A Cockney Angel

Shout out to mbrazfieldm at Words Less Spoken for giving me the following idea from her blog
She wrote in part of an angel named Hortance, a Mae West look alike, who spoke with a Cockney accent.

I weren’t much of a looker. Me face being a bit pinched, dark circles under me eyes and I ‘ad this ‘orrible wart on me chin. But I ‘ad a generous ‘eart. I used to give to the poorest of the poor. Blokes who needed me but couldn’t afford the ready.

They’d say “Liza, I got an urgent need, but me ship ain’t come in yet. ‘Ow about yer take care of me and I’ll say a prayer fer yer. I’ll put in a word for yer to that geezer up there. Tell ‘im of your kind ‘eart.”

I’d say ” ‘Ow can a girl with a kind ‘eart refuse yer, when yer willing to do me such a big favor, and yer ‘ave such a need. So we’d do the business and after, I liked to fink, they’d go ‘ome and not beat on their old ladies.”

I’d run into Meg crumpled over in the alley. She was kneeling in piss and vomit, moaning an clutching ‘er belly. I knelt beside ‘er and put me arm gently round ‘er shoulder.

” Wat’s wrong luv. ” I asked.

“Me trick, didn’t like me touch. Said I didn’t know me business and wouldn’t pay. So I put me ‘ands in ‘is pocket and took what’s owed. ‘E gave me such a thump in me belly and boxed me ears and scarpered. I pissed me self and vomited me steak and kidney pud I ‘ad for supper and now ‘ere you are me sweet Liza. Yer a saint, yer are, and no denying. I’m saying a prayer for yer while I’m still on me knees, yer such a comfort to poor old Meg”.

I saw the two starved young’uns eyeing the barrow. Eyeing the barrow man’s every move. When ‘e was distracted by a customer they made their move. Scarpering past the barrow and scooping two apples. The barrow man ‘adn’t seen ’em, but some nosy git grabbed ’em by the neck and yelled thieves. They both frew the apples in ‘is face which made him let go as ‘e tried to shield ‘imself with his ‘ands. They took off. I saw ’em ten minutes later trying the same trick on the other side of Spitalfields. I ‘ad a whole shilling to me self, due to me good luck with a bloke feeling generous, so I went up to the barrow boy and bought two apples. A penny each. I took em over and ‘anded em to the kids. Save yerselfs the bovver I says. They snatched the apples from me ‘ands and said God Bless yer missus and scarpered.

I ‘adn’t seen Sally for a while so I fought I’d pay ‘er a visit. I knocked on ‘er door but there was no answer, so I went in. She was laying on ‘er bed looking proper poorly. A stink came from ‘er as she was layin in ‘er own fluids. She was feverish and tossin from side to side. I looked for some water, but there weren’t any. So I took the bucket down to the pump and filled it, eaving it back to Sally’s ‘ouse. I undressed ‘er and washed ‘er body. Luckily she ‘ad another shift to put on. I turned the mattress over and put on a dry sheet. I stayed with ‘er four days till the fever broke, caring for ‘er, washing ‘er face and forcing down sips of water. On the fourth day she smiled at me and said I fought yer were an Angel looking over me. I smiled back, stroked ‘er face and went ‘ome feeling done in.

I took to me bed, feeling a bit queer. Next fing I knew there was white light all around me. Some voice echoed ” welcome to ‘Eaven but yer work ain’t dun. I’m sending yer back as me Cockney Angel.”

So ‘ere I am back in the East End.

There goes Peg with her bottle of gin again. I whispered in ‘er ear. ” The babies crying Peg dear why don’t yer put the bottle dahn and see to ‘im. ” She paused, frowned and listened.

Published by lensdailydiary

Born Stepney, London, England. Emigrated to Canada. Married, two children, six grandchildren. Retired. Conservative and cultural catholic. LOVE soccer. Tottenham Hotspur. Read historical and fantasy fiction..

24 thoughts on “A Cockney Angel

    1. I was born in a street named Whites Row just around the corner from Spitalfields Market. My father was a market porter who worked at Spitalfields. I can’t picture it with designer shops. There was a park opposite we used to call “itchy park” because of all the vagrants who slept there. I would assume that’s gone too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The only gardens, even, that I remember near there were at Finsbury Circus. Petty much every square inch is developed now. My favourite was Leadenhall Market. Bishopsgate is just about as “City” as it is possible to get.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Very funny take on the cockney slang. Alas, they av all moved out to essex, and surrounding areas. Martin actually found me lying in a gutter with a fag hanging out me mouth, as I said, give us a light guvnor. How we have moved on, although gin has made a big comeback.


    1. I remember you commenting, way back, on my attempt at writing a poem suggesting I try it with a cockney slant. I was thinking of this while writing. I take inspiration where I can.


  2. Great take on the accents to this admittedly untutored ear, and a compelling character. I got called away in the middle of reading it but knew I had to return. So well done, Len!


  3. Hi Len,

    I enjoyed your story. Thank you. Are you living back in the UK now? My father, Charlie Mansfield was born a Cockney but he and his family moved to Dagenham when he was young. My husband Eric Lennick, lived in Wickford Street, Stepney until bombed out, then Malmsbury Road, Bow, where I also lived for a while, years later. We once had a greengrocers and my husband bought his produce in Spitalfields market. Hard work….Once married, we spent 18 months in Toronto, Canada at the time of the Suez Crisis, but returned to the UK, homesick…We are now retired in Spain so have been around… Best wishes to you. Cheers Joy x


    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting Joy. I have lived in Canada for 50 years. My father worked as a market porter in Spitalfield’s market and we lived just around the corner from there for the first 7 years of my life. Then moved near Mile End and then to Limehouse. My mother was Irish and I have spent most of the last 30 years visiting Ireland till she died.


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