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Poetry and verse by the Dorset Poet Raymond Wills. all poems are copyright RAY WILLS 2006

    Gypsy Days
At heavenly bottom on the canford heath plains
I stumbled on gypsies again and again
some wore their shawls and some went to woolys in town
for to sale pegs and flowers for your pretty gowns

So cross my palm with silver dear and talk of diddy coy
for i was just a mush then and she gave me of the eye
i could neither dance a reel or of the blarney sing
but i knew of the queen of the kinson kings

So make your signs on doorsteps and talk in that refrain
come with i and wander down old kinsons heather lanes
though i could ferrit with the rabbits and hide out in the bush
but often id get blackened eye by some gypsy fighting mush

How we loved the fairgrounds with their humming carousels
with horses for a riding and baskets of heathers for to sale
the darts they were a flying and the boxers were a sight
there twer walls of death to ride and the locals for to fight

The gypsy girls were course and loud
though their looks were sultry dark
they handled their aggressions and they loved in in the park
they were quick in love and awesome in the arts

       The old-n days 
 When i ran with the Turners
the mabeys and Kings
the heath lands were wild then
the chaff finch did sing

There were sites at the corner
where the johns kids did play
i remember it fondly
twas as if yesterday

The bunk off man was waterman
from Branksome heath school
we hid in the fir cones
on sea view near Poole

We often played marbles
then conkers was cool
when we ran with the zunners
from Kinson to Poole

We rode the wee brown bus to up on the hill
the regal house flicks and the waterloo pool
there twer Gypsy's sites spread all over the lanes
i remember it well and the brick making men
with their watches with chains

The snake was the pub where the Stanley's did fight
there's was shove halfpenny playing both day n night
old bill knotty sold shoes laces and matches up on the hill
when we walked to school daily and still had time to kill

Spider was the cool accordion man
an eye for the ladies with his tattoos n plans
lady wimborne gave a field to the people of Poole
reg rogers and Alice saw Bill Cody too

I remember the omnium brick company
the Manning's brickyard and the rogers truck crew
when Charlie had his pig sties and lester was rich
we walked to lodge hills and i fell in a ditch

The heaths were full of blossoms afore broom roads drugs
i remember families built homes cut outs in mud
there were bakers and archers maidment and fools
little boy tucker and how do you do

The heaths were a joy then with lizards and snakes
where rabbits ran free and Sutton's were never too late
there twer a race track at northbourne or was it red hill
my memories going though i remember it still

There were coal men and rovers and a johnny from France
who came every summer with his onion man dance
folks worked in the factory's upon Wallis downs
a penny was something and a pig could be bought for half of a crown
The cartwheels did roll and the gypsies did sing
the birdsong did wake you each morning at spring
  Old Kinson

Did you know old Kinson
afore there was West Howe
did you know it stretched to sea view
on the edge of Poole somehow
did you know it was a wild desolate place
where gypsies rode on horseback
granfer knew his place
Did you know it was a village
where Gulliver ran free
 did you know it kinson then was just pure history
did you know about the coopers
and the whites who made the pipes and clay
did you know about the king who visitedLady Wimborne
one day
did you know about the family of guests
the artist at the alderney manor
bet now you are impressed
Did you know about the Crutchers
the stables and the tanner
did you know about old kinson
afore Newtown was born
did you know about St Andrew's
it was the parish afore Poole
that stainer's was a cobbler
who mended all the shoes
Did you know about the pottery
did you know about the heath
did you know about Bourne bottom
or even Cuckoo Woods
did you know about old kinson
the stocks upon the green
the round table it was at Canford School
the Bear Cross was just a bare road across

The rhododendrons bushes that stretched to Waterloo
the Manning's heath farmland and Rogers brickyard too
the Slade's farm at Columbia was in Kinson too
did you know its mentioned in the doomsday
its famous down in Poole
famous people came to visit
or as they traveled through
Did you know about old kinson
before the Bennett's family crew
all the gypsy sites to Poole
their caravans scattered throughout wallisdown
where the rabbits ran so freely then
upon the pretty heather down
Did you know old kinson
before the caravans
when knotty wasn't born
did you know the Stanley's
did you know their names
did you know the gillinghams
here we go again
Did you know old kinson
when it was just old gravel n sandy tracks
afore john Augustus painted Mary gear
so nude in the sack
did you know about the lodges
on the hills of canford heath
did you know
thats where i cut my teeth

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