I never thought they’d shut it down

Our institution, the centre of town

It fed lots of businesses local and wide

Some rose and fell, just like the tide

A cauldron of tradesmen well trained and true

Some served the world and not just a few

Coppersmiths shipwrights fitters to start

Seamstresses painters blacksmiths an art

What about ‘sparkies’ they thought they were it

Riggers and laggers, not me in a fit

Foundry men pattern men and riveting crews

And many others, I forget, please excuse

We made up a family, formed by clock card

Never gave it much thought just called it ‘the yard’

Surprising its gone what Richard one started

Even Henry made bigger before he departed

It’s not just a place where Jack got his ship

Or watch a dreadnought slide down the slip

It was the first home, of the whole bloomin fleet

With its own Admiral Super, now that’s something to beat

But don’t forget them at the bottom of the box

Those that drove Listers even cleaned out the docks

They all played their part, for the graceful grey funnels

And what about them of the dock drain tunnels

Submarines, carriers, even ‘ton’ class

From a whole flipping refit

To just scraping their arse

We did them all and felt real proud

Though most of us were, just a face in the crowd

We enjoyed ‘Dockie’ banter and jokes for relief

Or ‘taking the mick’ out of Engine Room Chief

Sailors didn’t much like us, but some of em tried

Whilst officers thought, ‘put him over the side’

Lazy ‘dockies’, just watching the time

But when it was needed we used to shine

HMS would limp back, just after a crash

And we’d make them a new bit and fix it real flash

Of course the odd homer could sometimes be seen

But rabbits over, we’d do an hour for the Queen!

Even fixed her Royal Yacht made it shiny and sound

Always kept spick and span for just a few pounds

At time for out muster cycles would gather

And Joe who’d been sleeping and now in a lather

Hit the clock handle after hearing the hooter

Joined the pedalling armada, and a couple of scooters

Now it’s all gone and I think what a pity

No more donkey jacket swarm that could hold up the city

No more ten thousand plus that made up the whole

Just buildings and docks now lacking a soul

I know it all, still belongs to the crown

But I never thought, they’d just shut it down.

Copyright - Doug Seymour Dec 2012

Doug Seymour

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