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Bill Hilton's Poem

Bill Hilton worked at Gullicks at Clarington Forge, retiring in the mid 70's. He was a well known character in the works. He worked a lot of night shifts and during one of them wrote the poem below. After many years local folk singers Gary and Vera Aspey used the poem as inspiration for their song Nightshift Army which is the title track of one of their albums.

All for a Crust of Bread Bill Hilton c 1960's

They give medals to fast runners
And to blokes who jump great heights
But not a bloody sausage
To the man who works on nights
In pubs the cards are shuffled
And the darts are gaily tossed
As, creeping into Gullick's
Goes the legion of the lost.

Your card is clocked, the hooters gone.
Yours mates note has been read
And while your backing Britain
Your foremans back in bed
You start to sweat your guts out
All chance of rest is gone
Cause they've so many chargehands
You're outnumbered ten to one.

The witching hour of midnight comes
And Securicor arrives
With his huge Siberian Wolfhound
With teeth like Ghurka's knives
By one a.m. he's still around
And his wild four legged pet
He's had three of us for supper
And the buggers hungry yet.

And just as you are beating off
A large man eating mouse
Some silly fool who's head has gone
Starts singing "Bless this House"
Time's come at last to get the chance
To snatch a hurried snack
You find that dawn is breaking
And so's your bloody back.

At eight am you stagger home
Dead tired and racked with pain
And all your kids start shouting Mum
That strange mans here again
On hands and knees you climb the stairs
And tumble into bed
To sleep, once more, until you join

Do you recognise anyone on this picture?

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