Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 116– May 2010

First the good news!

Kimber’s Men can be seen on BBC4TV on Friday May 7th at 9pm. We are part of a programme relating to sea songs, shanties etc. called ‘Shanties and Sea songs with Gareth Malone’. It will be interesting to see how much of our footage they actually use, we spent a whole day with them last July starting off at Whitby Lifeboat Station, ending on the slip way at Robin Hoods Bay. The producer phoned me up over 12 months ago seeking my advice on where he might find authentic shanty singers. When I told him he couldn’t because they were all dead, he was a little taken aback. But he got over the shock and has gone on to produce the film that will be shown next Friday. I sent him off to Cornwall to visit Fishermen’s Friends; I told him, whilst they were no more authentic than Kimber’s Men, a few of them were actually fishermen. Of course I don’t suppose any of them have actually worked a tall ship for a week like we have. But you never know! If you can’t get BBC4TV where you live you can still watch the programme at your own leisure by connecting to the BBC web site for up to 7 days after transmission. Hopefully it will be worth watching.

So we are fast approaching a fascinating election on May 6th. I did think there was going to be a late swing back to Labour. But that’s been thrown well into the melting pot since our lying prime minister of late made a complete fool of himself over the bigotry affair. How he could face the cameras and claim he had misunderstood the poor woman beggar’s belief. Hopefully this will bring further people to swing away to the Liberal Democrats. We shall have to see. Whatever happens I can’t see Brown leading the Labour Party for long, although they seem to prefer to have liars as leaders.

Jim Mageean sent me a website called where you can find out about the rascals who represent us in both houses of parliament. What they did and did not vote for. Expenses claimed etc.

Worth a look if you are not sure what to think or who to vote for.

I’ve been sent a couple of interesting ‘You Tube’ connections in the last month.
Better than reading the Funnies at the end in my opinion. From Mick Tems

Bob Watson pointed me in the direction of Shantyman as sung in Polish. Well I think it’s being sung in Polish.

Meanwhile the phenomenon that is Fishermen’s Friends continues to grow and expand. Ealing Films are to make a movie of them! Fantastic. All in all it can only do the folk scene good. Their popularity will bring in a lot more younger faces and that can only be good right across the scene. Have you heard their new CD? It has one quite excellent song written by Rupert Christie and Tom Gilbert (Rupert Christie also produced the album). If you’ve not bought it yet you should dash out and get it; although you might find it cheaper at Amazon. Let me know what you think of it. What do you think Stan Hugill might have thought of it?

You can catch Fishermen’s Friends at Cambridge and Glastonbury. But if you don’t want to go to huge festivals with dreadful toilets (the toilets always put me off big festivals) then come and see Kimber’s Men somewhere instead. We are only half their size and we play at smaller festivals where bathroom facilities are much more to my liking!

At the time of going to press Kimber’s Men can be found at just the one festival in May. We have pulled out of Waterford due the festival being short of funds. It was nice of them to ask us; just unfortunate that we saved that weekend. But we can be found in Northumberland on the Scottish borders at Clennell Hall. Here’s the full list……..

Friday 14th – Sunday 16th May 2010

Artist List:
The Amazing Mr Smith, Kimber's Men, Tracey Curtis,
George Welch, Landermason, Miss-spent Uke, Ron Gardner,
Joe Stead, Beeswing, John Bromley, Dave Minikin,
A Rookery, Something Spooked The Horses,
Carl Cape with Lush Acoustic, Neil Kimber
Jiva, Hannah Buckley, Acoustica, The Bushbys,
Exiles From Eden, Few Broth, Dead Cat Bounce , Fanattica
Three Times Sublime, We Steal Flyers, Mark Hague,
Gareth Scott, Matt Collinge, John Jeffrey,
Dave Forshaw
Addison Rapper and Clog
Hexham Morris & Hexhamshire Lasses
INFORMATION: 07984 828691 or 01669 650377
Tickets: £35. Concessions: £17.50. Day Passes £20. Free Camping!
From Clennell Hall, or Buy on Line or by Telephone.


Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

May 3rd (Joe) Filming – Waterloo Road
May 4th (Joe) Filming – Waterloo Road
May 5th (Joe) Filming – Waterloo Road
May 14th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
May 15th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
May 16th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival
Jun 11th (KM) Southwell Folk Festival - Nottingham
Jun 12th (KM) Southwell Folk Festival - Nottingham
Jun 13th (KM) Southwell Folk Festival - Nottingham
Jul 2nd (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 3rd (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 4th (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 9th (KM) Stonehaven Folk Festival, NE Scotland
Jul 10th (KM) Stonehaven Folk Festival, NE Scotland
Jul 16th (KM) Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival
Jul 17th (KM) Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival
Jul 18th (KM) Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival
Aug 20th (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 21st (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 22nd (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 27th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 28th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 29th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 30th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 3rd (KM) Great Yarmouth Festival of the Sea
Sep 4th (KM) Great Yarmouth Festival of the Sea
Sep 5th (KM) Great Yarmouth Festival of the Sea
Sep 11th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 12th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 24th (KM) Blackmore Theatre, Exmouth, Devon. with Exmouth Shanty Men
Sep 25th (KM) The Pack o’ Cards, High Street, Combe Martin, North Devon
Oct 8th (KM) The White Horse Inn, Edwardstone, Suffolk
Oct 9th (KM) Harwich Shanty Festival
Oct 10th (KM) Harwich Shanty Festival
Nov 12th (KM) St. Michael All Angels School, Meadow Close, Shelf, Halifax HX3
Jan 11th (Joe) Burley in Wharfdale Probus Club – Valparaiso round the Horn
Feb 5th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. – Valparaiso round the Horn


Hi Joe,
I am bored stiff by the endless political debate and media analyses as we approach the general election. Brown mocks Cameron's Eton Education and what he sees as Tory Toffs. As Clegg is a Winchester old boy why is he not classified as a Toff. Interesting is it not that among recent Tory leaders there were few Public School educated folk. Heath was the son of a hotel chamber maid, Thatcher daughter of a corner shopkeeper, Major not University educated, Tebbit an RAF pilot who transferred to Civil Aircraft. Brown tells endless lies about the Tories while avoiding questions relating to his past follies and plans. Cameron avoids difficult issues such as sorting out the massive debt created by Gordon Brown's massive borrowing long before the banking crisis and the recession. Clegg poses and tries to please and appease everyone. A faint glimmer of hope! Did you know that they plan to launch rockets to explore the other side of them. It is their dark side about which we know nothing but from which future reality will be made or lost.
Hope all well,
Best aye,
Eric Cowell.

Gee, Joe.
If I correctly read your position as “kick out the corrupt incumbents who keep taking more of our money to line their pockets and buy votes,” then maybe I should count you as a like mind to us Tea Partiers here in the States.
For such a common-sense kind of fellow, I never cease to wonder at your seeming infatuation with political thought that tends leftist/Marxist/Socialist. After all, name one place where that path hasn’t lead to those in power killing thousands or millions of their own citizens in order to maintain control and promote their philosophy. Capitalism may have its problems, but historically no other system has provided as much opportunity to as many people and promoted greater world-wide peace. After all, it’s hard to trade with an enemy.
David Henry (USA)

Hi Joe,
I particularly like, your statement….
Oh and I would permit postmen to carry knives and truncheons as defense against dog attacks if they so desired.
Myself being a part time postie for Royal Mail, know only too well what dogs can do, having being attacked myself,
Also I know of 3 other postmen who have been attacked, without any provocation.
One lad was actually walking the street, not actually delivering to a house, when a dog (Alsatian) appeared from nowhere without the owner, (it must have escaped).
It attacked him, badly injuring his legs and arms. Needless to say the dog was destroyed.
I don’t know why, but it’s like a red rag to a bull in some cases, when they see the Red delivery pouches we use!!
People do not realise the long term effects this can have, not to mention the long period off work recovering.
I also know one postie who is so traumatised by dogs, he refuses to deliver to any house with a dog.
He delivers all mail to the next door neighbour!
Keep up the good work
Len Wilson

