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Potter Heigham Bridge
by Graham Cunningham

Contextual  Note: Potter Heigham is a village on the Norfolk Broads. The poem is written partly in the distinctive Norfolk dialect.

Albert got his big truck stuck
on top of the hump-back bridge.
The cop-on-a-bike come by
and he give him a ticket.
The old man who leans on the wall
and smukes his pipe all day
said what wus wrong
well the truck ‘us too long
and the bridge ‘us too steep.

Potter Heigham Bridge had a hump;
'at was as humped as a cow’s rump
and though there was a sign
‘at wus easy to miss, ‘zy to miss, ‘zy to miss
in the sunshine.

Well the grease girls and boys come by
at round about ha’ past four.
The bus that gener’lly took hours
would now take even more.
The bread man, the milk man
and the egg lady all agreed
that this here stew
was the rummest to do
that they’d ever seed.

Well the big yellow crane that
eventually came to do the job
‘at musta cost quids but it
thrilled the kids an’ mooed the cows.
The lads had a laugh on time and a half
then they went back to the town.
And the bridge looked arch
and started to frown
and night spread its gown.

Potter Heigham Bridge had a hump;
'at was as humped as a blue tit’s breast
and when he took his test
life was less of a rush, of a rush, of a rush
so old Albert says.

The cars with their big red lights
bounce over the bridge again.
The grease girls and boys play
fru’t machine at the riverside fun spot.
The old man who leans on the bar
and smukes the wall away
got on his bike
and said he’d not see its like again
likely as not.