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Leonard Valentine Elliott
1898 - 1960
 Newspaper Reporter and Vice-president of the Operatic Society
   
Splash Magazine, Summer 1952 p7.

Talked to Rotary in Rhyme

An unusual feat was accomplished with resounding success by L. V. Elliott, of Rushden, when he gave a full-length talk to Rushden Rotarians—all in rhyme.

These opening excerpts indicate the comic theme which he developed so successfully that orders for "reprints" poured in from all the victims and their friends:

One typical day, with nothing to do,
The editor sucked at his pencil (blue].
And mused on a fate that had held him down
To the living death of a one-eyed town.
He scowled at the diary's empty sheet.
And said to himself as he crossed his feet:
"How can you write a front-page splash
When the only news is the usual trash?
A Little White Ribboners birthday tea,
The Council decides to' wait and see.'
A dance is held at the local hall—
For five bob extra you'd call it a ball.
A Rotary talk on keeping mice—
A talk already reported twice.
Who will the blind electors choose?
How much a pair is lost on shoes?"
The editor threw his pen at the wall,
And gloomily watched the pieces fall.
Then, with a maniacal laugh,
He pressed the bell to call the staff.
"Any copy?" he boomed, as the hounds came in.
They shook their heads and tried to grin."
And why not?" he barked, "It's pretty fine
When nobody writes a bloomin' line."
"I think" faltered one "The trouble's due
To everyone falling with the flu"
"Then there's your story" roared the Chief
"Your blindness passes all belief."
"Go, get your facts, and quickly—see?
No, on second thoughts, you can leave this to me".
Leaving his minions goggle-eyed,
He reached for his hat and dashed out­side.

A deep plot, worked out with the aid of a local chemist, led to a succession of improbable but amusing stories breaking in unexpected places, all told in rhyme, with a wealth of leg-pulling at the expense of the listeners.


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