Albert and the Titanic

or t'Ramsbottoms Sea Voyage

 

In t'Ramsbottom's house'old one mornin'

as Albert were eatin’ ‘is toast.

Ma enter’d room clutchin’ a letter

‘er face, it were white as a ghost.

 

“What’s in th’envelope Ma?” questioned father,

“a threat’ner from gas board I fear?”

“No” said Ma, “it’s a letter from t’co-op,

‘bout a draw that I entered last year.”

 

“’Ave wi won?” asked Pa getting’ excited,

“is it brass or a namper or what?”

“aye wiv won but it’s not just a namper” said Ma,

“It’s what Co-op entitles Jack-pot!”

 

“A jack-pot, what’s that then?” Pa queried.

“It’s fost prize in t’draw” Ma replied,

“some tickets for t’trip of a lifetime,

which it sez in due course be supplied.”

 

T’tickets arrived three week later,

t’trainfare to th’arbour as well.

So t’Ramsbottoms off on their trip did depart,

biddin’ all t’neighbours farewell.

 

When they landed at t’quayside next mornin’,

a chap dressed in pinstripe an’ bowler.

Minced up an’ said “greetings, I’m Ponsonby-Smythe,

The Co-ops financial controller!”

 

“I have here the necessary papers,

to enable your voyage to start.

So as soon as they’re checked, signed and dated,

you three lucky souls can depart!”

 

“What kind of boat are we booked on?” said Pa,

“there’s no name on t’tickets I’ve checked!”

“we’ve bin onto t’ferry at Runcorn,

but it’s bigger than that I expect?”

 

“Why of course” answered Ponsonby smugly,

“on your trip no expense has been spared,

You’re joining White Star Lines ‘Titanic’,

to which no ship afloat does compare!”

 

Well soon they were settled in t’cabin,

which Ma thowt were tidy but small.

Pa didn’t think much o’ their windo’, but Ma

said, “on ships they call t’windo’ port-‘ole!”

 

Steward announced t’ships departure,

would they like t’go up on t’deck,

Pa were keen but Albert reluctant,

so Ma dragged ‘im bi t’scruff of ‘is neck

 

When he got up on t’top he enjoyed it,

there were fireworks an’ shouts of hurrah.

Every craft sounded foghorns an’ cruelly Pa,

said to Albert “sounds just like thi Ma?”

 

Soon t’noise it were left far behind ‘em,

as t’ship ploughed its course out t’sea.

Ma said “this sea air meks me sleepy.”

“ooh,” said Pa, “it meks me want t’pee!”

 

Five days out they received th’invitation,

Captains table, a visit to pay,

for dinner on Sunday at seven.

Pa said “seven, that’s late…he means tay?”

 

The Ramsbottoms turned up for dinner,

in t’best suits o’ cloze they possessed,

Ma were tekkin’ no chances wi bein’ shown up,

an’ so even Pas’ long johns were pressed.

 

They were greeted an’ seated bi t’captain.

Edward J Smith were ‘is name.

When he asked what they thought of the voyage Pa said,

“it’s alreight, but the sea’s a bit tame!”

 

When Albert looked down on t’table,

an’ t’cutt’lery there, he were lost.

There were more knives an’ forks than he’d sin in ‘is life,

an’ he didn’t know which to use fost.

 

They started to eat ‘horses doofers’,

an’ fairies an’ ‘oisters an’ more.

Well it sounded like that to young Albert,

an’ he’d tasted nowt like it afore.

 

T’next course were soup ‘olga’ wi  bits in’,

at which Albert’s expression were glum.

“Don’t worry” said t’captain “they’re croutons.”

Father asked “is that French for ‘big crumbs’?”

 

There were salmon wi sauce an’ cucumber

an’ it still ‘ad its ‘ead an’ its fins.

Ma said that it tasted delicious,

but preferred it when out of a tin.

 

T’dishes kept comin’ to t’table,

filly mingons or chicken or marro’

“It’s more than we’re used to at’ome” offered Ma,

“too reight” said Pa “fill up your barro’!”

