A former Oxford university administrator with a degree in philosophy has written a book containing 919 limericks – one for every town in the UK.
Lewis Williams, who lives in Byfield, says the idea occurred to him when he and a friend were trying to remember the Devizes limerick.
Lewis said: “We were in the mood for schoolboy humour and I wondered whether it would be possible to write a book with a rude limerick for every town in the country.”
Five years later, The Great British Limerick Book has been published by Corona Books.
“It’s perfect for someone who has everything, including a robust sense of humour,” says the former Banbury School pupil.
Then he confesses: “Some are probably too rude for a family newspaper but don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing beyond acceptable contemporary taste, that you wouldn’t hear from household-name comedians or CDs with parental advisory stickers.
“The book is adult humour, a bit Viz Comic-esque, for want of a better adjective.”
It took him five years to finish the tricky task because there are so any towns in the UK with names which don’t rhyme with anything much.
His favourite is about Guildford. “It involves a visit to McDonald’s and a punchline involving a McFlurry,” he smiles. “Happily McDonald’s haven’t sued me yet.”
And what of his entry for Banbury? Well, the first two lines read:
“Banbury is famed for its cross
“I went there one day at a loss...”
Lewis has written two other books – one on singer Scott Walker and a more serious one on social policy.
The Great British Limerick Book (Corona) costs £8.99.