Saturday, August 16 – 1884
One of the knowing ones, who hail’d from the ancient seaport of Worsthorne, was “done brown” the other day in Liverpool.
On arriving at the above place by a cheap trip from Burnley, in company with his “better half” and a neighbour, he proceeded along the line of docks, no doubt viewing with astonishment the splendid ships that lay moored along the quays – to hi no doubt as interesting contrast to the pretty iron “steamers” on the river at home.
As time wore on an inward monitor, in the shape of an hungry stomach, reminded the descendant of Adam in unmistakably terms that something was wanting. Looking round he espied, in large letters on a board outside an eating house, “A good dinner for a shilling.”
Turning to his wife he said, “Si thi, lass; look yonder; a good dinner for a bob. I’m I’ grand trim for a good tuck out. I’ll spend um the’r bob.”
“Howd thi noise, un doan’t be allus a fool; allus be dacent when tha’t away fro’ hoam,” said his wife.
“I’ll be dacent, tha’ll see, if I get a chonce. I bally thinks mi throit’s cut.”
Without more ado, the three walked into the shop, and after sniffing and viewing the various dishes in the window and on the counter, they sat down in a quiet corner to themselves.
“What’ll tha have, lass?”
“Ill have same us thee,” replied the wife.
“Well, we’ll hev a plate o’beef un taters a-piece.”
No sooner said than done. Three plates were ordered – one for each – and our hero set tow work with a good will, and polished his plate off in no time.
“Get on wi’ yo’; yo’re noo eaters; yo’ll ha’ t’same brass to pay.”
Another plate was ordered for each, and soon disappeared after plates No. 1. The ladies could manage no more; but not yet satisfied he thought he could just manage a bit of chicken and tongue, which was accordingly put before him. Unbuttoning two of the bottom buttons of his waistcoat, which had become uncomfortably tight, he soon polished off plate No. 3. Smacking his lips as he knocked for the waiter, who appeared on the scene in a jiffy, he ejaculated, “By gum, owd chap, I’ve had a topping dinner. I’ll call here ageon when I cum to Liverpool.”
Throwing down a half-sovereign, he said: “Tak for three dinner aot o;that. Mi wife and t’other woman hezn’t had hauf a doo like me; tha ought to tak a bit less for that.”
The waiter picked up the half-sovereign and threw down three shillings saying, “That will make all right.”
“Haa’s this,” said the Worsthorner, “I’st want seven shillings; tha knows it’s nobbut qa shilling a=piece for us dinners, tha knows that’s three shilling altogether.”
The waiter couldn’t see things from this point of view, and with a smile all round his face he said, “My good man, you have eaten three dinners yourself, and the ladies two each, that makes seven; so you see your change is quite right.”
Opening his eyes wide, and glancing at his expanded vest he answered, “I say that boord autside said, “A good dinner for a shilling,’”
“Yes, sir,” said the waiter, “a dinner means one plate only.”
Turning to his “better half” our Worsthorne friend said, “Tha sees, he’s trying to make aot ut I’ve ettun three dinners, and yo women two a-piece; it’s nowt but a deod swindle. Th’idea o’me eating three dinner ut once; for God’s sake, yo mun never tell this when yo get back to Worsthorne. If this ever gets aot ut ‘Old Jack’s’ or ‘Major’ gets hold on’t, I’s never yer t’last on’t.”
Buttoning up his pockets he marched out of the shop, exclaiming, “I’ll put a mark o’er this dar; yo’ll catch me no more at this gam’”
He went on his way a well filled but a wiser man.
(Burnley Express, 16-08-1884)