Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 140 – May 2012

I’m going to start off this month’s Ramblings by asking you for some money!

A charitable donation in reality to help a little girl called Eve Williams who suffers from cerebral paulsy. She is seven years old and she has been selected for "Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy" by the world renowned Dr TS Park at the St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri, USA. SDR is a complex procedure that will give Eve a real shot at increased mobility and a fully independent life, both of which are just a distant dream today. The charity needs to raise a minimum of £45,000 for the trip to America and an additional £30,000 to cover private physiotherapy for 2-3 years after the operation. This will be essential to maximizing the benefits of the procedure. You can find out more about Eve, including a television highlight by BBC Look North, at!

Kimber’s Men have arranged a benefit concert for her to be held at The Works, in Sowerby Bridge on Wednesday June 13th at 8.30pm. Artists taking part, all donating their time for nothing are Flossie Malavialle, Bram Taylor, Will Kaufmann, O’Hooley and Tidow, Little Giants and of course Kimber’s Men. Please take the time to look at the web page! and if you cannot make it to the concert send your donation by cheque made payable to ‘Kimber’s Men’. The address is Providence Place, Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX6 1BA. Remember every little helps, so American’s – please send your donation in dollars – we will arrange the transfer back into our currency at this end. Every little helps!

I will send a complimentary Joe Stead compact disc to every donation exceeding £10.

I was going to add this offer as an incentive, but I’ve just realized that it might not be seen as such. So be warned – if you send me more than £10 (remember make the cheque payable to Kimber’s Men) please say if you DON’T want a Joe Stead CD. I really won’t be offended.

Finally. Pete Seeger will be 93 on May 3rd.

Take a look at this!

Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead

Apr 11th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Sam Carter
Apr 20th (KM) Clee St Margaret Village Hall, Near Ludlow, Shropshire.
Apr 21st (KM) Perranporth Memorial Hall, Wheal Leisure, Perranporth, Cornwall
Apr 22nd (KM) Perranporth Shanty Fest 2012 – Cornwall
May 4th (KM) Sheepscombe Village Hall, Gloucestershire.
May 5th (KM) Minstead Village Hall, Hampshire.
May 9th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Martyn Joseph
May 19th (KM) Deal Royal Marine’s Association.
Jun 13th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Flossie Malavialle, Bram Taylor, Will Kaufmann, Little Giants, O’Hooley and Tidow in a special charity concert for Eve Williams.
Jun 22nd (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Jun 23rd (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Jun 24th (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Jul 11th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with The Carrivick Sisters
Jul 21st (KM) Music on the Marr, Town Foot Farm, Castle Carrock, Cumbria.
Jul 22nd (KM) Hull Festival of the Sea
Jul 27th (KM) Port Isaac with Fishermen’s Friends – To be confirmed
Jul 28th (KM) Dolphin Hotel, Beer, South Devon – To be confirmed
Aug 3rd (KM) Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, St Andrews, Fife. KY16 9LA.
Aug 4th (KM) Arbroath Sea Festival
Aug 5th (KM) Arbroath Sea Festival
Aug 17th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Aug 18th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Aug 19th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Aug 24th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 25th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 26th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 27th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 12th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Brdg – Chris Newman & Máire Ní Chathasaigh
Oct 3rd (Joe) Barnsley Probus Club
Oct 10th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Peggy Seeger
Nov 14th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with The Wilson Family
Nov 16th (KM) The Oak Hall, Rhos-y-gilwen, Rhoshill, Pembrokeshire - TBC
Nov 17th (KM) Llanfair Caereinion, Powys – Location to be confirmed
Nov 23rd (KM) Old Bull at Royston (Herts). Tickets only
Nov 24th (KM) Private Function – Kent.
Dec 12th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies

Sep 6th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival


Hi Joe.... you mean you went to prison several times.... and got released???
Birdlife in Orpington is not as varied as yours.... Feeding in my garden : Several Barbary doves, one much greyer than the others, pair of magpies, pair of sparrows (nesting in the hedge ), perhaps a robin, but not seen it since the winter, and three wood pigeons. Occasionally a thrush wanders around, but chooses not to feed on my dish of seed, mealworms, and suet.
Sue Tuckey