Dear Joe,
You might remember that I contacted you some time ago, just to catch up when I remembered the LP that you produced for the George Davis is innocent OK campaign. On that, briefly, you might have noticed that there has been some movement - two things, Rose Davis died of cancer some months ago and George has had his lawyer working on a not Guilty verdict - at the end of the day he was given a Queens pardon that doesn't actually make him innocent. Can't say I'm interested really, although I have co-operated with, firstly a woman who made a Radio 4 programme about the campaign, that had snatches of your LP in it – don’t suppose you got the royalties! And then more recently a woman who was making a film about the case - but everything seems to have gone dead on that front.
In my last e-mail I told you that I am still campaigning. For the last five years I have been deeply involved in the case of Dr Wakefield, accused by the GMC with two other doctors of being dishonest and carrying out unethical research on autistic children.
My interest has been in trying to support the parents of vaccine damaged children - children who have terrible bowel problems (inflammatory Bowel Disease) and regressive autism, as wellas to try and expose the terrible corruption of the GMC and the charges against Wakefield. The government and the pharmaceutical companies deny that these children exist - there are around 1,500 of them!
As I'm a writer, I have spent my time in the campaign firstly reporting on the GMC hearing that has been trying Wakefield, Murch and Walker-Smith for almost 3 years now - not finished yet; writing essays about the corruption in government the media and the pharmaceutical companies and editing and then publishing two books written by the parents, Silenced Witnesses Vol I and Volume II and I'm now working on volume III.
I wanted to send you copies of the first two books, just so that you could read the parents stories, perhaps after that if you were willing, we might talk about whether you might consider doing a benefit for the parents.
You can read my reports of the GMC hearing on:, I think that you might like them because I found myself while attending everyday of the hearing over two and a half years developing a very satirical style that might appeal to you.
If you want to find out about the two books you can see an advert for them on my site, www.slingshotpublications. com.
Finally there are a number of films on YouTube about the campaign, although if I am to send you the two books you don't want to watch "Selective Hearing" Brian Deer and the GMC, because this hour long DVD comes free with the second volume.
Best Wishes,
Martin J Walker

I don't think there's any doubt that there have been many occasions of sex abuse in the Catholic Church across the decades (probably centuries) but I don't agree with the 'birds of a feather' explanation you give.
You have to remember that a lot of traditional religion is self-perpetuating and defends itself by the premises it has built itself on.
For instance, there is a widely held belief that the leader is *always* the man appointed by God. Therefore, if someone lays a charge against the leader what else can be happening that God's anointed is being attacked? And, if attacked, then satan must be using the individual concerned to bring down the church.
Therefore, the allegations can be ignored. It happens in a great many other areas, too, some of which Kath and I have experienced down the years - and which I won't go in to here.
But the point is that foundational beliefs (that aren't meant to be foundational) can self-perpetuate the organisational structures and help protect it from challenge or change.
However, one further point must be made here.
My wife and I used to live next door to a young girl who claimed that her 'father' had sexually abused her. It was actually, we believe, something that she learnt to play on because it got her in to a place of favour with the authorities.
She was spoilt because she'd been 'abused' and treated like a queen. To this day, we believe that what she alleged in her former life was a fabrication (made more certain in our minds because, the mother told us, there was never any physical evidence that abuse had taken place).
What I'm saying is this - don't believe that the extent of the problem being reported is that big - simply because people invent things to be found to be in a more favourable position.
There is no doubt that the problem is a major one - but be careful in case any of us think that every allegation is truth.
Lee Smith.


Al Qaeda, on Strike

Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda have so far failed to produce an agreement. The unrest began last Tuesday when Al Qaeda announced that the number of virgins a suicide bomber would receive after his death will be cut by 25% this Summer from 72 to only 60.

The rationale for the cut was the increase in recent years of the number of suicide bombings and a subsequent shortage of virgins in the afterlife.

The suicide bombers' union, the British Organization of Occupational Martyrs (or B.O.O.M.) responded with a statement that this was unacceptable to its members and immediately balloted for strike action.

