Northwich Poems by
Charlotte Peters Rock

Four poems about Northwich by Charlotte Peters Rock.

A Silence of Coffins and Salt 

The coffins – the ponies – the men on the walk
From Northwich to Macclesfield all through the night
Are moving the money by moving the salt
Away from the tax man – so nobody talk
And silence will serve us alright
A silence of coffins and salt

Little Castle by the Arches 

The little castle – just beside the river
Below the pink stone arches meant to lift
The trains – is modest – set behind its railings
Seven windows staring round it – eyes adrift

A red brick circle crowned by castellations
A band of sandstone where the teeth begin
White painted stonework tops and tails the windows
And somewhere – there’s a door to let us in

Inside – the treasure – guarded by the castle
In gleaming metal – panels red and green
The engines and the pumps to shift the sewage
To clear the typhus – polio and unseen

Diseases which would kill the population
Were pumped away efficiently – and yet
There’s little now to show – except this treasure
Ingenious working by the arches set

The little castle – just beside the river
The treasure more important far than gold
Should not be overlooked – its work was clever
It brought us life - and every thing we hold

Don’t think – oh please don’t think it’s unimportant
This strong foundation for the public health
Was one small step to serve a healthy nation
Look back – and see the reason for your wealth

Mean - an The Poor 

Well the paupers in the workowse
They ave nuthin left to live for
They separate the children
An the usban from iz wife
An they set im breakin stones up
An they set er pickin oakum
An they do it all as punishment
Its not a pretty life

An the masters in the Boardroom
They don’t want to elp the pauper
Nor elp the pauper’s children
Nor the usban nor the wife
An their meanness from their riches
Is an evil in the Parish
They do wat they’re told by Government
Its not a pretty life

All the workers payin taxes
Tryin ard to shut the fear out
They mark the pauper children
An the usban an the wife
As ‘people we could never be’
We’re all workin ard an decent
An the paupers ways are indigent
Its not a pretty life

Yet there before em weep the poor
An the Grace of God as left um
Its taken out on children
An the usban an the wife
Their charity is cold an ard
The proffered and is withered
An there’s nuthin of democracy
Its not a pretty life

Northwich House 

The frame’s alright
Oh yes – I know
The frame was quite
Alright – as you can see

But still er toppled
Er toppled back
An threw uz out a bed

An those strong fellows
Barrered out
Our goods – in case
The whole thing went

They came an brought their jacks
An over days
Oh, several days or so
They set it straight

We moved back in
Yet I can’t sleep
What if another hole below
Just opened up

Just opened up
An took us down
The dog an all the kiddies
Down to hell

The preacher’s sermon
Spoke of hell
An I’m afraid of that
So I don’t sleep

You can see more poems and songs by Charlotte on her blog.

Poems are © Charlotte Peters Rock.