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 http://roymarshall.wordpress.com/.