 

Lamb an’ roast duck an’ a sirloin o’ beef,

wi’ sauces an’ various praters,

were delivered to t’table wi carrots an’ peas, 

bi ‘undreds o’ white suited waiters.

 

As Pa were just getting’ ‘is breath back,

a chap asked ‘im if he’d like punch?

“I ‘ope y’mean fruit juice young fella mi lad,

I don’t fancy feightin’ for t’munch!”

 

It were all overfacin’ young Albert,

when pigeon were next on ‘is plate.

With patty far grass as an’ option,

he were wond’rin’ when t‘meal would abate.

 

At last they were servin’ up t’puddin’

A Waldorf or peaches in jelly,

choclit e-clairs an’ ice cream fransays

were t’last he could fit in ‘is belly.

 

They all sat there tryin’ to digest their tea,

as t’captain leaned over to dad,

sayin’ “he hoped t’Ramsbottoms ‘ad enjoyed the meal?”

Pa replied “it were t’best snap he’d ‘ad!”

 

Before long they were back in their cabin,

but a mixture o’ motion an’ t’food

made their stomachs come over all queasy,

some o’ noises they med were quite rude!

 

They decided that fresh air were th’answer,

so climbed up t’deck an’ went aft.

Ma declared “Pa, I’ve just sin an iceberg!”

Pa replied “ice, in April, you’re daft!”

 

A chap called Fred Fleet were in  t’lookout,

an’ as out over th’ocean he gazed,

he shouted quite loudly “ICE-BERG RIGHT AHEAD”

Pa said “Ma, you were reight, I’m amazed!”

 

An ‘orrible crunchin’ sound echoed through th’air,

“wivititwivitit!” screamed Ma.

“it feels like t’boats tippin’?” said Albert.

“This weren’t part o’ bargin?” moaned Pa.

 

T’front o’ liner were startin’ t’nose dive,

as soon as it bumped in th’icecap.

Young Albert were startin’ t’slide off, down t’deck,

‘til Pa dragged ‘im back wi t’shirtlap.

 

They were clingin’ to t’rail, at back end o’ t’ship,

when a steward came up t’their aid.

He warned “situation is crucial!” Said Pa,

“It would have bin woss if we’ed paid!”

 

There were folk runnin’ hither an’ thither,

tryin’ ‘ard into t’lifeboats t’get.

Ma an’ Albert climbed in, but as Pa followed suit

a voice from behind said “ Not yet!”

 

“What d’you mean?” shouted Pa at t’steward,

“do I wait ‘til its up to me knees?”

Steward answered “its wimmin’ an’ childer at fost,

so kindly get out if you please!”

 

“alreight then” said Pa wi a growl,

Ma were skrikin’ but what could he do?

“You an’ Albert stay ‘ere in this lifeboat,

an’ I’ll find one wi less of a queue!”

 

As they drifted away from t’vessel,

Mas’ ‘eart it were sinkin’ as well.

So she squeezed Albert’s ‘and, rememberin’ t’time,

when in t’lion he’d decided t’dwell.

 

She prayed she see Pa again, soon like,

but ‘er ‘opes were beginnin’ to fade,

an’ so after two ‘ours when t’boat disappeared.

T’funeral plans ‘ad bin made.

 

They were picked up bi liner “Carpathia”

an’ ferried to safety in t’States.

Soon as Ma’d getten list o’ survivors,

she scanned it for t’name of ‘er mate.

 

She couldn’t believe that she’d lost ‘im,

after all o’ them years by ‘er side.

What were th’odds o’ Ramsbottoms bein’ on board,

never mind wi a n’iceberg collide!

 

On t’journey back ‘ome, they were tekken,

to t’spot were t’Titanic ‘ad drown’d.

when they ‘eard someone shoutin’ at top o’ their lungs,

they all ‘ad a reight good look ‘round.

 

As they squinted through t’mist on th’atlantic,

Pa Ramsbottom loomed into sight.

On th’iceberg lapp’d up in a blanket,

wi a crate o’ brown ale to ‘is right!