Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Ballots and Ballads.

Among the latest things for sale in The Green Room are:

ORIGINAL 1994 SOUTH AFRICA BALLOT PAPER – the first free election!
All parties are listed with their emblem and photo of leader, including Nelson Mandela – a real piece of history for only £9!

WEST CLARE RAILWAY PARCEL POST STAMP. The West Clare is the best known of the Irish local railways. It was made famous, or infamous, by the artist and songwriter Percy French.
from Wikipedia:

"Are Ye Right There Michael" is a song by the 19th-century and early 20th-century Irish composer and musician Percy French who parodying the state of the rail system in rural County Clare.

Because of a slow train and the decision of the driver to stop for no apparent reason while en route, French, though having left Sligo in the early morning, arrived so late for an 8 PM recital, which he was due to give, that the audience had left.

The ballad caused considerable embarrassment for the rail company, who were mocked in music halls throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom because of the song. It lead to an unsuccessful libel action against French.

It is said that French arrived late for the libel hearing at the court, and when questioned by the judge on his lateness, he responded "Your honour, I travelled by the West Clare Railway", resulting in the case being thrown out.

The third item just in is a GOVERNMENT DISPATCH BAG. I have not seen one for sale previously, so is probably rare.

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