The Butchers of Bedminster Poem

Chris Yapp As Aldred Daw Collard, The Poet Butcher Of Bedminster(photo: Zuleika Henry)

Aldred Daw Collard, ‘Poet Butcher’ of Bedminster,
celebrates the survival of his shop at 57 North Street.

Taken from Why Don’t We Do It In The Road »

Of Bedminster’s butchers I’ll tell you a tale,
A saga of beefcake and brawn,
We slaughtered ourselves, in our yards out the back,
Up and doing, each morning, ere dawn.

I’m proud of my shop, that A and that D
Stand for ‘Aldred Daw’, poet as well.
My verses I rhymed as the pork joints I chined,
For a penny my poems I’d sell.

The proceeds I gave to the hospital fund,
For philanthropy too I purveyed,
And poems I’d spin as a carcass I’d skin,
My punters beguiled and waylaid.

Four generations of Collards killed here
And everything sold, bones and fat,
Hauled on a barrow, then crushed for the marrow,
My slaughterhouse now become flats.

The laundry’s gone too, it was run by Chinese,
With steam, and brown paper and string,
And Wilmotts sold fruit, wet fish and veg –root,
Oh nostalgia’s a dangerous thing.

So many have gone, now a butcher is rare,
For once there were twenty six shops,
From Redcliffe to North Street, one vast sea of pigs feet,
A flood tide of chittlins and chops.

A butcher called Butcher worked just down the road
Where Bob Wherlock was man at the helm,
His shop was an icon; folk queued up to buy from
The king of the carnivore’s realm.

Bob Wherlock retired, his shop up for sale,
Loyal customers tore out their hair.
Now they dine in the street on buns packed full of meat
Grilled outdoors by a butcher called Rare!

Stroll a few doors along and you’ll find DR Butt,
Cooked hams he supplies by the score,
Salt beef and pressed tongue, his produce so well hung
Folk keep coming back for some more.

On East Street there’s Kelvins, another called Butt,
Fast movers, straight talking, no wiles.
This Butt is a man, with a cleaver, called Stan
Well known for his faggots for miles.

So though butchers are rare there’s still quality here,
And four you can choose from, you’ll see
It’s trouble they’re takin, so go buy some bacon
And tell them you just spoke to me!

And all’s not been lost; the past is still here,
If you like it I’ll sell it to you.
There’s antiques galore, all on show in my store,
House of Vanburg is better than new!

Of Bedminster’s butchers I’ve told you my tale,
My saga of beefcake and brawn,
We slaughtered ourselves, in our yards out the back,
Up and doing, each morning, ere dawn.

Copyright Show Of Strength Theatre Company Ltd 2014