The Scrawls & Songs

About The Scrawls of Stumpy

In early 2019, the Dunstable Archaeological Society was unexpectedly and urgently called to a site on Blow’s Downs by some local council workmen who had discovered a highly unusual artefact whilst digging out for the laying of some new sewage pipes.

This artefact was a Watney’s Party Seven can, sealed with a strange asbestos lid. 

On opening the can, inside were found several papyrus scrolls of text that have since been carbon dated as being from 1979, and which were cushioned and protected by a shroud of 1970s sweet and chocolate bar wrappers. (Note to audience – these weren’t actually scrolls but rather a couple of old blue exercise books that had been purloined by Stumpy Sanderson from the Upper School stock cupboard. There were also various seemingly indecipherable sayings, notations and codes scribbled on the backs of old Benson & Hedges fag packets, as well as a sketchbook of primitive and rudimentary pencil, crayon and felt tip drawings).

With these exercise books, the archaeologists knew they had discovered something extraordinary – the stuff of legend and myth whose existence had been whispered about for some 40 years in Dunstable. Now at last in their hands they held the truth – the written testimony of some of the most extraordinary events of the badlands of the schools and streets of Dunstable in the1970s. Events that had been tableted by that infamous diarist, historian and chronicler of our ‘70s exploits (note to audience – my best friend and trusty sidekick), Stumpy Sanderson.

With my storytelling background, and my past performances of Stumpy Sanderson stories, the Society very kindly handed these exercise books over to me in early 2020.

What you will therefore hear in the podcasts are these stories, the scripts for each one having been carefully and accurately translated from Schoolboy English. Each story is only released after it has been meticulously catalogued, cross-checked and archived by myself and a team of trusty scribes. I then narrate in the first person, as I, just like Stumpy, witnessed at first-hand those momentous events which the stories recount.

This process is likely to take some months, even years, to complete, particularly as there is another long-told legend telling of the existence of a second time-capsule hidden in a secret cavity behind a brick wall somewhere deep in the bowels of our old Upper School’s boiler room. 

These tales will be continued….

About The Songs of Stumpy

Within the Watney’s Party Seven can, there was also an old Memorex cassette tape of songs and tunes, recorded by Stumpy on his Waltham cassette recorder. These musical works have now been transcribed and tabulated for vocals and acoustic guitar (note to audience – just like Stumpy & I used to do as punk rockers in the late ’70s). The songs will be recorded by Stumpy Sanderson’s 1970s Acoustic Archive, and as well as some of them being heard at the end of the podcasts, they will all be made available via various music outlets.

Songs and tunes found to date include: Main Stumpy Theme; Neverending Smile; Nostalgic Bus Journey; Communist Genius; Spud Gun Wars; Song for Puffer (Great Thespian); When We Rode Into Town; The Small Stand Tall; Flight of The Sparrow; Whistling Five; There’s Gonna Be Fireworks; The Mighty Chin; Dark Arts; Slippery’s Greyhound; Bring ‘Em Down Boys; Runners Two; Those Big Bad Milton Sisters; When We Were Punk; Tyrants’ Fall; (The Runs Of) Dribbling Peter; Mexico ’70; Gordon, Immediate Launch; Platform Shoes; Snowball; Creepy Creeping Gilbert; Steamship; Freight Train Rollin’; Grokhot; Aztec Gold; Wimpy Bar; Stumpy Forever!; Thoze Things Wot We Dun; Years Gone By.