by Northern Life

By John Williams, Colne

Me Mam were a weaver, she did it all her life
She met my Dad at the mill and she became his wife
She used to run six looms, dobbies were their name
Some weaving different stuff, some all the same.

Picking sticks, shuttles, weft hooks were the tools of their trade
And on the good old Lancashire loom that’s how the cloth was made
The knocker up would wake you at the crack of dawn
Cup of tea, clogs on, and face an early morn.

Most of them walked to work with their sparking clogs
They said the noise they made frightened all the dogs
It was a way of life for many and then came the war
All able men were called up, the well-off and the poor.

The women had to leave their looms, munitions were the thing
They had to learn new skills, not know what the future would bring
When the war was over it was back to the mill.
But most had seen a new life and of the mill they’d had their fill

King Cotton was finished, no longer No. 1
Before you know it all the cotton mills were gone
Me Mam were a weaver, she did it all her life.