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Where to start this tale of Leigh?

At the start or back from me?

Well I’m a Palmer through and through.

At least I thought that that was true.

But when I start to dig around

you won’t believe the trail I’ve found.


Yes I’m a Palmer true to say.

Fruiterers of Leigh Broadway

But I must go back many years

through vales of laughter and of tears

to where my origins are laid

among the coastlines fishing trade.


A Cotgrove is the first to show

though where he came from I don’t know.

Some people say from Holland’s shore,

I really wish that I knew more.

Through several sons named Benjamin

I come at last to Sarah Ann.


Now this is where the bloodlines meet,

James Palmer makes the link complete.

Now he’s been married once before

but who she was I am not sure.

And so to me the line goes on

for after James there came James John.


He then wed a Johnson, Bess

Jeremiah’s girl no less.

All along the salty sea

runs through their veins and on to me.

Now James John’s son, he broke the mould

and fruit and veg is what he sold.


Mary Kerry was his wife

and both took up the tradesman’s life.

Now their son Ben was my Granddad,

he too began as grocer’s lad.

To Tilly Bridge Ben gave his name.

From fisher folk she also came.


Her father Fiddler, known to all,

my own dear father could recall

His photo shows a kindly man,

his wife a Ford named Mary Ann

Her father though a Leigh man bred,

descends from Maldon town instead.


Her mother came from Thundersley

where Griggs are plentiful you see

But back to Fiddler, Great Grandpa,

his Mum’s name Ritchie goes back far.

An old Leigh name like many more

to which I’m linked through days of yore


Through  Osborne, Noakes and Emery

it stretches way way back from me

So when you total up the score

I may be Palmer, but I’m more.

I’m partly all these names, you see

but most of all, I’m part of Leigh.




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