The English love their pecking order. The working class near the bottom, turned this on it’s head making being a worker something to be proud of and justifiably so. They embody strength, honour , pride and grit. The first world war was the final straw when men said “enough, we demand better”. Workers formed Unions and brought about change. Sadly, there are still people at the bottom but many lack the pride, passion and drive to bring about change.

The line “high on silk, by hand painted” refers to the Union banners which were originally painted and later woven.


They seek to escape this place, with its suffocating monotone drab,

the cloying sense of the banal. The bright plastic shards which stab

through the stagnant filth of the canal.

But it was not always so, concrete now blights streets of cobbled stone,

crude imagery shames walls, where once was the woollen mill’s drone

and mothers wrapped in shawls.

This was a noble town, home to working folk who carried their pride

high on silk, by hand painted, who from toil and strife had never shied,

simple lives of honour untainted.

Called the lower class, always kept down on the ladder’s first rung,

held as not of equal worth, yet from their sweat an empire was sprung,

to amuse those of privileged birth.

It is right and just that in this land, anyone can now make a better life,

though there’s always a cost, it’s not how you hold your fork and knife,

but that a noble class is lost.


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