~ It's a loff ~
Gornal and Black Country Humour.
The Gornal Lament
Oh dear o
me 'art 'angs low
an' how t' rise it
I dow 'no
To appreciate the local humour, an understanding of the local dialect is a must.
Gornal shares the dry humour of elsewhere in the Black Country, stories are delivered in a dead pan style with almost incomprehensible dialect and accent to some outsiders - the depth of humour being rarely appreciated.
Published in 1949, this omnibus edition combined volumes 1 to 5 (CDM collection).
Black Country Stories, T.H.Gough.
The first 'Black Country Stories' was published in 1934, this was a selection of stories and anecdotes some reputedly true and collected and presented by T.H. Gough, firstly in the Dudley Herald or Dudley Chronical newspapers and a little later in a series of books, the last book -volume five was published in 1939.
There is some great humour, probably a bit tame compared to what is offered nowadays.
Some of these stories are related to Gornal and Gornal folk.
The Omnibus edition shown right, was published in 1949 and contains all five volumes.
The Black Country Society later reprinted some of the content in booklet form.
Here is a selection of quips from the book and from the Dudley Chronical.
"Is your father in my boy"?
"No, he's in the pigstie claenin the pigs out -yow'll see which ones faether, es got 'is 'at on".
First Man: "I day know yore Jim was jed?"
Second Man: "Ah, if he'd a-lived till termorrer, he'd a bin jed a fortnit".
"Why hers been kissed by every chap in Gornal," said a young man to a friend who had announced his engagement to a certain lady who lived there.
"Well, Gornal aint a very big plaece," was the reply of the love lorn swain.
[Dudley Chronical 1934]    
Two Gornal men were on a tandem bicycle riding towards Dudley from Gornal Wood.
"Bill," said the one riding on the front saddle, 't's dead ard ppeddlin' up this 'ill.""
"Yes, " said hs companion at the back, "It's a very steep 'ill, this is, so I've put the brake on, so as we shor goo backards."
[Dudley Chronical 1934]    
Published in 1960 by P.Sellers.
Two fictional characters, Aynuk and Ayli [Enoch and Eli] bear the brunt of storytelling, portrayed as a pair of 'half-baked' working class characters.
The stories and jokes are indigenous of the Black Country, some say Aynuk and Ayli are 'of Gornal' and many an argument started.
'Enoch and Eli' first appeared in print as a cartoon strip in the County Express newspaper, Stourbridge in the 1950s.
The typical quips and comic style illustrations were by P. Sellers of Stourbridge.
A couple of comic strip booklets were also published by this artist, 'Laugh with Enoch and Eli' published in 1957 followed by 'Laugh Again with Enoch and Eli' in 1960.
Many comedians continued with the tradition of the Aynuk and Ayli storytelling and jokes, always with a humourous slant on Black Country life.
Enoch and Eli cartoon strip by P.Sellers.
Typical Aynuk and Ayli:
Appeared in The Birmingham Mail, August, 1945.
Two Black Country men, out for their Sunday walk, called for pints at a strange pub.
"I do' think much o this stuff." said Ephraim,
"Yo'm roight" said Enoch.
"It'll be a -- good job when we've had enough."
Aynuk and Ayli are fishing in the canal....
Aynuk: "Me mates fell in the canal!"
Ayli: "Owd it 'appen?"
Aynuk: "I just took a bite ov me sanwich an the mate fell out"
['mate' being local 'spake' for meat]
Although not from Gornal, we can't forget the likes of Dolly Allen, Tommy Mundon and Harry Harrison, who perpetuated the humour of the 'Black Country in their 'Black Country Night Out' shows from the 1970s onwards, sadly Dolly died in 1990, Harry in 2007 and Tommy in 2014.