T' History o't Haworth Railway.
By William Wright poet of Haworth. known as Bill o'th Hoylus End.
Price Sixpence - Haworth Printing Works. n.d.
This is a famous dialect writing by the local version of Wm M'c Gonigal
Some explanations may be necessary. The whole document is about 20 pages some in narrative and some in verse.
Lockertown and Owertown probably refer to Lowertown and Uppertown atOxenhope.
Flappeters refers to Flappit Springs on the way towards Cullingworth.
Ike Ouden - Isaac Holden later Sir Isaac of Oakworth Hall.
An' tak the Cowinheeader's plan - probably refers to people from Cowling Head.
T' History o't Haworth Railway.
Before I commence mi short history o't Haworth Railway, it might be as weel to say a word or two abaht Haworth itseln. It's a city at's little knawn if onny, i't history o' England, though ther's no daht but its as oud as Methusalem, if not ouder, yet with it being built so far aht at latitude ov civilized nashuns, nobody's scarecely knawn owt abaht it wal latly. T'finders ov it are said to be people fra't Eastern Countries, for they tuke fearful of em e Haworth it line o' soothsayers, magishuns, an' asstrologers; but whether they com fra't east or't west, theyluke oud fashun'd enuff. Nah t' city is situated in a very romantic part o'Yorkshire, andwithin two or three miles o't boundary mark o' Lancashire. Some foak sez it wer t'last place as wer made, but it's a mistak, for it lukes oud fashun'ed enuff to be t'first at wer made.
Gert travellers sez it resembles t' cities o' Rome and Edinburgh, fer ther's a deal o' up-hills afore you can get to t' top on't; but e landing you'd be struck wi' wonder and amazement - what wi't tall biggens, monniments, domes, hampitheaters, and so on; fer instance, t' Church, or rather the Cathedral, is a famous biggen, and stands majestically o't top at hill. It hes been sed at Oliver Cromwell wor so struck wi't appearance at Church an t'City altogether, wal he a mack a consented to hev it the hed-quarters for the army and navy.
The faander o't' Church is sed to be won Wang-be- Wang, won et Empror's o' China as com ower in a balloon an' browt we him all his relations, but his granmuther; the natives at that toime wur a mack a wild, but i' mixin up we t'balloonites they soin became civilized and bigd t'Church at's studden fra that time to nah, wi't exepshun o' won end, destroyed at sum toime, sum sez it wur be war. Sum sez west and t'saath end wur destroyed, but it's a mack a settled on wit wiseuns it wur withccraft; but be it as it may Haworth, an't folk a'together is as toff as paps, an hez stud aht wel, an' no daht but it wod er flerished before Lunden, Parriss, or Jerusulum, for sentries back, if they'd hed a Railway; but after nearly all Grate Brittn and France hed been furnished wi a railway, the people i' Haworth began to be uneazy and felt inclined no longer to wauk several miles to get to a stashun if they were bahn off liks. And besides, they thout it wer high time to begin and mack sum progress i't' wurld, like their naburs 't valley. So they adjetated for a line dahn the valley as far as Keighley, and after abaht a hundred meetings they gat an act passed for it i' Parlement.
So at last a Committee wur formed, and they met wun neet a purpose to decide when it wod be t'best convenient for em to dig t'furst sod to commemerate and start t'gert event. And a bonny rumpus there wor yo mind, for yo may think ha it wor conducted when they wur threapin wi wun another like a lot o' oud wimen at a parish pump when it sud be.
Wun sed it mud tak place at rush-berring, another sed next muck-spreading toime, a third sed it mud be dug et gert wind-day e memory o' oud Jack K... Well, noan o't proposishuns wod do for t'lot, and there wur such opposition wal it omust hung on a threed, wether the railway went on or not, wal at last an oud farmer, wun o' the committee-men, wi' a voice as haorse as a farm yard dog, bawls aht, I propose Pancake Tuesday.
So after a little more noise it wor proposed and seconded at the Grand Trunk Railway between the respective tahns o' Keighley and Haworth sud be commemmorated wi diggin t' furst sod o' Pancake Tuesday, i't year o' our Lord 1864; and be't shoe o' hands i't usualway it wor carried by wun, and that wor Ginger jabus, and t'other cud a liked t'bowt hom ower, but Jabus worn't to be bowt that time, for he hed 'is hart and sowl I the movement. and he went abaht singin.:-
Cum all ye lads o' high renown
At wishes well your native town,
Rowl up an' put your money down
An' let us hev a Railway.
We Keighley fowk we are behind,
An's sed to waulk agin wur mind;
But sooin t,crookt-legg'd uns they will find,
We'el kap em wi' a Railway.
Well, hasumivver public notice wur made knawn, be the bellman crying it all ower t'taan, wich he did to such a pitch, wal he'd summat to do to keep his hat fra flyin off, but he manijed to do it at last to a nicety, for t'news spread like sparks aht of a bakehus chimla; and wen the day com they flocked in fra all parts, sum o't'cookt-legged uns fra Keighley com, Lockertown and Owertown folk com, and the oud batchelors fra Stanbury and all part et continent o' Haworth; fowk craaded in o' all sides, even t'oud men and wimmen fra Wicken Crag and the Flappeters, and strappin folk they are yo mind, sum as fat as pigs, wi' heads as red as carrots, and as nimble as a india-rubber bouncer taw; and wat wur t' best on't it happened to be a fine day; for if it hed been made according to orders it cudn't a been finer. Shops wur all closed and ivverybody, oud and young hed a haliday aht o' t' doors, fir they wur all flade a missin t'Grand Processhun wich formed itsel at top o' Wuthren when it wur messured, it turn'd aht to be two milessix inches long -it moved as follows.
