This Is My Town

a poem by William Willis, Scotland

From 18th Century hamlet's, our Coatbridge town was born.
Our coal and iron empire, a dynasty was formed.
Our Iron Burgh blasted gave employment and pollution.
Coatbridge were now master's of The Industrial Revolution.

Immigrant's from Ireland did come in search of work.
With raw material's running low, unemployment it did lurk.
Baird's blast furnace's would brighten up our sky.
Miner's dream's now darkening , coal in short supply.

A canopy of toxic plume, engulfed our once green town.
Now it's devil's graveyard smog, has made our good Lord frown.
Our population growth was now going off the scale.
The coal-mines and foundries, were all now doomed to fail.

Coatbridge, it's coat of arms, now shrouded in black dust.
Demi Monks now tearful, all our industries have gone bust.
Filthy, huddled housing, The Great Depression is now here.
Cholera and typhoid's rife, diseases that we fear.

Gartsherrie Foundries bing, stand 'bout twenty storey's high.
Man-made mountain slag-heaps, they now blacken out our sky.
Front page news from town, where sweat and blood are given....
.reads."Gartsherrie Steelwork's has closed down." .....It's 1967.

Regeneration and the 70's, new industries in town.
Electronic's and engineering works, took unemployment down.
R.B.Tennent, Martin Black, still making steel and wire.
And just like the nearby Ravenscraig, their time it did expire.

Coatbridge sports and leisure, Albion Rovers from Cliftonhill.
Townhead's Municipal Course, many teeing-off there still.
The toffs they liked Drumpellier, picturesque and velvet lawns.
Take a stroll down The Daisy, see the water, feed the swans.

Public Houses there are plenty, run the full length of our town.
From Big Owens down to Silky's Bar but many closing down.
Sportsmans Bar and Garfields, Vulcan Bar, Le Club de France.
Scruffy Murphys, Galleria then Electric Gardens for a dance.

Fitba-studs fae Foster Sports, bike parts fae King Fergies.
Food fae Fine Fare, sweets fae Woolies, school stuff fae John Menzies.
Now most shops in Coatbridge Town have gone into decay.
And now there's only pound shops, moneys spent at Faraday.

Take the weans to West End Park or The Heritage Museum.
Locomotives, working railways, children queuing up to see them.
All these memories I remember and the history. It is fact.
So Monklands keep your chin up, keep our heritage intact.

So Coatbridge Town, I'll say goodbye and put away my pen.
I'll maybe write more verses but I really can't say when.
P.S. I forgot to mention, in this poem twists and turns.
A big well done to Boxing Champ. Our one and only Ricky Burns.

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