from Wilf Lunn:
got the idea for 'Benny Rolly' when I overheard two old chaps talking
outside David Metcalfe's furniture shop in Brighouse, Yorkshire.
said to the other, "Tha suit on it's last legs Jack."
(Nearly worn out.) Jack replied, "Aye, when's done, I'll atta
go t'bed." ( When it's done I'll take to my bed.) I realised
he was saying that he was so old that he didn't want to waste his
money on a new suit. He knew he wouldn't live long enough to get
the wear out of it.
in the story thinks the same way. He's wearing his last pair of
trousers. The prison boots mentioned in the story with the large
arrow on the soles, were at one time issued to inmates. The warders
could see which way they were going if they escaped. The 'Wedge
and Gimlet' method of barring doors to prevent discovery was actually
used by burglars. The story has a background of First World War
music and songs.
INTERIOR. BENNY'S BEDROOM - DAY - DURING 1914-18 WAR
The room is small and poorly furnished. "Dolly Grey" is
PLAYING on the gramophone. A young BENNY ROLLY admires his corporals
uniform whilst polishing his buttons with a cloth and polishing
He STAMPS his boot and turns smartly at attention. Hanging from
the ceiling is a canary cage, in it a dried lobster with "A
PRESENT FROM CLEETHORPES" written on it.
There is a small spot of dirt on his boot. It is polished off with
OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Take Me Back to Old Blighty"
Benny continues polishing
ROAD - DAY- 1960
A much older Benny is at the side of the road, polishing the black
section of a 'Stop Children Crossing' pole. He's wearing the uniform
of a crossing attendant. The peak of his cap is well down like a
guardsmans. Behind him a group of children are gathering to
Benny marches out to the centre of the road, halts in the centre,
firmly indicates the traffic must stop.
isn't any traffic to stop, the road is quiet.
He signals for the CHILDREN to cross.
turns to see what is happening.
children running away down the road LAUGHING and CHANTING.
Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly
Benny is furious shaking his banner he turns to follow them.
stops and listens. There is the faint MOTORCYCLE ENGINE.
the distance a motorbike is approaching very fast. The BIKER is
wearing leathers and a helmet similar to a German army helmet.
Benny quickly returns to the centre of the road and holds up his
motorbike is getting closer. The youth on bike is crouched low.
Benny, grips pole with both hands, as though it were a rifle.
OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Belgium
put the Kybosh on the Kaiser"
The youth is now wearing a First World War spiked German helmet.
He is bearing down on Benny at great speed.
Benny now in corporals uniform is gripping a .303 rifle with
He assumes a defence posture.
rider is approaching fast.
gets ready to engage enemy.
biker sees Benny blocking his path and starts frantically braking.
Motorbike SKIDS to a halt at Benny's feet halts at his feet.
He thrusts his pole at the bike. Hits the bike between the handlebars.
Benny, twists pole whilst through clenched teeth and SHOUTS.
cyclist looks amazed.
brings up the butt of his pole.
opens his mouth about to speak.
The butt of Bennys pole hits him on the chin, closing his
biker lands in the gutter.
SCENE MUSIC: "A bicycle built for two"
small crowd of pedestrian gather looking in amazement at the cyclist
and Benny in the centre of the road at standing ease, legs apart
left arm behind back.
OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Therell always be an England"
OVER SCENE MUSIC: "Would you rather be a Colonel with an
Eagle on your shoulder or a Private with a chicken on your knee"
in civvies at ease, but now he is holding a road brush.
He has been demoted.
He stands to attention, then marches forward and rests his brush
against a bin on wheels.
Takes out a cloth and with great pride polishes his bin.
crouches down behind bin to polish the bottom.
MAN in trilby hat approaches looking at the bin. Benny cannot be
pops up from behind bin and nods to the man, who walks off.
Benny removes his jacket and carefully rolls up sleeves.
Sets off down the road sweeping laboriously, CHANTING.
One, two, one, two.
SCENE MUSIC: "Its a Long way to Tipperary"
Dustbin in foreground, Benny is still sweeping in the distance.
BOYS appear, one of them in short trousers is holding a rugby ball.
They look at the bin and see coat.
They smile at each other.
taller boy picks it up and SHOUTS down the road.
Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly.
who can still be seen in the distance, stops sweeping and turns
He looks toward the boys and sees they've got his coat.
Enraged he charges towards them holding his brush like a rifle.
There's a flash of light. A flick-knife appears.
slows down and stops, straining his eyes to see what the youth is
MUSIC: "Hush Here Comes a Wiz Bang"
From a safe distance Benny makes a few threatening gestures with
his broom. He's apprehensive of the knife.
boys give a final SHOUT of triumph and run off with Bennys
Benny gives token chase, at a safe distance.
When the boys slow down Benny slows down.
When the boys stop Benny stops.
The boys set off again at full speed.
A DOG joins the chase, following Benny.
Benny looks behind him at dog. He is now more concerned about escaping
the dog than catching the boys.
He tries to fend it off with his brush, when this fails he increases
Runs round a corner looking behind.
boys are waiting for him.
bumps into the tall boy knocking the knife from his hand.
The knife is on the ground between the boy and Benny.
his brush like a rifle, Benny looks the tall boy in the eye and
crouches towards the knife.
He picks up the knife and smiles.
Tries to get the blade out but fails.
He pretends he did not want to open it in any case and puts it in
Now the boys are disarmed he advances confidently with his broom.
Benny looks down. The dog has a grip of Bennys trouser leg.
While the dog holds Bennys trouser leg the boys dance round
him bouncing the rugby ball on his head and catching it.
his brush Benny trips the boy holding his coat and while he is on
the floor snatches it off him.
Benny smiles in triumph.
is a TEARING sound.
Benny's smile vanishes.
dog running off with something in it's mouth.
boys are LAUGHING.
looks down. His trousers left leg has been torn off well above the
Rolly, Rolly Polly.
throws his brush at them.
pick it up and run off.
SCENE MUSIC: Theres a Long, Long Trail a-Winding
- BUSY HIGH STREET - DAY
looks round corner to see if anybody is waiting.
All is clear. He comes round the corner, trying to be as inconspicuous
as possible, he walks casually along.
two boys appear and begin to CHANT, pointing at his bare leg.
Benny Rolly, Rolly Polly
People look at Benny.
crosses the street so that he can continue with his bare leg to
boys do not follow.
goes well until he has to re-cross the road. He makes two sorties
but cannot get to the edge of the pavement without being overcome
Benny removes his jacket and by dangling it down his leg effectively
disguised it's nudity.
He then casually saunters off.