Washington County Durham


Memories of ...

Durham Big Meeting



A Poem in Dialect:

The morn is wor Big Meetin' Day,
The grandest day of arl.
The Banner lifts at 8 o'clock
Ootside the Miners' Harl.
Wor lass and bairns'll arl be there
And Granny in her sharl.

We'll march through Durham's cobbley streets
To music from wor Band.
Wi' croods in front and croods ahind
And croods on eether hand.
And on wor backs'll be the bairns,
The bonniest in the land.

The speakin' starts at 12 o'clock;
We'll hear Clem Attlee's pattor.
He'll talk aboot the Government
Or some such vital mattor.
And if he disen't please us, why
We'll hoy him in the wattor!


And when the speechifyin's done,
And arl the Nobs hev went,
We'll find a seat and hev wor bait,
in the aad Esh Winnin' Tent.
Then join the folks aroond the Sho
That's arl on pleasure bent.

Back in the Toon we'll tak a drink
And flirt wi' arl the lasses,
And spare a word for arl we meet,
arl kinds, arl creeds, arl classes.
But canny on, me bonny lads,
And divven't smash the glasses!

And as the darkness cums to end
This best of arl gud neets,
We'll climb the hill and leave behind
The friendly, homely streets.
And though we're tired and footsore, why
At least we've had wor reets!

Written in 1953 by an anonymous Durham Miner

[ Thanks to Chester-le-Street Day Hospital for having this poem on public display, 18 January 2016. ]