Author Archives: Rossi

About Rossi

Paul is a full time professional business editor, writer & marketer and runs a local business providing web design and graphic design.

The Tumbly in the News Again

The Tumble Down Dick, FarnboroughEver since the Tumble Down Dick closed in February 2008 there have been numerous mentions of the Tumbly in the news and media.

Today, Get Hampshire, the online version of the local Farnborough News (And all local News Group local papers for Aldershot, Camberley and Fleet), published the story “Listed building blow for Tumbledown Dick battle” regarding the English Heritage decision not to list the Tumble Down Dick. Continue reading

The Tumbledown Dick Poem

Committee member Peta Howell’s father, Neil, wrote the Tumbledown Dick poem, all about our beloved pub in Farnborough.

Come gather round both young and old and listen to my tale.
It’s the story of the Tumbly and what it means today.
It speaks of times of glory, of the town’s historic past,
of what has gone and what remains and should forever last.
And tomorrow let it not be said your head was buried in the sand,
that you were there but did not dare to take the final stand.
To rally to the Tumbly’s cause, to raise your hand, be counted,
to open once again its doors in the campaign that we’ve mounted.
Don’t let them say that you were there, that day in Farnborough town
that blackest day they all conspired to knock the Tumbly down.

So listen to my tale

‘Twas in the days of Bluff King Hal when coaches plied their trade,
They needed resting holes at night, so the Tumbledown was made.
Beneath that green hill far away they raised the Tumbledown
set in the barren heathland that now is Farnborough town.
The coaches raced from London, they were heading for the coast.
The Tumbly gave them refuge and beer from mine host.
But where a coaching route arose you’d soon find highwaymen.
Not Turpin, but Jerry Avershaw and “Galloping” Ferguson.
The Butch and Sundance of their day, with pistol, sword and knife
they plotted in the Tumbly and shared the landlord’s wife.
And when Nancy lit a candle, high up there in the Inn,
they knew the lawmen then had gone, a sign to come on in.

Thus it was for centuries that the Tumbledown survived
and then in eighteen-seventeen modernity arrived.
New stabling for the horses, a piggery, a barn
eight bedrooms and a clubroom and a cottage for the farm.
These changes marked a turning point, they made the Tumbly whole.
The centre of community, embracing its new role.
Dinner for the wedding of Edward, Prince of Wales.
The haunt of Ancient Foresters, in their summertime parades.
Ironic now to think of it as a centre for the law.
Here Manor Courts prevailed and judged the common, rich and poor.
And come Victoria’s jubilees, both gold and diamond too
where do you think was chosen for the festivals’ venue.
The local gentry all came here. They came to celebrate
the reign of Queen Victoria and what made Britain Great.
And officers from Sandhurst held buffet parties here
for young cadets who’d not yet met a destiny to fear.
The army came to Aldershot and two world wars went by.
The Tumbledown a refuge from the trenches and the sky.
For soldiers and for airmen who’d managed to survive,
Who’d gone and fought and now returned, so glad to be alive.

Who knows what stories there were shared, of horror and the grief
But Tumbly’s ales and warming fires, we hope brought some relief.

And so we come to modern times and Dylan comes to mind.
For the times they are a-changing, the hey-day left behind.
OK so it was down-at-heel and had its share of grime
but the Tumbledown had character, an oasis of its time.
An icon for the youngsters, a place where they could go
A hub of modern music where bands could learn to grow.
Bad Manners and Kenelis, the Fins – I could name more
The Jam, Selecter, Reuben and the Megacity Four.
I could give a Hundred Reasons why the Tumbledown should stay
a focus for community where bands can come and play,
where youngsters come in safety to chat and chill and dance
so stand up for the Tumbly, just give it one last chance.

I’ve told the tale, but why the name, why the Tumbledown Dick?
What are its humble origins, I’ll let you take your pick?
There are many Dicks in history and many still abound
but which Dick should be credited, the eponymous Tumbledown?
In this our winter of discontent was it Richard the Third?
Not likely, he was “Crookback”, or that is what I’ve heard.
There’s that guy Turpin, the highwayman, bold but oh so bad
Why name an Inn in Hampshire after such an Essex lad?
And then there was a local boy, Dick Thrupples – I know no more
who in a drunken state one night tumbled to the floor.
But Cromwell is the favoured choice, the one who lost his crown
Richard, Lord Protector, nicknamed Tumbledown.
Before the Tumbly got its name, it had a name more grand
The son of George the Second, the “Duke of Cumberland”,
The butcher of Culloden who slew McDonald’s clan
So now perhaps revenge is sought, vendetta is the plan.

My tale’s now over, the die’s now cast.
I’ve told of glory and the Tumbly’s past.
I call you now to rally round, to raise your hand, to make a stand.
Don’t let them say that you were there, that day in Farnborough town,
that blackest day they all conspired to knock the Tumbly down.

(Neil Howell, 2012)