Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

The Wisdom of Ol' Jolter!

When I was a youngster in the 50s I used to visit my Grandad and Uncles who lived up on Joys Green.

Foresters love telling stories and they were no exception. They used to tell me about a man they called “Ol’ Jolter” who was famous for his sayings.

Who “Ol’ Jolter” was and where he came from, I don’t know. I have searched, in vain, for “Ol’ Jolter” sayings on the internet. So, if there is anybody out there who knows anything at all, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Here's one I remember:

Ol’ Jolter and three mates, were up on the Pludds helping a pal move a hen-house down the lane. They all turned up on time and soon got up and under the hen-house and started edging their way down the lane.

Each of the men had taken a corner of the hen-house and it should have been easy to lift, but it started heavy and got heavier and heavier. They began to sweat. Soon the man at the front shouted.

“ This old thing be ‘eavy fur a wooden ‘en ‘owse! ”

“ Aye! I cawnt understand it! Jolter, come up front and give us a hand. ”

“ ‘Im byunt at the back ‘ere. Where the ‘ell is ‘e? ”

Very frustrated that Jolter wasn’t pulling his weight, all four shouted:

“ Jolter, where are you? Get off your backside and givvus some ‘elp’!

At that moment, a muffled voice came from inside the hen-house.

“ I bist wuking ‘ard! …


Other Jolter Stories:


Jolter said, “If you can tell me how many loaves I’ve got in this basket, I’ll give you all six of ‘em.”


Jolter bought himself a bike but couldn’t reach the pedals, so he let the tyres down.


Here is a smashing introduction to Owld Jolter from the inimitable voice of Harry Beddington.

There yunt many places as a’n’t got zum zart o’ character thay da put all thair oddities on. Anything a bit odd ar chancy thay got ta tell about thay da allus label ‘im wi’t. Well, in the Vorest Owld Jolter da get the name vor most on’t. If thou bist a Vorester theezelf thouse bound to ‘ave ‘eard ‘bout ‘im. ‘Im were the chap as used ta put ‘is leg out o’ winder ta zee if it were dark an’ ‘im used to walk backuds ta work to kid izzelf ‘im were comin’back wum.

‘Im dreamt one night ‘im were jud an’ when ‘im woke up in the marnin’ and vound the blinds down ‘im thought it were true zo ‘im went and put ‘is black suit on ta the vuneral.

The above extract is from Forest Humour
 by Harry Beddington
(Publisher: Forest of Dean Newspapers, 1977)


Here’s a funny story sent in by Dave Byett

Dave Blick, now of Newent, had a few Ol Jolter sayings. One of my favourites:

Jolter was leaning on his gate when Jarge came by.

"Where bist gwain, Jarge?"

"Down to see the Doctor. I don't like the look of my missus."

"Hang on" said Jolter. "I'll come with ya; I can't stand the sight o' mine".



 For other articles featuring the Forest Dialect,
          click on one of the links below:

          Forest Dialect
          George Ridler's Oven
          Harry Beddington
          Yarleton Hill
          Zurree! : Forest Talk

          Learn Forest Speak (BBC)
          Forest Talk - Keith Morgan (BBC)


Edward Hunt