Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Hants & West Sussex Visit

From last night's traditional Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and Thick, Thick Bisto Gravy dinner, from left Paul, Tess, Moi and Ille (for those who have asked it's pronounced E-la).

We continue our stay with dear friends Paul and Terry Lifton in Emsworth, Hants having to make a complete change of plans. To be kind, the weather of late has not been good but this morning it was appalling scotching any ideas of birdwatching on Farlington Marsh and Pagham Lagoon. So, braving the elements, a cold north west wind and persistant rain, we decided on a visit to Chichester and Bosham (West Sussex) plus a look around the village.


The old Guildhall built during the reign of King George II (1683 - 1760)

Chichester Cathedral

The Naive & Quire. During this part of the tour I could air my knowledge of the origin of the expression 'the weak to the wall'. As part of the construction on most British cathedrals a stone 'step' was built around the inside perimeter of the building. In those days, seating of any kind was unheard of the congregation en-mass having to stand in the Naive for all services. This was 'all' except for the infirm who would use the 'step' as a seat. Hence 'the weak go to the wall'.

South Transept Window dating from the early 14th century, contains glass from Lorraine. It is also of note that the remains of English composer Gustav Theodore Holst 1874-1934 (The Planets Suite) lie close to and opposite this window.

Part of the Cloister.

Chichester Cross - built by and during the office of Edward Story as Bishop of the City between 1477 and 1503. Little more is known of the origin of the building.

With the rain persisting, we agreed on a visit to the 'West Cornwall Pasty Co' for a coffee and Oggy, where the lady proprietor was interested in my knowledge of this ancient fare. On my first Royal Navy ship HMS Keppel the crew were predominantly from the West Country, with ships comedian 'Lotty' Voss starting up an onboard society aptly named 'The Bodmin Moor Pasty Club'. Probably seeming futile to those who have not spend long, dreary periods at sea, we all gained great strength from this as we would meet each Sunday, not in a religious way, but to sing hymns (and other no so reverent songs) to while away a hour or two. On one occasion, Lotty's mum had sent him a huge Tiddy Oggy through the post, which arrived in many pieces. Distraught that a near relative had ended its days in such a way, he gently reassembled it, built a small coffin then mustered all club members for a Naval burial at sea, with full military honours. Oh what fun we had???? Anyroadup, as we left the cafe, after a good deal of banter with the afore mentioned owner, I volunteered to sing a short snatch of the Oggy Song bringing her to uncontrollable fits of laughter. She then gave me the link to her web-site insisting that I send her the lyrics, which of course I will do. Many will be familiar with the Oggy, Oggy, Oggy, Oi, Oi, Oi refrain of the chorus, and think that it was composed by some rugby fanatic, but let me tell you, you need to look to the West Country and the Royal Navy for the origins!

Bosham only just in West Sussex is noted for the attempts of King Canute to hold back the waves. Believing he was this almighty powerful his servants were charged with taking his throne to the sea-shore at Bosham where he would demonstrate to one and all that at his command the tide would retreat. Henceforth he was known as 'The King who got his Feet Wet'.

Bosham church, built about the time of the Conquest (1066) on the site of an old Saxon church and visited by the Venerable Bede (translator of the Bible into English) in AD681.

Ille beneath the Norman Arch

High Tide at the end of Bosham High Street

and finally:-
The Oggy Song

The unofficial Anthem of the Royal Navy and
the Battle Cry of the Devonport Field Gun Crew
(please, please don't argue with them as they make the average rugby 15 look like Girl Guides)

Half a pound of flour and marg makes lovely clacker (pastry)
Just enough for you and us ah bugger Janner (a West Countryman)
Oh how happy us will be when we gets to the West Country
where the Oggies grow on trees
Gor bugger Janner

You make fast kiss my ass make fast the dingy
We'll make fast kiss my ass make fast the dingy
and we'll all go back to Oggyland
to Oggyland to Oggyland
and we'll all go back to Oggyland
Where they can't tell sugar from tissue paper tissue paper
Marmalade and jam

Oggy, Oggy, Oggy, Oi, Oi, Oi
Oggy, Oi Oggy, Oi
Oggy, Oggy, Oggy, Oi, Oi, Oi

I hope this satisfies the lady in the West Cornwall Pasty Company, and

Long live The Bodmin Moor Pasty Club!