Hey, Joe!
Thanks for the obituary on Earl Scruggs. Believe it or not, that was the first I heard of it.
It didn't seem to mean much to the big-time media, but I'll bet that local stations in the South and Mid-West played it up like crazy.
We saw the Earl Scruggs Review at The Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville in 2003. Mr. Scruggs would have been 80, I think. His hair was jet black, looked like shoe polish. His glasses were thick as the bottoms of Coke bottles. He was led out onstage by a skinny guy 6-foot-plus, with grey hair way past his shoulders.
But they put a banjo in Earl's hand, and his fingers were 22 again. They poured out smoke and flames. Amazing.
The tall skinny guy was Earl Scruggs, Jr. He announced, "Here's a song my Pappy wrote in 1949, called 'Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad.' " All those polite restrained Southern ladies 'n gentlemen joined me in tearing the proverbial roof off the place.
Thanks again,
Dan Arcani (New Jersey, USA)

I must admit that I seem to be getting more and more annoyed with the outrage that's copyright. My site has always been - and will always be - free. It's there as a resource, to be quoted, to be used as and appropriate......but some sources are terrified to let anything go that they've penned or are repositories for. They even don't mind charging exorbitant figures so you can have a copy of what they hold (the British Library, for example, want me to pay them over £20 for a copy of two pages from a now defunct magazine that was published in January 1946! Bastards!).
So, all power to the folkies, I say.
Aren't we glad to let our creativity be used by someone else? Gives me a real buzz. Always has done and always will.
So long as they don't exploit it, I'm all for it. The main problem, Joe, is Septicemia or 'Red Leg' as they call it. So long as you have no frogs visiting your pond, restocking shouldn't be a problem but introducing frogs from different communities has its dangers.
If you must, choose only *one* source.
Lee Smith

Today’s HERALD (Sat. 28/4/12) tells us that 40,000 people gathered in the rain in a public square in Oslo where they sang a Norwegian version of a Pete Seeger song “My Rainbow Race”. They sang the Norwegian lyrics:
‘A sky full of stars, blue sea as far as you can see,
An earth where flowers grow, can you wish for more?
Together we shall live, every sister, brother
Young children of the rainbow, a fertile land.’
Reached at home in Beacon, new York, 92 year old Seeger said he had heard about the mass gathering in a phone call from Nilsen ( a singer). “I said, ‘Oh that’s wonderful’, Seeger said. “It’s a tremendous honour, really. One of the greatest honours a songwriter could have is to have a song of theirs sung in another country.”
Rudy Sunde
New Zealand.

Hi Joe
One of the joys of the last twelve months was to hear your talk on Paul Robeson - it opened up new avenues for me and broadened his character immensely and gave me new insights into his activities - all terribly exciting stuff.
The second joy was meeting you - a large character who suddenly loomed large in my life.
The third joy is to receive your Ramblings - excellent stuff and I particularly liked your story of payment from Lindholme and ifs final conclusion. Well done that man - if only others who had been 'wronged' had the positive attitude that you have and were willing to see it through to the bitter end or in your case a sweet ending - well done Joe and thanks again for a most superb edition of your Ramblings
Keep up the good work Joe and all power to your elbow
Kindest thanks and regards.
Noel Moroney

Hi Joe

Many thanks for the Ramblings and great collection of jokes – I even laughed out loud.
Like you I have been doing my best for the wildlife in the garden and put up some nice bird feeders with seeds and nuts. The birds appear to like my offerings but not as much as the brown rats that now gather whenever the birds are feeding. The rats look extremely healthy mind, with nice glossy coats and they have become a feature in the garden. However Mary won’t let me leave the back door open anymore.
Talking of rats, you have to admire good old George ‘mad dog’ Galloway (apparently he has inherited that nickname from someone no longer using it) in the way he keeps re-inventing himself and it reminds me of my garden story above. If you try to do some good you will also attract the ……… Probably best if I don’t say as George might be reading this and I would not want to get into an argument with him – he’s a quite brilliant speaker!
Looking forward to seeing you and the boys soon.
Peter Brooker

Hi there Joe,
Re your HMP Lindholme affair.
I had a similar problem with Virgin Media who lost all my carefully prepared web pages (I run a set of maintenance pages for fellow motorcyclists, as well as one on RAF history and the Great Escape). Calls to the help line elicited no action so after several days of club members emailing me to ask when the site would be active again, I sent an email of complaint - very much with tongue in cheek - to
The following morning I had a phone call from a VERY flustered Virgin customer care advisor who assured me that they had found the problem and my series of webpages would be replaced. (I had these on backup of of course at home, but that isn't the point.) And 30 minutes later everything was running again. I dunno if my email reached the Great Man but it reached somebody high enough to kick ass as they say.
When in doubt go to the top!
Rob Davis

