By Eddie Whiteside, Higher Walton, Preston

Well I never, reet bad news!
The old mill’s coming down,
You must admit it’s past its best,
But it’s the last one in the town.

The kids have broken all the windows,
The parents? – They don’t mind!
It just looked like a sad old man,
And now he’s just gone blind.

Some said, “it’s a shame, it’s getting the chop”,
But to save it no one rushed,
Though all will come to see it drop,
And the lovely stonework crushed.

When the dust has settled, all is gone,
We can all howl in derision,
It’s a shame the owners have the brass,
But they haven’t any vision.

If people had just said ‘something’,
Shouted and placards waved,
Just considered a few ideas,
The old mill could have been saved.

A go-cart track on one of the floors?
Perhaps, a bmx track too,
A restaurant, lots of little shops,
There’s loads that you could do.

Coffee shops and hairdressers, gym,
Kid’s crèche and petting zoo?
The owners might have all the brass,
But they haven’t got a clue!

All they see is money!
Buy it cheap, and don’t be rash,
Greedy, grasping fingers,
Smash it down and get the cash.

No care for the steam engine at its heart,
That made the looms all sing,
And all the workers had a wage,
When cotton was the king!

This place it was a village,
The mill made it a town,
‘Developers’ don’t give monkeys,
So, they’re going to knock it down.

It’s been built well, so, no easy task,
I’m sure it’ll make ‘em curse,
It made money for the townsfolk,
For pocket, for bankbook, or purse.

It kept the chip shop going,
The pubs, blacksmith & joiners too,
And don’t forget the butcher,
When, they nipped in for their stew.

The council affirmed what I’d been told,
They said that ‘it was true’,
No point me jumping up and down,
And turning the air quite blue.

Modern houses are what’s needed here,
With their carbon footprint small,
Aye, little boxes, all the same,
And they’re made out of beggar all.

They called the mill a ‘dinosaur’,
And ‘global warming’ that seems odd,
The mill’s a centenarian,
Its carbon footprint’s long been trod.

I’m older and much wiser now,
No use to rant and rave,
I’ll go and see the ‘demo’ boss
Sure, there’s something I can save.

A cast iron staircase ‘that looks good’,
And cast-iron stanchions too,
A stone arch here, leaded windows there,
I think ‘I’ll have a do’.

So, a deal’s been struck,
And a hand’s been shook,
I’ve made another friend,
Get it loaded, then off home to my place, it’s called ‘wits end’.

The Lancashire salvager rides again,
And my truck’s out on the road,
I’ll bring back the things that matter,
It’s our heritage by the load!

The big ‘e’s always on the ball,
Though there’s not much time to rest,
Even though I can’t do it all,
You know I’ll try my best.

Look at the old buildings near you,
And be quick, there’s not much time,
If you sit there doing nothing,
You’re assisting in the crime.

 

The Lancashire Salvager: The Weird World Of Eddie Whiteside

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