In East Cork there lived a chap
Who put Ballymaloe on the map,
He started out life as a farmer
But to living it up he grew fonder.
So to his sons he gave his farms
And he set out to develop his charms
A chore for him this would not be
As charms a plenty and more had he.
He charmed the staff, he charmed the pests,
Those he charmed best must be the guests.
He would chat and laugh and giggle and praise
Until all round him spirits were raised.
Oh do not doubt but he was cunning
For all around him guests came running
And he knew the reason for this
Was soley because of this charm of his.
The food people said was the reason
For Ballymaloe having such good seasons
But arguments he did not raise
He was not looking for any praise
He knew full well that it was he
That all the guests were coming to see.
As years went by more clever he grew
Position was important this he knew
So what better spot was there at all
Than sitting right in the front hall
From here the guests he could not miss
Important was this for continued business
To facilitate this business boom
He needed to build a few more rooms
"Oh far too expensive" he was told
Now he had to get quite bold
If he was to get what he desired
So at his family this charm he fired
Now this was the toughest challenge he met
But he know the better of them he'd get
And it was not a long time later
When builders feet went pitter patter
Old charmboots had gotten his way
With more bedrooms for guests to stay.
Now to himself he did chuckle
For this charm of his none could buckle.
Charming and loving poem written by Mr Ivan Allen's granddaughter, Fawn Allen, to her Grandpa in August 1998.
This poem and many other poems written in thanks to the Allen family are displayed in the Ballymaloe bar.