b'To Ben WilkinsonPhotograph and poem supplied by Barry TrotterB arry Trotter was evacuated to Bishop Wilton from Hull, on a private basis, to stay with his dads uncle, Ben Wilkinson, from 1940 to 1944. Ben lived at No. 90, Wold Kennels, with his wife, Sarah, and Sarahs brother Charlie Cullum. Ben was a gamekeeper and gun-dog breeder and Charlie was a shoe maker and repairer.The poem printed here hung on the wall in No. 90 when Barry came to Bishop Wilton. He has no idea how long it had been there or who wrote it, but it took his interest from first seeing it and he learned it off by heart. When he found a copy of it recently amongst his possessions he could still recite the first two verses, after 60 years.There is Ben and his dogs, I see off up the laneHe must be going out to shoot birds againHe has been at the job all the time since a ladAnd has followed quite close to the footsteps of DadYou never see Ben but his dogs are aboutAnd theyre always quite well within sound of his shoutHe has travelled these hills with his dogs many a yearAnd has done his best work for his bosses round hereIf he just had a mind he could tell you some talesOf the chases hes had through those old woods and dalesBen outside his shed at the back of But a gamekeepers life is hard at the best No. 90, Bishop WiltonTo praise him I know is a thing hed detestAnd Ben, I know well, is no slacker at workHed sooner be shot than a danger would shirkIf honesty pays, (and I know it is rare)Then Ben, he at least is a twice millionaireFor fifty long years at the job he has beenAnd many a rough night in the woods he has seenAnd many a long walk over hills he has gotTo pick up the birds that his bosses have shotThe best of his life he has spent near the hillsAnd if walking brought wealth, then hes far from being poorBut his wealth, like his walking, was always well spentAnd that is just why he is always contentOf course hes not perfect, like the rest of us hereBut his thoughts are all right, and his heart is sincereHis dog and his gun are the pride of his lifeAt least they come next to his wifeAnd his little brick cot, near the edge of the moorIs the richest place God ever gave to the poorIts his home, and God knows, that is saying a lotNo mansion to him could compare to his cotAnd as he grows old may he still have the joyOf roaming those hills as he did as a boyAnd his dogs, may they ever be close to his sideUntil they shall part where the waters divideAnd when he forever has laid down his gunHe will take the reward that so well he has wonAnd his dogs, like his friends, they will miss his bright faceFor theres no other man who could just fill his placeBULLETIN 4 43'