One of the things which many grandchildren remember Grandpa Roger for is his passion for model railways. In his voluminous and varied collection of literature (and “varied” is not a term I use here lightly), I found a little book of poems by a local (Hilton) bloke named Andrew Morling and entitled The Lament of the Railway Modeller which it turns out Roger was given by the author.
The book is full of entertaining poems on topics as diverse as office automation, garlic and aviaries, but centred around railway modelling; if you’d like a copy, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (no spaces, dots or anything in the name) or ask me for his ’phone number. Andrew has graciously permitted me to use one of his poems (which Roger would have cheerfully confessed to resembling):
It’s not for me, it’s for the boy
He came inside and brought his wife, they’d come to buy a train,
I asked them was there anything they’d like me to explain,
“I’m after something basic, but a bit more than a toy,
You see — it’s not for me, it’s for the boy.”
He asked a lot of questions as he look through all the trains,
“Does this one go with that one? Can I plug it in the mains?
I want to get it all set up before I let him play,
That’s why I didn’t bring him here today.”
While he sorted through the track to get enough for 13 feet,
His wife was looking pale so I had offered her a seat.
“I’d like the great big diesel but he’d want this little one,
I know it’s gonna give him lots of fun.”
Well he chose the little loco and picked out a string of trucks,
Then we added up the price and found it came to 40 bucks.
He said, “I meant to spend just 35 — but what the heck,
I’ll get some from the car, it won’t take a sec.”
I waited with his wife ’cos outside was pretty bleak,
“The trouble is,” she said, “the boys was only born last week.”
Then he came back with the money, took the trains and beamed with joy,
“You see it’s not for me; it’s for the boy.”
The main poem, the Lament, is hilarious.