Ian Har­ri­son writes a poem

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Ian Har­ri­son writes a poem based on a real-life event

As you know I pub­lished my first novel last Au­tumn, The Jig­gery Stick. It was writ­ten be­cause ev­ery morn­ing af­ter break­fast I would fall asleep in my chair. Nat­u­ral at 81 I sup­pose, but a to­tal waste of life so I started to write. I have just fin­ished my sec­ond novel, The Jig­gery Code and that should be pub­lished this month.The pub­lish­ers ob­jected to my in­clu­sion of the Cock­ney rhyme, The Bleedin’ Spar- rer. You may know it. No­body knows who wrote it but the pub­lisher de­manded that I prove that it is roy­alty free. How do you prove a neg­a­tive? So I wrote my own Cock­ney poem and that shut them up.

It’s called The Grey­hound and the hero of the tale, Tom, is told it when he meets a Cock­ney bar­rer boy at Sandown races where he has gone to place his bet on Gay Times in the So­lario Stakes. ‘Ere‘tis.

THE GREY­HOUND by Ian Har­ri­son.

We‘ad a bleedin ’grey’ ahnd Wot lived in our back­yard. Grampa raced it at the track And it tried so very ‘ard. Ev­ery month‘e’d scrimp‘n’save To put a ten­ner on it But that poor dog was oh so fin A bref of air would stop it. Then one night ‘e placed ‘is bet. The dogs set off ‘cept one And ‘e just strolled along be’ind Cos ‘e just couldn’t run. Five dogs went rahnd first bend And then the sec­ond one. They all fell over in a heap Tripped up as they run. Grampa’s dog strolled past‘em And won that bleedin’ race Five ‘un­derd ter bloody one ‘e were You shoulda seen ‘is face. Five fah­send smack­ers in ‘is ‘and ‘E couldn’t quite be­lieve it. I’ll go to Sah­fend for a hol Sah­fend’s a posh place in­nit? The moral of this story Is plain fer all ter see. Never give up sup­port­ing A ‘ope­less case like me.

This event ac­tu­ally hap­pened when, in the late Eight­ies, I was sit­ting in the book­mak­ers in Fal­mouth wait­ing for my horse to run. I glanced up and no­ticed one of the dogs in the next race was priced at 100/1. I put a pound on it for a laugh. The dogs fell over, my dog strolled in and I picked up £100 and walked across to the pub. Be­fore I could get out of the book­ies though the other pun­ters gave me hell for not do­ing the fore­cast. I don’t do fore­casts. Come to think of it I don’t do dogs ei­ther.

Ian Har­ri­son has man­aged Gold­crest since 1985 and ev­ery year a win­ning one.

He wrote a novel last year, The Jig­gery Stick. Avail­able on Ama­zon.

His new novel, The Jig­gery Code is to be pub­lished soon and he is now busy writ­ing Jig­gery Jus­tice. This will com­plete the tril­ogy.

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