A GOOD LINE IN PATTER: POEMS AND RECITATIONS, by Johnny Handle. Available from the author (www.johnnyhandle.co.uk). £10 (incl postage). Softback.

FOR more than 50 years Johnny Handle has played a major part in the British folk music scene with his extensive repertoire of Geordie, mining and comedy songs. The selection in this book is a collection of items which have entertained audiences since 1959. These include ‘Jimmy Doon The Shaft’, ‘Ode to the Leek’, ‘The Roman Wall Show’ and ‘The Cottage in the Country’.

This latter piece, dedicated to incomers “from the deep sooth wi’ ne accent”, which Johnny recommends to be read out in “a public skeul accent”, ends with the lines:

Of course, three hundred and fifty thou for a small place

Is just chicken feed for Gerald and me.

You see, we’re the New Northumbrians

From the Cheviots right down to the sea.