His job was hard and the hours were long The tubs of coal were pushed along.
Through tunnels dark he struggled on, Muscle-weary his face was worn.
His back was bent with the arduous toil Of working beneath the farmers’ soil.
The hewers’ shouts urged him ever harder on Hand putting tubs or his job was gone.
The job was cruel down this man-made hole But that’s all there was – there was no dole.
And that’s how we became soled and heeled Thousands of feet in the Durham coalfield.

John Iddon


A Nineteenth Anniversary Ode

It was twenty years ago today, I should know, I wasn’t there;
the year before Bert Gerlson and John Burton scratched their few remaining hairs.

‘A Folk Club’s what we want’, they said that monumental day.
‘A thriving, bustling singalong down Trimdon Village way.
And when we’ve launched the bloody thing every nineteen year we can get our mates together and pretend we wasn’t there!’

Wel1 recall those days of twinning with Russia and Esh Winning, when Skerne took Germany by storm and Germany took fright!
The days of that great album ‘Better Late Than Never’ that missed the charts by the hair of a dog then took off – like a log!

Yes, great days then and great days now, nineteen years of Bass and Bliss.
Let’s start the celebrations now so that Skerne can never miss the twenty fourth anniversary do in 1992!

(Specially written for the Red Lion Folk Club Anniversary Evening, 30/10/87)
by Keith Armstrong

What HAS Frankie Dunn!

I wonder what made Tucker Peel And Bobby Skelton skin?
Did they fool Bobby Peat To knock Jack Garnham off his feet?

I wonder what has Chowie Dunn That’s turning Jimmy White?
What kind of books does Squire Reed?
How well can Amos Wright?

I wondered how can Tommy Winn?
I thought that Spider Wood.
Then some may think that Norman Cann But boy, isn’t Jonty Good?

I wonder what made Arthur Wade?
And where has Ronnie Bean?
What was it turned Alfie Grey?
And what made Bobby Green?

I wonder what made Ernie Wild?
And what turned Jimmy Brown?
What kind of trees did Jimmy Plant?
Who was it knocked Bob Down?

I wonder what turned Billy Light?
And how long did Ikey Neal?
And, say, how far did Hilda Rowe?
How much did Dicky Steele?

I wonder what made Alfie Boast?
How long will Charlie Raine?
And, say, what was it gave Fred Hope?
And who did Jackie Cain?

I wonder who sent Freddie West?
And what took Norman North?
Tell me, how much was Robert Short?
How much was Albert Worth?

(Presumed written by Frankie Dunn)