All Things Warrington

The Hoagie Wagon
Words (and music) by Brian Palfreman; Image by Keith Bailey.
Scroll down to hear the song being performed.

The Hoagie Wagon



There was a place in Warrington that became a legend
A little wooden hut on some waste ground
It were nothing posh but it made good nosh
All you needed was a bit of dosh
A right good meal would cost less than a pound

Just go t'bar and say "Hoagie please,
"Plenty of onion and slap on a bit of cheese,"
Plastic bottles at the side
Full of ketchup, brown sauce and more besides
Mustard, salt and pepper all there to please

Let's all go down to the Hoagie Wagon
The only place that's open through the night
Just fill your face with a big hot dog
That'll make your eyes go all agog
You'll be smitten after just one bite


Now all you need is summat to swill it down
A mug of coffee for less than half a crown
Steri milk to give it flavour
and to make it sweet
three spoons of sugar
The best square meal you'll get anywhere in town

Folks would come to feast for miles around
To end the night before they're homeward bound
Dance hall ravers and rock 'n' roll groups
Plenty of bikers in leather suits
Cars, bikes and bands all around

Let's all go down to the Hoagie Wagon
The only place that's open through the night
Just fill your face with a big hot dog
That'll make your eyes go all agog
You'll be smitten after just one bite

Even local coppers would turn up to our delight
In white Ford Zephyrs beaming in the night
They hadn't turned up looking for trouble
On that waste ground that used to be rubble
All they wanted was a brew, a chat and a bite

Car radios playing the latest in the charts
Lads and lasses jiving amongst the cars
Dancing and singing to the latest tunes
Amongst the food and exhaust fumes
Even cops joined in just to be polite

Let's all go down to the Hoagie Wagon
The only place that's open through the night
Just fill your face with a big hot dog
That'll make your eyes go all agog
You'll be smitten with just one bite

Let's all go down to the Hoagie Wagon
The only place that's open through the night
Just fill your face with a big hot dog
That'll make your eyes go all agog
You'll be smitten after just one bite
You'll be smitten after just one bite


© Brian Palfreman (2009)
Reproduced with permission

Stacks Image 503
Brian Palfreman
Brian Palfreman (b1940)
Brian Palfreman was born in Lymm in 1940. After learning how to play the drums in the early 1950s, he went on to join a number of local bands including ‘The Tudor Four’ in 1958 and then ‘The Renegades’ in 1959. He stayed with 'The Rens' until 1965 and was on stage the night they played their most famous gig of all - supporting The Beatles at Orford's Bell Hall on 20 July 1962!
In the mid-1970s Brian teamed up with his friend Jimmy Marsh to form a backing duo performing at venues across Warrington including Church Street Labour Club, Pierpoint & Bryants, Greenall's Social Club and Cadishead Catholic club (think Les Alanos of Phoenix Nights, but better).
Now semi-retired apart from the odd reunion gig with The Renegrades, Brian dedicates his time to family life (he has four kids and seven grandchildren) and to writing the occasional song. He wrote 'The Hoagie Wagon' in 2009. "Now and again, usually out of boredom, I plug in my Yamaha keyboard and make up little songs," says Brian. "The words for 'Hoagie' came very easily having spent quite a lot of time there after gigs in the old days."
The infamous all-night eatery was originally located close to the entrance gate of Sites 4 and 5 of Burtonwood Airbase before moving to Bank Street and then onto its spiritual home on waste ground alongside the old Ritz Cinema/Mr Smiths nightclub at Bridgefoot.
Although the words to Brian's song stand up well in their own right, they sound even better when set to his music - why not check the song out for yourself by clicking the link below?:-


Despite playing on the same bill as The Beatles, Brian says his proudest musical achievement was being local music impresario Eric Pepperell’s first choice if a temporary drummer was ever needed. In local music circles, the late 'Eric Pep' was a legend and the fact Brian was his drummer of choice speaks volumes.
When not composing his own songs, Brian works on his own website (
warringtonsixtiesmusic.co.uk) which "is dedicated to all the people who contributed towards making the sixties around Warrington something special with their music and other activities." If you have 10 minutes to spare why not check out the videos on Brian's site - I guarantee the memories will come flooding back!

Can you help All Things Warrington expand on this article? Have you got any Hoagie Wagon stories or pictures you'd like to share? If so please contact me with the details, I'd love to hear from you.

For more Warrington poetry visit the
poetry section of All Things Warrington.


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