|The Rushden Echo
"Wissull Atter Goo!"
Rushden's Annual Feast
“Wissull atter goo, Oskspect, shent we?” “Goo weer?” “Wur, ter the Feast, of course; didjer think Oi meant goo orf yer-red?”
Thus spake two Ruzdin young gentlemen in my hearing. I wondered what the “wissull atter” meant, and thought it was “whistle at her,” but there is at The Rushden Echo office a dictionary which gives the following comments on those words from this unique language: “Wissull atter not to be confused with the usual mode of calling your dawg, nor with trying to “click” or “get off.” The two words are the equivalent of four in English viz., “We shall have to.”
Naturally I couldn’t consult a dictionary on the spot, and I had to listen, with pencil and open book not to mention open mouth for more.
“Ugh,” chipped in Pimple (I think that is the name of the gentleman), “troyin’ ter meck owtcher dornt wanter goo, encher?”
“Aw, o’ course ‘e wants ter goo; dorncher, Pip?”
“Well, he were swankin’ an’ troyin’ ter mek out ‘e wornt sich a kid uz ter wanter goo,” said Squeak.
Wilfred put them right. “He awlus guz,” quoth Wilfred, “and he’ll awlus goo uz long uz ‘e can.”
I thought: “What a queer lingo. Whatever do these strange words mean.” That word “guz” beat me. Where’s that dictionary? Now, amongst the g’s ……..gu……oh, of course, it means “goes.” And now that “awlus.” Surely that must be a shoemaker’s tool!.......... No, wrong again, it means “always.” Getting on fine!
Sneaking alongside, I heard the gentlemen say they would “Goo” Saturday, so I also decided I would “goo” on the same day, to be near them to improve my acquaintance with the local language. With that intention I verbally made a mental note in my pocket-book. In all fairness to myself, and in extenuation of the incitement to violence which I am now responsible for, I hasten to assure Pip, Squeak, Wilfred, and Pimple that I hoped I’d been forgotten when Rushden Feast came round this year. When the Editor was looking in my direction I tried to make a noise like a bottle of ink, but he recognised me, and said, “Your usual article, you know.” So now the ink be on his head!
Oh, I haven’t told you of still another language I heard relative to the Feast, have I? Some adults who ought to have known better were talking to a child that could hardly walk. “Hallo, moddurk,” one grown-up said, “ayer-gooin’ Feast ter buy some kuckies?” Don’t ask me what “kuckies” mean; I give it up!
Now, I am reminded that this article was to have been about the Feast. Yes, I agree, but who can forget last Saturday? It rained for 40 days and 50 nights. “Caw!” as Pimple would say; “torker bout rain!
Our dictionary says of “Ombin”: “This is not good English. It stands for “I am been” which again is not good English and should be freely translated “I have been.” I had a little difficulty in tracing “Mee chowt” in the dictionary, so I looked for “Oi'l mee chowt,” which I thought meant “oil my chowt,” whatever a “chowt” is. Nothing of the kind. Our dictionary says: “This is a good’un, meaning the five English words “I will meet you out.”
“C'mon,” said Squeak, “Ossul goo. Ayer cummin’, Pip?”
“Oddno,” Pip answered, and, turning to Pimple, he asked, “Ay you gooin’, Pimp?”
“Yuh” was Pimp’s response. “Aw-roite,” said Pip, and the whole party went to see the wonderful lady of so many tons displacement.
Waiting for them to come out, I looked round and could not help noticing the extreme brilliance of Mr. Charles Thurston’s amusements in general and the peacocks in particular, as compared with Feasts of all previous years. On one side of the round-abouts is the continuous waterfall with varie-coloured lights shining on it or through it. On the other side is the great Paris-manufactured organ which discourses music from classic opera down to jazz. This side also is a dazzling spectacle, with extra and more powerful lights this year. The fairground is the best-lighted part of the town these nights. There are five sideshows containing freaks, with their usual appeal to the curious. Even the tiny roundabout horses for the kiddies have come to life again. I watched the people getting armfuls of enamelware, crockery, chocolates, etc., by the lucky throw of darts, observed the miles of Feast rock and sweets on stalls, and was dazzled with the glare and “dinned” with the blare, when………..
“Shent chev a go ut the darts?” was a remark that came from one of the quartette, having satisfied themselves that the lady was real and not pneumatic.
“No, Oi dornt want them mullucks,” Pimp said.
“What mullocks? They ent ‘mullocks’ . Air Mum got no end er good things sartnoon, and she onny ‘ad three gooz.”
“Aw! Look at that bloque!” said Wilf. The “bloque” referred to had a face like decomposed bacon-rind, as if he had done himself proud in honour of the Feast. As he was not a resident of this district he was not of our “set.”
“Ruzdin closing down. Good……..”
“Don’t forget you must initial that article,” the Sub-Editor said. “I am not going to take the blame for it.”
“I’m afraid it doesn’t matter what I put at the bottom,” I told him. “One of our readers said he can see my name ‘written right through the article in invisible ink.”
“Ruzdin closing down. Copyright by Reader. Press Association, Exchange Telegraph, and Buck Turner.”