“Ye Olde Wiltshire MoonRaker”

The Story behind the “MoonRaker” name

The Crammer – Devizes

There are many versions of this tale, properly told in dialect, this is my attempt at a shortish one, in my native “Willsheer”.

In the old days, twer main ‘ard ver a workin-man to ‘ave a drop o’brandy, zo as ‘ow dey cud whet thur whistle, ‘cus of the turrible ‘igh taxes on’t, zo volks ad ter do a bit o’smugglin’, zee.

Well now, deez yer vellers ‘ad got holt on a cask of smuggled Brandy, zum say vrum Bristol an others vrum down Darset way. Any road, dey wuz on thur way whome gooin’ thro’ “Vizes” (Devizes) when they spied zum “Zizemen” (Excisemen) a’cummin’, zo.. quick as a flash dey throwed the cask into a pond (most d’reckon t’wer the Crammer in Vizes) zo as to ‘ide ‘en.
Zo var zo good!

Lader on tho’ another “Zizeman” catched ’em trying to fish it back out wid a rake. The men zeeing the moon reflected in the water, and wantin’ to mislead him zed dey were “Raking ver thic Gurt Cheese”.

The “Zizeman” though twer a vine joke that two men could zo foolishly rake ver “The shadder of the moon” thinkin’ twer a cheese! Dey on their part rejoiced that dey had fooled the “Zizeman”.

The “Zizeman” zoon telled the tale t’all the country round about, and even now people da teaze Willsheer volk about thic cheese.

Bit ’tis thay, as can avoor’d to grin to zee how nice he wer took in!
from “The Wiltshire Moonrakers” by Edward Slow

Trouble reading it?
Change the ‘v’s to ‘f’s, the ‘z’s to ‘s’s and some of the ‘d’s to ‘th’s, thic = that!


One thought on “Moonrakers”

  1. De Zizeman wid be zuzpizhuz becos de moonreeker wid be rakin’ nowheer neer ze moonshadder aggordin te yer pitur. Artist’s erzpeckiv iz ull wrong!

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