Wednesday, 18 April 2018

A-Z Challenge 2018 - British Rivers: 'P'

At this stage of the Challenge it's time to mind my Ps and Qs. 

In East Devon when a visit by Queen Victoria was planned the names of some places where changed to '_____puddle', presumably to save her blushes.

In Dorset next to a church at Alton Pancras a small stream has its source.

River Piddle at Alton Pancras
Piddle in Old English simply means 'marsh' of 'fen".

The course of the Piddle takes it south/south east to Wareham where together with the River Frome it exits into Poole Harbour.

Afpuddle  is one of the small villages in East Dorset, situated in the heart of " Hardy's country " and on the banks of the little River Piddle, from which it derives its name.

Afpuddle on the River Piddle
An advert called Paradise for Sale inspired Ogden Nash to write this poem.

Had I the shillings, pounds and pence,
I'd pull up stakes and hie me hence,
I'd buy that small mixed farm in Dorset
Which has an inglenook and faucet--
Kiddles Farm, Piddletrenthide,
In the valley of the River Piddle.
I'd quit these vehement environs
Of diesel fumes and horn and sirens,
This manic, fulminating ruction
Of demolition and construction
For Kiddles Farm, Piddletrenthide,
In the valley of the River Piddle.
yes, quit for quietude seraphic
Con Edison's embrangled traffic,
To sit reflecting that the skylark,
Which once was Shelley's now is my lark,
At Kiddles Farm, Piddletrenthide,
In the valley of the River Piddle.
I'm sure the gods could not but bless
The man who lives at that address,
And revenue agents would wash their hands
And cease to forward their demands
To Kiddle Farm, Piddletrenthide,
In the valley of the River Piddle.
Oh, the fiddles I'd fiddle,
The riddles I'd riddle,
The skittles I'd scatter,
The winks I would tiddle!
Then, hey diddle diddle diddle!
I'll jump from the griddle
And live out my days
To the end from the middle
On Kiddles Farm, Piddletrenthide
In the valley of the River Piddle.
For those of you with a musical bent you may sing along with this at  Ogden Nash Paradise for Sale - Lewin 4

The village of Piddletrenthide is mentioned in the Domesday Book as an estate on the River Piddle assessed at thirty (trent) hides.

If you are a movie buff I'll bet you didn't know that the African Queen was shot in part on the River Piddle when they used the reeds at the river mouth for where Bogart pulled the Queen along.

 The river passes next to the garden of a pub at Piddletrenthide just the place to stop at - no comment needed.

Photo attributions:

  • River Piddle at Alton Pancras: 30 December 2008 ex by Nigel Mykura - CC BY-SA 2.0 licence
  • Afpuddle on the River Piddle: c1903 Newberry Publications, published by Raphael Tuck & Sons - Public Domain
  • Sign for the Piddle Inn: 4 October 2008 ex by Trish Steel - CC BY-SA 2.0 licence


Anonymous said...

Very entertaining!

Wendy said...

Oh Ogden Nash - he must have taken great delight in the sound of "Piddle." I am surprised that such a narrow river or small river has so much fame attached to it.

Emily Bloomquist said...

They renamed piddles to puddles so the queen would not need to repeat the word or perhaps know it exists? How funny to me.

Very interesting Bob!

Emily In Ecuador | Palo Santo Products Made in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - so interesting to have a bit more information about the Piddles - I love driving past that area on my way down to Cornwall - not to say I do that too much now-a-days ... but it's so beautiful. Wonderful photos - and now I'm going over to listen to the poem being sung - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - can't say I enjoyed the rendition ... but what excellent elocution - cheers Hilary

Karen S. said...

Bob, this is such a delightful post! Thank you.

Jo said...

Never come across the Piddle but what an interesting history and I absolutely loved that painting.

Jo said...

Can't say I liked that rendition either.

Kristin said...

Wow! What a song. Or what a sing. The river an the painting are lovely.