“Aldgate, Aldgate East, All Git Orf!” — Poems From The Cockneys

This week’s poem is just a little poem that I smiled to read wrrites Gill Ward.

‘I spent a year teaching in Stepney in the East End of London. I could get off the tube at either Whitechapel or Aldgate East.

‘A Londoner friend (born in the East End) used to chant to me, “Aldgate, Aldgate East, All git orf!” 

Sometimes I bought our dinner for our flat at Whitechapel Marketin front of the tube station . Those were the days!

A little-known fact: everyone used to think Tom Scott made up the term O.E. (overseas experience). He reminds people that it was actually his friend John Muirhead.

John is also a valued friend of our family. He lectured at Massey University in the English Department and has an amazing way with words. Poem from 100 Poems on the Underground (Cassell Publishers Ltd 1991)

London Bells  (Anonymous)

London Bells  (Anonymous)

Two sticks and an apple,

Say the bells at Whitechapel.

Old Father Bald Pate,

Say the bells at Aldgate.

Maids in white aprons,

Say the bells at St. Catherine’s.

Oranges and lemons,

Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

You owe me five farthings,

Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

When will you pay me?

Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I am rich,

Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?

Say the bells of Stepney.

I’m sure I don’t know,

Says the great bell at Bow.

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