The Tommy Armstrong Society

The Skeul Board Man

St. Patricks School c. ?

ONE morning at half-past eight, aa said te maa bit baim, "On we yer
claithes, and get off te skeul, for ye knaa that aa want ye te lairn.

Boy; The skyel gans in at nine,and ye knaa it's not very far,
; Ye knaa aa like for te see ye be in time so yer book and ye slate's in the
Spoken. -Man Get off te skeul is sharp is ivor ye can.
Boy: Aw can't gan this momin'.
Man:Ye cannot gan this momin'! What's the matter wi' ye?
Boy: Aa hev the tic.
Man: There's always something the matter wi' ye when ye hev te gan
te skeul; if ye divven't gan, aa'll be gettin' a lump of paper, and at the
bottom there'll be written on –

Chorus; Send your bairns te skeul, larn them aallye can, Mek
scholarship yer faithful friend, Andye'll never see the Skyeul Board

Boy: Aa've been vary bad for a week.
Man: Why, aa thowt ye'd getten the torn; and if aa let ye bide at
hyeme the day?
Boy: Why, aa'll try for te gan the morn.
Man: If ye bide at hyeme the day, the morn aa'll mek ye gan: For ye
knaa vary weel the next thing we'll get, is a summons from the
Skeul board man.
Spoken; His Uncle Jack got a summons the t'othor day, but the
canny aad judge set him clear after he paid seven-and sixpence; and
he telt them if he didn't send his bairns te skeul, and was brought te
Lanchester again, he wad get his seven-and-sixpence back -
mebbee. So when he came away he was singing-


So it happened that very day.
Boy: When aa was playin' at the door.
Man: There was a man, with a book in his hand, that aa never see'd
So aa kindly invited him in, and te talk he soon began;
Aa soon got te knaa, by the soond of his jaw, that he was the Skeul
Board man.

Spoken; He knocked at the door. Aa shoots, "Come in." In he
comes; he says "Good Morning, Mister Armstrong." Aa said,
"Hold on, ye've gotten te the rang hoose." But he waddn't be
stopped; he says, "How many children have you got?" Aa says,
"Man, that's an impitint question." He says "Well, but you know
what I mean; I mean how many have you had?" Aa says, "Be oot o'
this, or aa'll vaccinate ye!"So he turned te wor Bess and says,
"What Family have ye had?". She says"We've had two deed and
three alive; if they'd aal be livin', that would be five. Are ye
satisfised now?". He never said another word till he got outside,
then he put his face against the window and says,-


Man; Why aa axed him te sit doon, "Now aa've got ne time te
spare;Aa've been te the skeul, and looked through the books"
Boy; And aa warrant there's a lot not there.
Man; Ye can take maa word from th' day, te skeul he'll have te gan.
Boy; Aa's sure aa will, for aa's flayed te deeth, when aa meet wi' the
Skeul Board Man.
Spoken; has aal the baims in the countryside flade te deeth, and not
only the bairns, but their fathers and mothers doesn't care about seein'
him. He sent poor Billy Potts a summons the t'other week for their
little Bob bein' off skeul half a shift, and fined him five shillin's and
costs. He's been off his meat ever since, and that's a bad job for him,
for the mare he eats, the mare checks he gets. Aa met him the t'other
day; aa was sorry for him; aal he could say was;


Man; Now aa want ye te gan te the skeul.
Boy; Yes and aa'll always gan.
Man; Aa want ye te be a better scholar than me, that is if ye
possibly can.
Boy; If ye haddn't played the truant, when like me ye wer young, ye
wad made better songs and poetry te, and yer sangs wadder been
better sung.