Toodle Puddle

  Poem by Alastair Shiach.  A tribute to Geordie Stewart read at his retiral party at New Stanley House in 2008.




A man from Stanley we're here to cheer

One and all from far and near

Rich man, poor man, laird and gentry

Have come on pushbikes and a Bentley



It's Geordie Stewart we're here to greet

A man of character to be sure

Never lost for words or stories

Fishing tales in all their glory

Some are long and of times muddled

But sure to end with "Toodle Puddle"



A quiet man, not at all

Like John Wayne but no' as tall

Into the ring to make his mark

Putting opponents on their back

Undefeated, a fine example

With a few black eyes from Bobbie Campbell



Despite his fitness and loads of courage

In latter years he had his worries

One day while trying to start his engine

In his chest there was loads of twinging

Doctor Doctor was his exclamation

I really need an examination

What can be the explanation

Surely no' an operation



A quick fix for Geordie would be no use

For Geordie was suffering from self-abuse

Into the hospital he did go, the surgeons put on a terrific show

They cut bits out and darned things back

But could he now fish the Slap

And Margaret cried "will he be alright"

The Doctors said "I think he might"

What is sure his mind is fuddled

He keeps on repeating Toodle Puddle



His Stanley days are many in number

Fifty years if I remember

Fishing, fighting, ducking and diving

That's when Geordie is usually thriving



Dugs and horses, turkeys too

Geordie breeds them and sells to

Folk just like you

His customers come from far and yonder 

To look in his freezers a thing of wonder



The turkey king is what they call him

Working hard from dawn to dusk

Up and down that road to Smithy's

Fattening them up for everyone's Chrissie

Never know to dilly dally

In fact, the original Arthur Daley



The road he uses an awful lot

One day he's sure to run into Arnott

With squeal of brakes and skid of steering

Some muttered words, not very endearing

Watch the corners it's not a race

If you don't watch out you'll flatten Furnace

Driving like that has got to stop

Or we'll have to get Margaret with her lollipop



A transit van comes doon the track

It's Willie Toonsley coming back

He's been to Perth and Blairgowrie rakin'

For floating devons or bits to make 'em

Willie! Willie! get up tae Catholes

The tenants waitin' he booked on Google

The hut's still lockit, the boat's at anchor

It's a bloke called Joe, a bit of a ......."expert"

I'm in no rush old Willie growls

I'll get one at Benchil after hours



Enough of that lets ponder awhile

Of fishing, shooting and living in style

We all have memories we'd love to share

With family and friends and many mair

Of Geordie's exploits and days of luck

But most of all when we have been wound up

For what is sure he is the master

We regularly call him an irritating bas....rd



Salmon days are long and hard

With fish not biting it'll drive ye mad

His chatter brightens up yer day

In freezing March or blooming May

Passers by can only stop and gloat

For we've got a telephone exchange in our boat



Tales of fishers,  relatives and bosses

With Mike Smith featuring in most of the stories

Roddy Dickson and Jimmy Chim

Of endless days of drinking Gin

A fish or two in fading light

Or if you're lucky one up the pipe


One things for sure there is never a lull

And if there was he'd catch you with a pull

He makes you look a proper muppet

Shouting loud, I've went and struck it



Trudgin' the banks a weary task

With mud and boulders it ain't a blast

But Geordie's empire is on the tiller

Recalling stories of Mr & Ms Miller

He is on the oars or anchor rope

Geordie's the guy to give you hope



They say the man is quite a shot

If you are a goosie you have had your lot

Squirrel, rabbit sometimes a shag

If that gun's loaded it's in the bag

For pete's sake Geordie what about some warning

A bang goes off, all heads are bowed

These 12 bore cartridges are bloody loud



One thing's for sure

You've brought us fun, and laughs and tears

For Geordie is the life and soul

He is great company if the truth be told



To finish this story would not be right

If I did not mention Bobby White

Geordie's son-in-law and right hand man

Has Geordie got a dynasty plan?

But looking at young Bob's reaction

I think he is driven to near distraction

With Geordie's constant incessant banter

It could be mistaken for a bagpipe chanter

Ye'r late, ye'r late he calls each morning

Debbie's pinched the car, he's doing the ironing

Chalk and Cheese is best how to describe them

Two brilliant chaps is everyone's opinion



Those 50 years are in the past

Such wonderful memories are sure to last

Great names of fishers in times gone by

Are fondly remembered with bait and fly

The names of Buxton, Miller and Wragg

Whose catches appear in the fishing mags

Their names live on as Angling Legends

With the name of Stewart, the man who helped them



The gentleman's gentleman

Always there at the double

Happy to oblige, nothing too much trouble

Geordie Stewart..................


"Mr Toodle Puddle"