Ode to ITMA or The Cheque’s in the Post by Barry Cryer

1st Oct 2004

To celebrate our 70th anniversary in 2004, comedy legend Barry Cryer penned a poem to mark the occasion - which was published in 'Celebrating ITMA' magazine.

Barry Cryer
© Jeff Morgan 05 / Alamy Stock Photo

Ode to ITMA or The Cheque’s in the Post

By Barry Cryer

Once more unto the speech, dear friends, once more
And sing in praise of ITMA
There is so much that one can say
Of them – they have letters after their name to identify them
My brain reels at the lyrical logistics
I am stunned by the staggering statistics
You have only to diligently scan ‘em
A contribution of trade mark practice to the UK balance of trade of some £25m per annum
I can only marvel here today
At the thought of 2 million trade marks registered in the UK
Permit me, incidentally, if I say quite grandly
That “ITMA” reminds me of Tommy Handley
ITMA was a World War Two radio show
That only the oldest here will know
Sadly I only remember it because
I also remember when Jimmy Young was
And I may confess tonight
I remember when Judith Chalmers was white
But enough of nostalgia! I must be oblivious
Of the past – I’m old – it’s patently obvious
For many years have I plied my trade
Mark my words – I am not afraid
To admit I was registered in 1935
For one year more, has the Institute been alive
Ever since have I tried to make my mark
Spelled with a “K” or “Q” – it’s all a lark
My own agent and my own attorney
In my private practice I have travelled my journey
Possessor of my own brand name
“Cryer” is my copyright, my aim
But to survive whate’er may befall
Totally unaware of Madrid Protocol
Hoping my name would become generic
Trying not to be too hysteric
Something very much my own
Like linoleum or gramaphone
Would I be an originator
Like Aspirin, hoover or accelerator?
My dream – to be a living logo
And not find myself in an area no-go
But tonight we relax mid bunting and frolic
A phrase I dread after too much alcoholic
Intake – and so, as each Institute member their loins gladly girds
Their message is spelled out in these few brief words:
“Our aims are to ensure that all those admitted to
Practising membership of the Institute possess the
Specialised knowledge and experience necessary in
Trade Mark matters and thereby afford protection
To those who employ members of the Institute and to
The Public and to consider proposed legislation affecting
Trade Marks.”
These few brief words separate fact from myth
I merely gave the gist and took the pith
That is the end of the muse – I must desist
And salute all here who came to get well acquainted
My poetic patent doth now expire
I greet you, toast you, thank you, Barry Cryer

Click the link below to download the full original publication