Hi Joe
Thanks for your April Ramblings always thought provoking.
Very pleased to see Neil looking so well and every success at Perranporth and with your new CD. The Kimber’s Men Tee shirt you sent me fits like a treat.
Quentin Hood


Beer contains female hormones! Yes, that's right, FEMALE hormones!
Last month, Montreal University and scientists released the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer. Men should take a concerned look at their beer consumption. The theory is that beer contains female hormones (hops contain Phytoestrogens) and that by drinking enough beer, men turn into women.
To test the theory, 100 men each drank 8 schooners of beer within a one (1) hour period.
It was then observed that 100% of the test subjects, yes, 100% of all these men:
1) Argued over nothing.
2) Refused to apologize when obviously wrong.
3) Gained weight.
4) Talked excessively without making sense.
5) Became overly emotional.
6) Couldn't drive.
7) Failed to think rationally, and
8) Had to sit down while urinating.
No further testing was considered necessary!!


A big Texan stopped at a local restaurant following a day roaming around in Mexico.
While sipping his tequila, he noticed a sizzling, scrumptious looking platter being served at the next table. Not only did it look good, the smell was wonderful.
He asked the waiter, 'What is that you just served?'
The waiter replied, 'Ah senor, you have excellent taste! Those are called Cojones de Toro, bull's testicles from the bull fight this morning. A delicacy!'
The cowboy said, 'What the heck, bring me an order.'
The waiter replied, 'I am so sorry senor. There is only one serving per day because there is only one bull fight each morning. If you come early and place your order, we will be sure to save you this delicacy.'
The next morning, the cowboy returned, placed his order, and that evening was served the one and only special delicacy of the day.
After a few bites, inspecting his platter, he called to the waiter and said, 'These are delicious, but they are much, much smaller than the ones I saw you serve yesterday.'
The waiter shrugged his shoulders and replied, 'Si, Senor. Sometimes the bull wins.


1981 & 2005 - Two Interesting Years

Interesting Year 1981
1. Prince Charles got married.
2. Liverpool crowned soccer Champions of Europe.
3. Australia lost the Ashes.
4. The Pope died.
Interesting Year 2005
1. Prince Charles got married.
2. Liverpool crowned soccer Champions of Europe.
3. Australia lost the Ashes.
4. The Pope died.
Lesson to be learned:
The next time Charles gets married, someone should warn the Pope.


Subject: Instructions

Wife texts husband on a cold winters morning: "Windows frozen."
Husband texts back: "Pour some luke warm water over it."
Wife texts back: "Computer completely f**ked now."


An American tourist asks a Russian
"Why do Scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?"
To which the Russian replies:
Yesli, anny oopali vperied, anny visyo yeshyo billy bee va chetorvskoye lodkye

He then asked a Spaniard, to which the Spaniard replied
'Pues si cayeron hacia delante estarian todavia en el jodido barco'

He then asked a Frenchman
To which the Frenchman replies:
"Well if they fell forwards, they'd still be in the bloody boat."
(Spoken in English please note)
Considerate people the French, don’t you think?


A bluegrass band are on their way back from a gig South of the border when they are arrested for playing a banjo after dark. The judge quickly sentences them to death. At dawn the next morning the band finds themselves looking at the business end of a firing squad.
“Ready, Aim....”
“Earthquake!” yells the guitar player which distracts the guards long enough so he can jump over the wall to freedom.
“Ready, Aim....”
“Flood!” yells the mandolin player who then jumps over the wall to freedom
Now the banjo player is starting to catch on
“Ready, Aim....”
“Fire!” yells the banjo player as loud as he can...


