You may need to be of a certain age to recollect first hand this story.


For many huge wealth will define how they live

For some it’s a blessing, for some punitive;

This is the story of Castleford’s Viv

Who announced to the world she’d intend

To spend it; she’d “Spend! Spend!  Spend!”


One word from the Gods is all that it takes

To rescue a waif from those Pontefract cakes

Their favourite game though is Ladders and Snakes

So they dangled the life she might live

Which proved too seductive for Viv.


A fabulous fortune!  A win on the pools!

Frittered on furs and on Jags and on jewels

Which slipped through the fingers of innocent fools;

She made good the message she’d send

To the world of “Spend! Spend!  Spend!”


They wasted no time spending all their reward

The finest of clothes, vacations abroad

It seemed there was nothing they couldn’t afford

A bottomless pit without end

Her motto was “Spend! Spend!  Spend!”


But mammon was fire to a West Yorkshire lass

Who rose in an instant from rough working class

Becoming the queen of coalmining Cas

She’d never go short of a friend

While ever she’d “Spend! Spend!  Spend!”


They read tales of hardship and life on the rocks

Of scratting a living and taking hard knocks

But folks scented flesh like wolves to the flocks

She’d hundreds of pounds she could lend

Which debtors would then spend and spend.


But after the sunshine doth surely come rain

As hundreds and thousands they swilled down the drain

Euphoria and ecstasy slid into pain

For seldom do broken dreams mend

By trying to “Spend! Spend!  Spend!”


The Gods had watched Viv from the hour of her birth

They tantalised her with great wealth and worth

They raised her on high, but then dashed her to earth

Their gift to her merely pretend

They laughed as she’d “Spend! Spend!  Spend!”




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Graham Sherwood

Tue 21st Mar 2023 23:51

Correct John. My local team as a boy. Dave Bowen was their celebrated manager of the day. I remember seeing them beat the all conquering Leeds United at the county ground. I also believe they held the record (until the points system was changed) for having the most points for a relegated team from the 1st Division!

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John Coopey

Tue 21st Mar 2023 23:41

Thanks, MC. I seem to recollect in my dim and distant past that Northampton Town went from the old Fourth Division to the First in successive seasons and then straight back down again.
(Or was it Carlisle?)

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 21st Mar 2023 18:51

A well-remembered media tale of "rags to riches" - and back
again. But maybe she made a few bob from her story to ease
the pain of the aftermath.

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John Coopey

Tue 21st Mar 2023 12:02

Thankyou, Stephen. I thought this was a story of regional renown. I have been surprised at how widely remembered this is.

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Stephen Gospage

Tue 21st Mar 2023 07:27

A lovely, tragic piece, John. Strangely, I was thinking about this case the other day, after hearing a joke where a lottery winner was asked what he would do about all the begging letters.

'I'll keep sending them,' he replied.

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John Coopey

Mon 20th Mar 2023 13:02

Thankyou, Graham. Although I would argue some of my finest pieces of literature are I’ll-considered.
And thanks for the Like, Redbrick.

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 20th Mar 2023 09:53

Nicely recorded JC. I remember her well and she does indeed serve as the 'example of how not to do it' and the recent stories from the national lottery echo the same tune! Well done John, I like reading your more considered pieces.

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