POEM: Up North by John Williams of Colne

by Northern Life

My family moved up North at the start of the war
We didn’t have much money, in fact rather poor
My dad moved with his job and the firm paid up the bill
I didn’t like it at first; it’s all on a hill

Then there’s all the smoke from all them cotton mills
Sometimes so much it makes you feel ill
I remember the day after we moved; there was a knock at our front door
“See who it is,” me mam said, she was just mopping the floor

“It’s three ladies mam, they’re asking for you.”
I didn’t know who they were, they were nobody we knew
“We’ve done some baking luv”, one of them said
Potato pie, apple pie and some cakes just been med

“We don’t know money luv, call it a welcome treat
You’ll want a bit of help, til you find your feet”
My mam didn’t know what to say, I think she shed a tear
That’s what you can say about Northern folk, help is always near.

I learnt a big lesson that day, for what it’s worth
Northern folk are the salt of the Earth!