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But the whole purpose of that poem of Auden's was for it to be integral to
a film of the time, commissioned by the UK Royal Mail. There are authentic
and contemporary steam trains and mail coaches aplenty in the original film
footage, so why introduce non-authentic ones, such as little tank engines
puffing along single-track railways, which is very obviously not a shot
either of a mail train or express train engine or indeed a main line to
anywhere

On 31 July 2015 at 17:34, C. Duffy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I suppose it depends on how you look at it and I just thought it was a
> good imaginative video that works with the poem.  And really if you think
> about  it, it'd be nigh next to impossible to make a video that perfectly
> matched Auden's poem. After all Auden was a great poet!
>  CHeers
>
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 8:22 AM, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Hi  Clifford
>>
>> The trouble with that video, though is that the images aren't at all
>> anything to do with the actual poem - a motley assemblage of clips of steam
>> trains, but otherwise nothing at all to do with Auden's poem and the
>> original Post Office Film Unit production.
>>
>> I might be just a sad old former train spotter, but in this context, it
>> does matter!
>>
>> regards
>>
>> David
>>
>> On 29 July 2015 at 23:15, C. Duffy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>>  Cheers to everyone from Canada (Mtl) . I am quite new to the list and I
>>> am very much enjoyin' this discussion about slang,patois,idiom, dialect,
>>> idiolect! Reading the post about W.H. Auden's night train, I thought of
>>> this video which I'd just seen: Voila, the link
>>>
>>>
>>> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLHrPrk3PkU>
>>>  This is the Night Mail <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLHrPrk3PkU>
>>>
>>> There are several videos out  of the poem and this is the one I enjoy
>>> most.
>>>
>>> Clifford
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 2:53 AM, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Sorry -major typo - 'scene from a JB Priestley play.....'
>>>>
>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>>
>>>> > On 29 Jul 2015, at 07:49, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> > Once upon a time in Britain they had mail trains, which some will
>>>> recall as the subject of WH Auden's 'Night Mail' poem. They typically
>>>> traversed the UK main lines, from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh; the
>>>> trains were made up of many red carriages; each train was really a big
>>>> mobile mail sorting facility - mountains of mailbags went onto the train at
>>>> its departure point; others were collected en route, many whilst the train
>>>> passed the collection point at full speed by an ingenious catcher built
>>>> into the train, which grabbed the line-side bags from a special gantry as
>>>> the train thundered past. Each mail train even had its own letter box,
>>>> where very very last minute mail for the direction of travel could be
>>>> posted late at night to ensure next day delivery.
>>>> >
>>>> > Anyhow, I once found myself as a schoolboy late at night on Carlisle
>>>> railway station, which is the last stop in England for trains on the west
>>>> coast main line to Glasgow, when the Glasgow -bound Night Mail drew in. I
>>>> was in the station buffet, which was also the station bar, serving draught
>>>> beer etc. I'd watched the buffet server curiously for the former ten
>>>> minutes as she had poured about fifty pints of beer from the pumps and
>>>> filled every spare space on the bar counter with the full tankards. All was
>>>> explained just after the Night Mail drew to a halt. It disgorged a crowd of
>>>> the sorting staff from ever carriage who en masse hurried into the buffet
>>>> and within half a minute or so the counter was no longer covered with beer
>>>> glasses. All the beer was very rapidly disappearing down the throats of all
>>>> the sorters, anxious to get a few pints rack down during the train's few
>>>> minute's stop in the Border City.
>>>> >
>>>> > The crowd of imbibers overflowed the buffet onto the platform by the
>>>> train. A Railway Porter came past them wheeling a big loaded trolley and
>>>> was clearly very familiar with many of the faces he saw, for cordial
>>>> greetings were exchanged. He greeted one older Sorter particularly warmly:
>>>> " 'Ello 'Arry, 'owyerdoin' !" in broad Carlisle accent (which is a curious
>>>> mongrel mixture of  northern English and Lowland Scots'
>>>> >
>>>> > Harry responded in equally broad London Cockney " Well, yunnow ow it
>>>> is, Fred: Up and Down.....Up and Down " followed by a wink and another puff
>>>> on his fag and another enormous  glug of beer from his tankard.
>>>> >
>>>> > Enacted on a dark and otherwise empty station platform wreathed in
>>>> steam and grime from the waiting big locomotive It was with hindsight all
>>>> like a masterful scene  from a JB  and it was a salutary early lesson for
>>>> young me about the rich and subtle comedy capable of being generated by
>>>> even the most ordinary and humble groups of workers.
>>>> >
>>>> > Sent from my iPad
>>>> >
>>>> >> On 28 Jul 2015, at 01:36, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> >>
>>>> >> All kinds of interesting language are disappearing in the great
>>>> homogenisation.
>>>> >> My dad told me that when he was in London in WWI they used to kid
>>>> the drivers, when they would say something like "Next stop 'ampstead." Dad
>>>> would say "Didn't you drop something there?" The reply would be "That's
>>>> alright. I'll pick it up at Hoxford."
>>>> >> PM
>>>> >>
>>>> >>> On 27 Jul 2015 4:16 pm, Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> Hi David Hi Peter
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> Were all migrants here mate you heard a diversity of patois in my
>>>> childhood. In 1966 we went to dollars and cents from pounds shillings and
>>>> pence. In fact at school  I learnt to do the necessary arithmetic in the
>>>> old money ( if I buy a shirt for two pounds ten shillings and sixpence and
>>>> a tie for eleven shillings how much change will I get out of five pounds
>>>> etc etc) the change to a North American currency style made life much
>>>> easier but we lost contact with such lovely sayings as "not worth a two bob
>>>> watch" and I have to go to spend a penny". We never took on those engaging
>>>> English slang terms for money like monkey or pony however. Progress I guess.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> Cheers
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> P
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> >>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>>>> On Behalf Of P
>>>> >>> Sent: Tuesday, 28 July 2015 5:11 AM
>>>> >>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> >>> Subject: Re: Northern English phrase
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> Well if it comes from an oral background, & one's own background is
>>>> literate, then the speaker could be right next door & one might never hear
>>>> it.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> My thank to Peter Dillane for the elucidation from down under.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> The phrase 'It isn' t worth shit. ' comes to mind. That may be a
>>>> North Aremican phrase.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>> On 27 Jul 2015 9:42 am, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> You seem to be substantially accurate, Peter
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Here is an example from, believe it or not, a tiny village just a
>>>> few miles from where I live:-
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> https://mobile.twitter.com/danmatthews/status/550788059105857539
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> I've often heard 'sound as a pound' to describe someone
>>>> favourably, but never this, which seems hyperbolically to spell out the
>>>> converse.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> I must have lived the last 60 years in a sheltered existence!
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Good on you though, that the saying got identified
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Sent
>>>> https://mobile.twitter.com/danmatthews/status/550788059105857539from
>>>> my iPad
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>> On 27 Jul 2015, at 16:43, Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> Hey peter the expression is that a person is "nowt a pound and
>>>> shit's tuppence" I think. I took it to mean relative values but it is
>>>> clearly more complex than I superficially understood as if shit is tuppence
>>>> you could still be doing alright although not the full quid.
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> What's the Geordie hymn? Yes "fook him" ok I'll go quietly now
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> Cheers Pete
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> On 27 Jul 2015, at 6:14 pm, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> reply.
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>