Spike Milligan and where cows go bong…

1-P1040090‘Ning Nang Nong where the Cows go Bong ‘etc etc. Well I bet they once did in Ticehurst where Spike lived for a while. Yesterday thanks to The 1-P1040107Bell pub and Kit Smith who organised it, it was and a day to celebrate Spike Milligan’s life and poetry with any profits going to the British Legion.

But oh dear so much rain and mud…even our Eccles cried off the walk of a mile or so down to the house where Spike had lived and instead amused himself in this fantastic village pub!1-P1040102

1-P1040064Several people set off bravely with Kit for the walk, but some of the children did get a bit dispirited in the rain but had still risen to the occasion, taking part in the cartoon comp!

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There was a special meal of corned beef hash…served by enthusiastic waitresses and, although not Eccles favourite food, we all tucked in with enthusiasm!

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Eccles would have preferred Spiky sandwiches and Ning Nang Nong cake!1-P1040040

Members of the The Goon Show Preservation Society had kindly trundled up from various places on the map in the South East, to give a really spirited performance of a Spike Milligan script for an enthusiastic audience.

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1-P1040076Earlier John Henty (left) who once worked for BBC Sussex gave an illustrated talk about interviewing Spike in his radio days. Some of it was very touching including a piece about Alice in Wonderland. John does another talk about Max Miller.

Eccles having been upstaged by John playing the original recording of the Ying Tong song refused to sing it. He said he had intended walking along the middle of the table like a wandering minstrel and then singing ‘All the things you are’ but luckily for all concerned he had forgotten the tune for that number!

1-P1040042It is well documented that the pressure of writing weekly Goon Show scripts took their toll on Spike and that’s hardly surprising. Younger people I believe got to know of the existence of the Goons through the Telegoon series, because they came much later in the day. My family were involved with them and I was a puppeteer for fifteen episodes.

But at the end of the day I think Spike’s wonderful nonsense poetry will be everlasting and children will read them for many years to come.

My eldest son first heard Spike reading his poems sitting in the middle of  a chimpanzee party at London Zoo… such things did happened in the 60s.

An award winning blog  for a ‘blog that brightens our day’

1. I will be in Postman’s Park in London writing poems as part of Mixed Border’s at the weekend sponsored by the  Poetry School and The London Garden Trust.  I hopeThe Puppeteer's Daughter some of you might be there and come over and say ‘Hi’. and write a few lines yourselves.

2. My new poetry collection called ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’ none of which are nonsense poems but several with rye humour  will be available on the July 15th  from Lulu (link on this site) from City books in Brighton and The Open Art Cafe in Rottingdean.




This entry was posted in Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up on a dull day, Famous places, Marionette, Nothing waits a category long, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Spike Milligan and where cows go bong…

  1. John Henty says:

    BRILLIANT ANN and thanks for this splendid account of our merry day in Ticehurst. Here’s to the next time say Kevin and John from LEWES. Sponned Memories indeed.


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