I would very much have liked to have bought a really cool first record, but I didn’t, at least not from most people’s point of view. I can’t remember exactly what year I bought my first record, a 45, but I think I would have been 6 or 7 years old, so somewhere around 1973-4. The reason I was thinking about this recently is because I stumbled across a video from 1980 which very briefly has a shot of the Woolworths in Aberdare, South Wales, where I bought the record.
My Dad, my brother and I went to the shop and my brother also bought a record I think but I don’t remember what it was, but I remember well what I bought. The shop is in the video below, but I did a screen shot underneath in case you can’t be bothered to watch it.
I had a search for the record and found some pictures of the cover, which was very special to me at the time. Here is the front cover:
I had this record hanging around for years before, at some point, I threw it away, but the thing that made it extra special was the back cover, which allowed me to colour in the Diddymen, and colour them in I did, really badly, but still, it was a fun feature at the time.
I don’t expect that many people to remember the Diddymen, or even have ever known about them, but because I know that by now you are most probably very excited about the above, I will share some history. The Diddymen are the inhabitants of the small village of Knottyash. Where they work the Jam Butty Mines, The Snuff Quaries, the Broken Biscuit Repair Works, The Treacle Wells and the Moggy Ranch. Nigel Ponsonby Smallpiece is the Owner of the Jam Butty mines and Dickie Mint is the foreman. The other Diddymen were Mick The Marmalizer; Wee Hamish McDiddy; Harry Cott; Sid Short; Weany Wally; Little Evan.
They were a creation of Ken Dodd and had a series on TV starting in the 60’s and running all the way through until 1977. In my young mind Knottyash was quite near me, just across the valley near Mountain Ash and anytime we went that way in the car I always had one eye open for a road sign.
Quite poignant to me about all this is that my late father used to have a nickname for me, which was Dickie Mint, I’m not entirely sure why, but he would still call me it occasionally when I was approaching 50 years old. I’d forgotten it was one of the Diddymen.
And now, what you have all been waiting for, the actual song, sorry to have kept you waiting so long:
Love it? Yeah, of course you do, what’s not to love?