A police motorcycle officer stops a driver for shooting through a red light.
The driver is a real bar steward, steps out of his car and comes striding toward the officer, demanding to know why he is being harassed by the Gestapo!
So the officer calmly tells him of the red light violation. The motorist instantly goes on a tirade, questioning the officer's ancestry, sexual orientation, etc., in rather explicit offensive terms.
The tirade goes on without the officer saying a dickybird.
When the officer finishes writing the ticket he puts an "AH" in the lower right corner of the narrative portion of the ticket. He then hands it to the 'violator' for his signature.
The bloke signs the ticket angrily, and when presented with his copy points to the "AH" and demands to know what it stands for.
The officer says, "That's so when we go to court, I'll remember that you're an arsehole."
Two months later they're in court. The 'violator' has a bad driving record and he has a heap of points and is in danger of losing his licence, so he hired a barrister to represent him.
On the stand the officer testifies to seeing the man run through the Red light.
Under cross examination the barrister for the defence asks; "Officer. Is this a reasonable facsimile of the ticket that you issued to my client?"
The police officer replies: "Yes, sir, that is the defendant's copy. His signature and mine, same number at the top."
Barrister: "Officer, is there any particular marking or notation on this ticket you don't normally make?"*
"Yes, sir, in the lower right corner of the narrative there is an "AH," underlined."*
"What does the "AH" stand for, officer?"
"Aggressive and hostile, Sir."
"Aggressive and hostile?"
"Yes, Sir.”
"Officer, are you sure it doesn't stand for arsehole?"
“Well, sir, you know your client better than I do.”
How often can one get a lawyer to convict his own client?


A good looking man walked into an agent's office in Hollywood and said 'I want to be a movie star.'
Tall, handsome and with experience on Broadway, he had the right credentials.
The agent asked, 'What's your name?'
The guy said, 'My name is Penis van Lesbian.'
The agent said, 'Sir, I hate to tell you, but in order to get into Hollywood , you are going to have to change your name.'
'I will NOT change my name! The van Lesbian name is centuries old, I will not disrespect my grandfather by changing my name. Not ever.'
The agent said, 'Sir, I have worked in Hollywood for will NEVER go far in Hollywood with a name like Penis van Lesbian! I'm telling you, you will HAVE TO change your name or I will not be able to represent you.'
'So be it! I guess we will not do business together' the guy said and he left the agent's office.
FIVE YEARS LATER... The agent opens an envelope sent to his office.
Inside the envelope is a letter and a check for $50,000. The agent is awe-struck, who would possibly send him $ 50,000? He reads the letter enclosed...
'Dear Sir, Five years ago, I came into your office wanting to become an actor in Hollywood , you told me I needed to change my name. Determined to make it with my God-given birth name, I refused. You told me I would never make it in Hollywood with a name like Penis van Lesbian. After I left your office, I thought about what you said. I decided you were right. I had to change my name. I had too much pride to return to your office, so I signed with another agent. I would never have made it without changing my name, so the enclosed check is a token of my appreciation.
Thank you for your advice.
Dick van Dyke.


The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert.
After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep.
Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, 'Kemo Sabe, look towards sky, what you see? '
'The Lone Ranger replies, 'I see millions of stars.'
'What that tell you?' asked Tonto.
The Lone Ranger ponders deeply for a minute then says, 'Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
Time wise, it appears to be about quarter past three in the morning.
Theologically, that the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, it predicts a beautiful day tomorrow.
What's it tell you, Tonto?'
'You dumber than buffalo shit. It mean someone stole tent'


Getting a hairdryer through customs:

A young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the Catholic priest beside her,
'Father, may I ask a favour?’
‘Of course child. What can I do for you?’
'Well, I bought an expensive woman's electric hair dryer for my Mother's birthday that is unopened and well over the Customs limits, and I'm afraid they'll confiscate it. Is there any way you could carry it through Customs for me? Under your robes perhaps?’
‘I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you: I will not lie.’
‘With your honest face, Father, no one will question you.’
When they got to Customs, she let the priest go ahead of her.
The official asked, 'Father, do you have anything to declare?’
‘From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare.’
The official thought this answer strange, so he asked,
'And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?’
‘I have a marvelous instrument designed to be used on a woman, but which is, to date, unused.’
Roaring with laughter, the official said,
'Go ahead, Father.


An elderly Italian man who lived on the outskirts of Rimini, Italy, went to the local church for confession. When the priest slid open the panel in the confessional, the man said: "Father - during World War II, a beautiful Jewish woman from our neighbourhood knocked urgently on my door and asked me to hide her from the Nazis. So I hid her in my attic."
The priest replied: "That was a wonderful thing you did, and you have no need to confess that."
"There is more to tell, Father. She started to repay me with sexual favours. This happened several times a week, and sometimes twice on Sundays."
The priest said: "That was a long time ago and by doing what you did, you placed the two of you in great danger, but two people under those circumstances can easily succumb to the weakness of the flesh. However, if you are truly sorry for your actions, you are indeed forgiven."
"Thank you, Father. That is a great load off my mind. I do have one morequestion."
"And what is that?" asked the priest.
"Should I tell her the war is over?''

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead