was ever unmistakable. Anyone from north east Yorkshire would be able to infer from the distant cry of ‘Baybay! Scabbay! Baybay!’ that they were on the other side of the clearing from a man offering the paper, the Scarborough paper. That it was called the Evening News was a matter widely understood and so unnecessary to mention.

Strangers to the famous port 40 miles south would instantly realise that the man selling the late editions of the Hull Daily Mail was the one crying ‘Hawdiwinnahs! Skinnywinnahs!’ Like everybody else in Hull, with the possible exception of the specimen himself, they would never know the wherefore but would buy the paper anyway and without asking about the undernourishment of victorious horses.

In the Great Wen all those thousands of office mice, hurrying down their holes at the end of the day, used to lift their heads briefly at the familiar call of ‘Tennerh! Ee-inn! Tennerh!’ and, without looking at Newspaper Seller, drop a few coins into an outstretched hand in exchange for a copy of the Standard, the Evening Standard.On Sundays, no members of the type were ever seen. Nobody knew where they went. Possibly they hibernated for the day, venturing forth only to the corner shop to purchase a copy of the Tie, Sunnay Tie, or possibly the Zerv Erah, or maybe the Noodawer-eh.Scientists are still trying to prove that Working Men’s Club and Institute Singing Man has evolved from Newspaper Seller, for some reason.

newspaper

Ye Olde Sunnye Dryed Tomato


Another from the book: Some Missing Persons . Again the golden words are crafted by my chum wordsmith Gordon Thorburn: Wordweaver

I hope you’ve enjpoyed them as much as I enjoyed drawing for them.


sunnydryedtomVisitors to this remote and historic ex-hostelry, far up in the hills where rivers rise, always used to enjoy looking at the old photographs on the wall. These reflected a bygone age when the local produce show was held here, customers formed football and darts teams and turned up in Toyota pick-ups.

Those were the days, my friends, when the pub was the social sine qua non of a scattered rural community. The community is still scattered but if anybody wants a pint now it has to be a widget tin from the supermarket down the valley; no pints have been sold at Ye Tomatoe for a twelvemonth.

Yes, in that short time Signor Pomodoro Lambretta, front of house, and Darren ‘Sharon’ Maclaren, chef, transformed the place. Before, you could only get bitter, lager, Guinness and two sorts of sandwich: cheese and pickle, or cheese. Under Pommy and Sharon, you could have Saltimbocca Siciliano, Fegato alla Milanese, Pavarotti alla Mariolanza and various fusion dishes, including Szechuan Ostrich Stroganoff and Thai Broken Harbour Soup with Wild Orkney Octopus. You washed these down with 35 different sorts of Bardolino and 27 of Frascati. If you got too merry you could have bed and full Italian breakfast for the price of a farm labourer’s week’s wages.

It was not long before the two proprietors discovered that Upper Weirdale was no place for a gastropub. Their loan was called in and they had to sell the place as a private house, so that was that.