by Norrie J. Merrifield
I came back as a tourist, to the Shields of my soul.
To remember the docks, the pit and the dole.
To reinforce history, that has passed me by.
But there's no reinforcement, it just leaves a sigh.
I remember the river, the buoyant proud Tyne.
Its tall cranes and jibs, its boats and its grime
They all stood erect, so obvious and proud.
But they're all flaccid now, their spirit's been cowed.
I can still see the pit heads, the pullies and cages
They're no longer turning, no function, no wages.
They've taken their toll, in blood, sweat and tears
Their widows forsaken, 'cause, who bloody cares?
There's no boats on the river, no welders, no sparks
No smell or pollution, now only car parks.
The new yuppie ghettos have replaced the slip ways
The dry docks are long gone, Ikea's to stay.
She couldn't break the Unions, they are still there,
But the miners and dockers, can't work anywhere
Their industries destroyed, she put paid to that.
But there's plenty of car plants all owned by the Jap
It's a sad sight to see, the desolate, dead Tyne.
And the Boldon and Westoe, each once a great mine.
Though still full of coal, their throats have been cut
She won in the end, but at what cost? Though but!