Roy Marshall – Made in Dagenham


Made In Dagenham

A manager, who’d arrived fresh-faced in ’64,
recalled the endless drive from gate to office,
a daunting walk across the floor

through air thick with metal slough
and the beat of machines. Ex-workers spoke
of crushing boredom, toilet trips timed by foremen,

line speeds increased until hands were a blur.
A steward from the foundry where engine blocks
were forged, told of the finger lopped

and taken by a cat, and a woman described a hat
worn in honour of a visit by the second Henry Ford.
Skilled machinists, paid as unskilled, sat at their benches

and roared, as Ada greeted him, Bollocks
stitched clearly above the brim.




Roy Marshall lives in Leicestershire where he works in adult education. He has been variously employed
as a gardener, electronics buyer, delivery driver and coronary care nurse. His pamphlet ‘Gopagilla’ was published in 2012 and a full collection, ‘The Sun Bathers’ is available from Shoestring Press. Roy blogs at

3 thoughts on “Roy Marshall – Made in Dagenham

  1. I enjoy reading Marshall’s “Made in Dagenham” for several reasons easily put: a poem well made about skilled workers; a poem that uses syntactic complexity to tell good stories; there are chance rhymes that create humor and emphasis; the vocabulary draws on diverse sources; the neat tercets are in tension with the subject matter– oh there’s more…the sheer humanity of the thing!

  2. Pingback: Heading for the coast and some poems on the internet. | Roy Marshall

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