Woodbine Lizzie

Woodbine Lizzie

Do you remember Woodbine Lizzie?
In her many coats, heavy ‘ginst wind,
Dark and moth eaten, most,
And battered tram conductor’s hat
Balanced on a ragged cloche
That women of jazz age did not ‘leev ‘ooam wiyaat’.
Boots with heels, our father remembers,
Pounding out cobbles
Of city where she weathers each storm,
Vagabond by choice,
Spending nights in rough shod shelters on Woodhouse Ridge or Moor,
Fragments of green in urban sea
Almost tamed with picturesque pathways and bandstands
Or at Seaman’s mission,
Where she’d fry sausages out back,
Ciggie in mouth,
All comforts of home.

Most days she would stand outside Whip,
Where ‘nah women wur allowed’,
On t’cadge,
‘Give us a cig, cock,’
‘Or have you a meg?’
She’d call
And only brave would refuse
For a right northern tongue lashing
Awaited those who did,
A temper under all them layers,
Under all that life,
A lady of choice words
And most of them blue.

Sometimes she’d smoke pipe
Turned upside down ‘ginst wind
And lads from their bogeys or game of tors
Would call out as she passed,
‘Got any ciggies, Woodie?’
For she’d never catch them ‘cheeky buggers’,
Fist shaking,
Not bloody likely,
They were too fast,
Even with bellies full of pob pudding.

Copyright ©RMC Feb 2019

Pob pudding – is condense milk and bread
Bogeys – were a plank of wood with four wheels with a vertical bolt at the front so you could steer using a rope.
Meg – Halfpenny
The Whip – A pub where women were not allowed until the 1970s

Interesting fact

The Eighth Army serving in the Middle East named a transporter “Woodbine Lizzie From Leeds.”

My father was born in Leeds in 1925 and can remember Woodbine Lizzie as well as many other things from his childhood.

I’ve used some of his recollections in this post as well as some from other sources.


East Leeds

I would like to say a big thank you to the above sites and those who have posted their own memories on there.

Entered in the #freepressrevoultion


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