Collier’s every wan

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Poems about Miners

“Collier’s every wan”

Collier’s every wan

Ah wis born in the raws along time ago,
in the hoose o’ a Collier ma’ faither ye’ll know,
John Cornfield his name this Faither o’ mine,
mairrit ma’ Mither in days o’ lang syne.

Tressa  McGuigan fae the Spittal she came,
tae Blantir, tae mairry and change her name,
her Faither’s a Collier the same as her man,
infact were aw’ Colliers, every wan.

They came fae Erin, these ancestors o’ mine,
tae Scotia’s fair land tae work underground,
wi’ promise o’ plenty rining in thur ears,
they found only poverty, blood sweat an’ tears.

In Dixons Raws they settled doon,
wi’ Grannies and  Grandas aw’ aroon,
Hunners o’ Cousins, Uncles an’ Aunts,
tho’ times wir hard, naebudy wid want.

Hard tho’ the toil they worked wi’a will,
wi’ plenty o’mooths an’ bellies tae fill,
to put bread oan the table an’ coal on the fire,
tae leave hard time ahint ,was aw’ the desire.

Nothing hid changed at the end o’ the day,
same bosses, same serfdom, same low pay,
the local  Scotshmen didnea like them at aw’,
fur they took aw’ thur joabs an’ hooses in the raw.

Different religions didnae help them as well,
in fact it wis jist like living in Hell !
trouble in the pit, even mair when they came hame,
thur wur times they wished, they’d never came.!

But aw’ this wid change with the passage o time,
when fate took a hand doon there in that mine,
a build up o’ gas, a naked flame,
an maist o’ these colliers, wid never go hame.

The horn oan the Pithead blew long an’ forlorn,
tae signal bad news that fateful morn,
folk came runnin’ fae aw’ o’er the toon,
every man tae a man, volunteered tae go doon !

Nae thought o’ danger, nor religion too,
they aw’ worked thegither wi’ the common view.
the fellowship o’ man wis born that day,
in Blantir toon how I wished it would stay.

Two hundred and sixteen Collier’s lay dead,
killed in pursuit o’ thur daily bread.
Men, Boys an’ Uncles, Brither’s an’ aw’,
wid never return, tae thur hoose in the raw.

Three men an’ three boys fae this family o’ mine,
aw’ met thur maker, doon there in that mine,
thur wives an’ thur mither’s,
Agnes, Helen an’ Jane,
thur surname wis Cornfield the same as ma’ ain ! 

James Cornfield 2002

Painting by Valerie Ganz – Six Bells Colliery


If you have any Poems… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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