a poem by William Willis, Scotland

g as Coatbridges last big steelworks for a long time before its demise and its machinery moved south of the border.

I actually left RBT in March 2003(6 months before it closed) and joined Strathclyde Police.
.See Below.





Coatbridges last furnace has now simply , all gone cold.
There is no steel to pour no more , there is no sand to mould.
Our Steelworks molten ladles , of a 1000 odd degrees.
Our industry is gone , its been brought down to its knees.

The Casting Bay, where i did work , for 15 years or so.
So i write these few verses for the ones who didnt know.
We made steel rolls for the rolling mills , we made them by the score.
What a pity that these skills , are not used here anymore.

Our furnace it would blast , felt our eardrums they were bleeding.
Our metal was now crunching , it was melting , it was screaming.
It was just like a hell on earth , like in the Devils own back yard.
Watch you didnt get burnt , you had to be good on your guard.

With the Cranemans skilled hands , the ladle it was lowered.
And with sublime precision , the metal it was poured.
The tempreture was good , it was now all systems go.
The ladle was positioned and the metal , it did flow.

60 tons of hot metal , held by a few course of hot brick.
Didnt think what might happen , t"would just make you sick.
Many men they suffered burns and a few they even died.
They will always be remembered , by thoes who have survived.

The metal it was pouring , like the shot out of a gun.
It thundered and roared but shone , just like the setting sun.
Molten sparks they were flying , the fireflies ran amock.
Its funny how one always seemed to end up in your sock.

You would feel the spark inside your boot , it was now time for the dancing.
You looked like Shakin Stevens with your silly dance and prancing.
Your workmates they all had a laugh , it would burn right through yer sock.
Simon Cowell would have been impressed , Oh Boy! How you could rock.

It was a hot place to work and the noise , it was intense.
But we always had a laugh and the crack , it was immence.
We toiled ,we sweated and worked , in our 40 hour week.
But there was always that little bit of overtime to seek.

Two nights and a Sunday was enough to feed the weans.
Extra pieces in yer piecebox but shes pit in cheese again !
Stirred yer coffee wi a pincil , that was lodged behind yer lug.
Scraped the beans oot of the can and used it as yer mug.

Turners,Furnacemen and Moulders always fighting over pay.
Sparks,Stovemen and the Labourers would also have their say.
Union Men and strikes , ye know the two go hand in hand.
Fighting for their colleagues pay and how the jobs are manned.

Thoes days i can recall , though it seems so long ago.
The Coatbridge Steelworks closing down the whole town... dealt a blow.
The poor old site lies barren now....... in silence...... it is true.
And the Steelwork is now resident to that company B&Q.

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