The Leas School,  Hoylake

Ring O'Bells

contributed by Adrian Stevenson

In my first term at The Leas, Class C singing-class (the youngest boys) was introduced to The Lincolnshire Poacher, which even in those days was probably considered rather inappropriate for our age. (I don't think we sang it publicly at the end-of-term Concert, I think it was something much safer, a version of Ratty's Ducks' Ditty, from The Wind in the Willows.) Each verse of the poaching song includes the well-known last line:

O, 'tis my delight on a shining night,
in the season of the year.

We probably had no idea what any of the words meant, but it's a rollicking song, and we sang, roared or squeaked it to the best of our abilities. The meaning of the words must have been rendered further opaque by the version which became current in the school, no doubt encouraged by Mr. Meyer:

O, 'tis my delight on a Friday night,
to go to the Ring O'Bells.

These words were eventually explained by demonstration: sometimes our Sunday afternoon crocodile might venture south to the far side of West Kirby, and we would get to see (but not enter) the Ring O'Bells pub, close by St. Bridget's church.

I entered the Ring O'Bells for the first time in 2015, the day after my first-ever (and possibly last-ever?) Old Leasian event. The pub was a bit disappointing after its 55-year build-up in my head: television, chips with everything. (But I did find an excellent pub in West Kirby, the White Lion.)

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