Poetic Writing of ROBBIE KENNEDY BENNETT © www.rkbpoetry.co.uk Born in Wolverhampton of English and Scottish parentage. He grew up on the Rough Hills Estate area of the town and his Scottish ancestral roots are in the Kingdom of Fife and Dundee. The author is now residing in Codsall, Staffordshire. Drawings, pictures and writing are copyright of the author Robbie Kennedy Bennett. OLD LEN MUIR WAS FUNNY. For a few years up to his retirement I worked with a humorous good-natured man called Len Muir. Len taught me not to take life too serious and many a time I have returned home from work with my stomach muscles aching from laughter. On the day the presentation of his retirement I was saddened at the realisation that our days together were drawing to the end. Len also knew that we had shared our last working day, a sad but happy moment for him. The Black Country Bugle kindly printed the story of our friendship along with the poem.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett

The picture of the story above is from the BLACK COUNTRY BUGLE.
The Bugle is a popular weekly nostalgic newspaper and were first to print my work in the early 1990's.

Old Len Muir Was Funny © Robbie Kennedy Bennett

The Story Behind The Poem

For a few years up to his retirement I worked with a humorous good-natured man called Len Muir. We worked in a two-man tool room adjacent to a 2000-ton press and our duties were to clean and maintain the extrusion dies. He once pinned a huge 21st birthday card on our Die Shop door and spent hours, as I was doing his work as usual, bringing people to sign it. He ordered all the press crews sandwiches at 9.00 o'clock and fetched them at 10.00 o'clock. At 11.00 o'clock he collected bets on the horse racing.
Len taught me not to take life too serious, many a time I have returned home from work with my stomach muscles aching from laughter. He could not understand the pressure I was under. I was approaching 21 in the season of 1974-75 and my team Sedgley Rovers were playing Wednesfield Social on a Monday night at Amos Lane and if we beat them we would become the Wolverhampton Amateur League champions.
On Mondays at work he would always clean my football boots if I cleaned the extrusion dies. Surely at this point I could class myself as a semi-pro. Our time together at the Delta in Monmore Green people could see we were a close pair regardless of our age gap. He gave to me my clean boots all wrapped in a plastic bag and told me he would cycle to Amos Lane from his home to see us win the league this Monday evening.
Sedgley Rovers soon to become champions are assembled in the changing room listening to the manager Harry Love explaining how important it is to take the championship out of Wolverhampton to the small town of Sedgley. We all start to collect our thoughts about the coming 2 hours and it was noticeable many spectators had turned up to see the game. At that time local amateur football was of great interest around Wolverhampton.
That season I had been selected for the pick of the league and was now established as the Amateur League centre forward and I was quite serious about my football. I am now in control of my own thoughts as I slowly put on the red and black kit of the Rovers. I take from my Adidas sports bag my boots that Len had cleaned earlier that day and placed them on the floor in front of me. I could not believe my eyes; he had cleaned them jet-black leaving the toecaps a faded grey. On the toecap of one boot he had written with a black marker pen 'ROB' and the other one 'LEN'. I was not amused to say the least. Will he ever grow up I thought? The dressing room was full of laughter at my expense.
I came out of the changing room passing the waiting crowd to see Len over the far side sniggering like a school kid. 'I'll get you back', I shouted.
Later that evening after the game I watched him ride off into the sunset as we were celebrating our success and only then could I laugh about being a victim of his great humour once again.

I attended Lens funeral after he had lived until aged almost 90. I could see his grown up grandaughters upset and my mind went back to when they were small and they had been presented with religious books. Len had proudly brought the books into work to show me and wanted me to 'sign write' in the opening page. I was so frightened not to spoil them but Len was confident of my artistic ability. I had visited him earlier that year and I felt sorry that he had lost his wife. His mind and humour to me was as sharp as ever. I looked at him and could not believe that it was almost 25 years ago that my wife and I had surprised him on his retirement meal in Coven. He had told me throughout the day what he was doing that evening and then for us to turn up was a little bit emotional for him. The look on his face as we walked into the room was memorable.
Len Muir was a man who cared for not only me in my young adult years when working together but afterwards when my wife and I had our children. He took great interest in my life and I will never forget him.

When I was twenty-one
And Len was sixty-four,
We worked along
And sang our song,
That I will sing forever more.

In the summer of 2006 extracts of my poetic work on my Scottish side were submitted to a Scottish website. I also sent other poems, one of which was Old Len Muir Was Funny. The web master complimented me on this poem and noted our great friendship. Soon I was asked to be a featured poet and to send them details. Within the information I mentioned the Black Country Bugle as first printing my work.

On 12 August 1975 I took a photo of Len about to take some cleaned extrusion dies down to the racks by the press on our sack truck. Looking at the photo brings back all the old feelings of joy and laughter.
I am so pleased that I produced a poem about Len Muir and our days together because it keeps him alive in my life.

© Robbie Kennedy Bennett


In My Blood, by Robbie Kennedy Bennett on Scotland's Enchanted Kingdom. This and a short detailed account plus other odes about Fife. Featured since 2008;

Featured poet on Poetry of Scotland since 2006;

Football Poets / Robbie Kennedy Bennett;

Wolverhampton wanderer muses on coastal path

An Ode To Hugh, Devotion In Rhyme;

Welcome to the writings of Robbie Kennedy Bennett, on Collessie.... a great place to live.

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RKB poetry since 1989