Charlie Atkins

by Mal Edwards

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He was down Knighton factory loading 18 tons of crumb
The boats name was Mendip, Charlie Atkins was the one
On a trip to Bourneville each week and all the kids would say
Here comes old Charlie with the crumb, let's be good today

He gave them crumb at Wheaton Aston and Wolverhampton 21
He gave it them at Tipton three they loved them every one
That night he'd stop at Gas Street and the kids would gather round
He'd tell them his stories as he passed the crumb around

Now old Charlie was a gentleman with a weather beaten face
Round and tanned like leather, he was from a dying race
A character of the old canal who taught me many things
How to make fenders, splice rope and lace the side cloth rings

He was born down Newport lock on the Shrewsbury canal
In a midland coast boat name the Boscobell
Saw his first light of day in the early morn
When the boat was tied up at the wharf loaded down with corn

Well his nickname was Roggie, as many people know
With his corduroy bell bottomed trousers and hair as white as snow
He wore a white cravat around his neck and he liked a pint of mild
And if you valued your skin you'd never get him riled

Sad he's no longer with us, no stories can he tell
About the bygone days of the old canal
For his memories linger on, they remain with me yet
And the skills that he taught me I never will forget

So goodbye Charlie Atkins, Charlie of the old canal
Goodby Roggie Atkins, the man I knew quite well
I bet you're up in heaven you're loaded finished and done
And the angels all around you with your eighteen tons of crumb
The angels all around you with your eighteen tons of crumb
Notes to be added.
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