General Secretary Abdullah Amir told the press, "Our members are literally working themselves to death in the cause of Jihad. We don't ask for much in return; but to be treated like this is like a kick in the teeth".

Speaking from his shed in Tipton in the West Midlands, in which he currently secretly resides, Al Qaeda chief executive Osama bin Laden explained, "We sympathize with our workers concerns; but, Al Qaeda is simply not in a position to meet their demands. They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day Jihad in a competitive marketplace. Thanks to Western depravity, there is now a chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife. It's a straight choice between reducing expenditure and laying people off. I don't like cutting incentives but I'd hate to have to tell 3000 of my staff that they won't be able to blow themselves up."

Spokespersons for the union in the North East of England, Northern Ireland, Cardiff, and the entire Australian continent stated that the strike would not affect their operations, as "There are no virgins in their areas anyway."

Apparently, the drop in the number of suicide bombings has been put down to the emergence of Scottish singing star, Susan Boyle - now that Muslims know what an actual virgin looks like, they are not so keen on going to paradise.


And whilst it might have been seen in these pages before; it is included again as it meets election criteria.

While walking down the street one day a "Member of Parliament" is tragically hit by a truck and dies.
His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter.. 'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.'
'No problem, just let me in,' says the man.
'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity. ''Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the MP.
'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.'
And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.
Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.
They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.
Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.
Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises....
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.
'Now it's time to visit heaven.'
So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing folk songs. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.'
The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.'
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.
Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.
He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.
The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. 'I don't understand,' stammers the MP. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time.. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable.
What happened?'
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, 'Yesterday we were campaigning... ...
Today you voted.'


Older Women Are So Reasonable

After being married for 41 years, I took a careful look at my wife one day and said, "41 years ago we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV. But I got to sleep every night with a hot 25 year old girl who wanted to shag the arse off me every night."
Now I have a £1,000,000.00 home, a £45,000.00 car, a nice big bed and a LCD High Definition TV. But I'm sleeping with a 64 year old woman and it seems to me that you're not holding up your side of things."
My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 25 year old girl and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed and watching a 10-inch black and white TV.
Aren't older women great? They really know how to solve your mid-life crises.


These are supposedly true stories and believable, but funny nonetheless…

1. A man comes into the ER and yells . . .'
My wife's going to have her baby in the cab.'
I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress and began to take off her underwear.
Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs - - - and I was in the wrong one.
Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald,
San Francisco.
2... At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall.
'Big breaths,'. . . I instructed.
'Yes, they used to be,'. . .replied the patient.
Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes ,
Seattle, WA
3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had
died of a massive myocardial infarct.
Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a 'massive internal fart.'
Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg
4. During a patient's two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed
me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications..
' Which one ?'. .. . I asked.
'The patch... The Nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running
out of places to put it !'
I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see.
Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body!
Now, the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
Submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair ,
Norfolk, VA
5. While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, 'How long have you been bedridden?'
After a look of complete confusion she answered . . .' Why, not for about twenty years - when my husband was alive.'
Submitted by Dr. Steven Swanson-
Corvallis, OR
6. I was performing rounds at the hospital one morning and while checking up on a man I asked . . .' So how's your breakfast this morning?'
'It's very good except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste.'. .. .Bob replied.
I then asked to see the jelly and Bob produced a foil packet labeled 'KY Jelly.'
Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf ,
Detroit, MI
7. A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered .
It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery.. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green and above it there was a tattoo that read . . .' Keep off the grass.'
Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient's dressing,
which said 'Sorry . . . had to mow the lawn.'
Submitted by RN no name,


Breaking News:
Police in Liverpool just announced the discovery of an arms cache of 2000 semi automatic rifles with 250,000 rounds of ammunition, 10 anti-tank missiles, 4 grenade launchers, 20 tonnes of heroin, £50 million in forged UK banknotes and 25 trafficked Ukrainian prostitutes all in a semi-detached house behind the Public Library in Toxteth.
Local residents were stunned.
A community spokesman said: "We're totally shocked. We never knew we had a Library!!"

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead