Death of Norfolk man who penned My Old Man's A Dustman

Chris HillThe man who co-wrote the Cockney classic 'My Old Man's a Dustman' has died in Walsingham at the age of 84.Peter Buchanan, whose enduring comic creation reached number one in the charts in 1960, died at his home on August 15.Chris Hill

The man who co-wrote the Cockney classic 'My Old Man's a Dustman' has died in Walsingham at the age of 84.

Peter Buchanan, whose enduring comic creation reached number one in the charts in 1960, died at his home on August 15.

He was Lonnie Donegan's business manager from 1956 to 1962 and was instrumental in the Skiffle King's meteoric rise to fame, co-writing many of his hits.

Although famed for his cheeky lyrics, Mr Buchanan was also responsible for countless TV series including 1970s sitcom And Mother Makes Three, which starred Wendy Craig.


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He went on to write scripts for the likes of entertainment legends Des O'Connor, Leslie Crowther, Roy Hudd, Roy Castle and Dick Emery.

After decades on the road with the stars, Mr Buchanan retired to Norfolk, where he continued putting his songwriting and comic talents to good use, crafting scripts for amateur theatre companies and school groups.

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He championed many local arts causes, particularly those involving youngsters, and wrote a millennium single for the EDP's We Care appeal in 2000 which was recorded, sold and performed throughout Norfolk.

Mr Buchanan also hit the headlines at Christmas 1997 when he became the first writer in 100 years to write a hymn for his adopted home village of Walsingham. The song, Lord I Have Not Forgotten What Christmas Means, received its world premiere in St Mary's Church - a century after the same church's vicar, Fr George Ratcliffe Woodward, wrote Ding Dong Merrily on High.After Lonnie Donegan's death in 2002, Mr Buchanan recalled why he first suggested the singer should introduce comedy into his act.

'He was singing fast skiffle songs and could not get his breath,' he said. 'So I told him I would give him some jokes to help him get his breath back!'

He also remembered the first live performance of his famous song, saying: 'We were in Doncaster and it had been done as a joke. We never knew what on earth what was going to happen with it. I stood in the wings wetting myself but people loved it.'

The funeral service will be held at St Peter's Church in Great Walsingham on Friday at 2.30pm. Donations for the RNLI can be made via S.T. Sutton Funeral Directors in Wells.

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