No need to get Willocky

ROUSER was recently waxing lyrical about the old Sussex word ‘willocky’ - meaning to be very cross. And he has been taken to task for it.

Janet Gadd of Willingdon has this to say about the ancient expression: ‘I first heard the word as a child from a lady who came to work at Wannock tea gardens after the Land Army finished. She worked in the gardens and looked after the animals there.

‘She used the word willocky to describe an animal that was fussy, didn’t settle easily and was always busy.

‘She lived at Pillar Box Cottages until her last months when a relative took her back to the Isle of Wight where she is buried.

‘The second time I came across the word was from another lady - grand-daughter of the late music hall entertainer Dan Leno, also known as the King’s Jester. She used the word to describe a dog which didn’t settle easily, never letting its owner out of its sight.

‘My late father-in-law had a rich Sussex dialect. He was born in Dallington in 1894 and, after his time with the Royal Sussex Regiment, worked on many Sussex farms.’

Mrs Gadd has more to say on Rouser’s shortcomings.

‘Did anyone correct you about the village pump building at Upper Willingdon, set with sheeps’ knuckle bones. You unfortunately called it a bus shelter.

‘Have you ever stopped in Church Street, Upper Willingdon, and admired the flint cottages opposite the church? There are three different styles of flint work there - quite beautiful and nearly demolished in the 60s.’

Rouser doesn’t know what to say.