About 1972 Melbourne played host to an English academic by the name of Erik Gooding. Erik was a fine singer and song-writer, and it was a sad loss for us when he had to return the the ‘Old Dart’. For this reason I've recorded this song which he wrote in the 1970's about the steelworks on Teesside.
Danny Spooner sings Bridges
Chorus (after every other verse):
If you're looking for fine bridges then on Teesside we've got two,
To show what local engineers and labourers can do,
There's one that lifts a stretch of road up out of shipping's way
And the other shuffles back and forth a hundred times a day.
Now when I was just a student lad and working on a grant,
I got myself a summer job in Dorman's Ackland Plant
Where conditions for the workers hadn't changed in fifty years
And the smell of oil and manganese hung in the furnace glare.
Well the output of that plant you would be very hard to beat,
Wi' weary tykes a-toiling in the grim and bloody heat;
But a firm that makws a better steel just find one if ye can
For this very furnace forged the steel for Sydney Harbour's span.
One day the foreman and myself were walking to the mess.
We passed five hundred ton o' steel—I'm sure it was no less,
Said he to me, “The job looks hard, of ingots there's a glut.”
And sure enough a twelve-month and that Ackland Plants were shut.
So al you lads of Brumagem what mak's us fancy cars
And fittings fine electrical and fruit and nut-cake bars,
There's not a single one of you can knows the way we feel
About our area up The North, where we make British steel.