Order of Processhun
The Spring-Head band wi' ther hat-bruads turn'd up so as they mud see ther way clear.
Lord et Manor i' full uniform a fut back bearing Coat of Arms for Haworth, a gert wild cratur wi' tow tails on, wun et awther end.
Two citizens wi white cravats raand ther hats.
The Members o't Corporashun one-abreast singin 'a nuttin we will go brave boys' Big Drums and Triangles
A Mahogany Wheelbarrow and a silver trowel on a cart trail'd wi six donkeys, an' garded wi ten lazy policemen , all sober.
The contractor in a sedan carried wi' two waggoners i' white smocks.
All the young maidens fra fourteen to thirty-nine, six-abreast, drest I sky-blue, an singin throo combs.
Twenty oud wimin knittin stockings.
Twenty navvies i ther shirt sleeves weeling barrows wi workin tooils.
taan skavangers wi shoulder'd besums decorated wi ribbons
Bellman and Pinder arm-i-arm drest i' full uniform and the latter now and then bawlin aht wats bahn to tak place.
All t'scholats i't female line laking at duck-under-watter kit, and t'males laking at frog-loup and jumpin o' one another's backs.
Taan chimla sweeps maanted o' donkies wi ther faces white.
All t' furiners fra the Continent o' Haworth and crookt' legged und fra Keighley followed up.
Bulk o't'inhabitants wauking wun-abreast wi theri hats off, and singing and shouting.
"The Railway : The Railway!"
In fact the railway wur e ivveryboy's maath, what wi singing an' shouting, them at cud do nawther whisper'd in wun another's ears - Railway ! But getting to where t'ceremuny wur to tak place the processhun halted and formed itseln into a raand ring, and cheers wur geen wi shakin hats and handkerchiefs; which lasted wal' ther showders an arms warkt, wal thay'd hardly strength to shut ther maaths and don ther hats on. But hasumivver they manijed to get reight agean, and then a parson called Ned Oufield gat up and made the following narashun.
Fellow countrymen and citizens o' Haworth - It gives me gert pleasur to see such a gert event as this tak place i the city o' Haworth, namely diggin t'furst sod o' wat's called Grand Trunk Line between Keighley and yor native element, and reight pleased I am to offishiate as chairman on this occashun. Perhaps sum on yo maint naw what I mean wi yer native element; but I mean yer oud mountain side, an aw naw yor ancestors wor nowt but barbarians in the fourth and fifth sentries, yet they were the first to embrace Christianity, which they did i't yer 600, be the Latin inscripshun on the church steeple - Loud Cheers.
And although yo been behind wi yor Railway, ye been up i' different arts and sciences. Wat nashun, my frends, can boast of a majishun like yor oud Jack K... Loud Cheers. He wur a credit to yo all, and yo wur sadly indebted to him; he proffesied twenty yer sin at this event wud cum to pass (a voice, ha wish he wur alive he sud be t'contractor) and if he'd been livin to this day, its a hunderd to wun but the Railway wud hev been made to some where else ner Keighley, for ha feel convinced et Keighley is not wurthy of amalgamashun wi a respectable city like Haworth - (Hear Hear)
For look wat insultin langwidj they've used to yo at different times (Groans) Furst, they sed yo muck't church to mak it grow bigger. Then, yo walked rahnd tahn's post office at Keighley an' thout it wur cemetry. and to make up for the lot, they call us wild craturs, and mock wur plezant dialect. which is better English ner theirs; (Groans, wich lasted fer ten minits.)
Yes, my fella citizens, you've hed to put up wi a deal o' slang fra theas uncultivated rascals (We Have ) And wat's war nur all, yah've hed to wauk wet an dry, thro thick and thin, i all sorts o' weather to Keighley wen you've wanted to go on the continent or Lundun. But soin yo can wauk slap to' train in a jiffy, (Loud Cheers ) Mr Oufield then thank't his fella taansmen and wimen and ended his speecg wi expressin his delight in the loyalty of the people for the railway, and as the time was fast waxin, he begged leave to sit dahn, wich he did t' midst lahd enthusiastic shouting.
This been dun, and ivverybody gotten their maaths shut agean, Ike Ouden gat up and made a speech, and a grand un it wor yo mind, for if the arkangel hed dropt streyt dahn fra heven and let o'top o't platform, it cuddant a suited t'fowk better, for he began as follows. Fella citizens and tahnsmen o'Haworth, - Wen I see before me so many smling faces and so many distingwisht citizens, I awn ha felt a pang as to my unfitness for appearing afore yo on this occashun; but yor committee wor so urgent in their appeal to me that I wor certainly induced to akcept the honnor of diggin the furst sod o' the Grand Trunk Railway, wich will be the gratest blessin that ivver will be i Haworth. But yet its nor fer me to say wat is kalkulated or unkalkulated for the people o' Haworth to do it in the 19th sentry, yet I may ventur to sat at this glorious muvment nah bahn to tak place will shortly prove the gratest blessin ivver witnessed i't city o'Haworth.
Look at the export and import of the city, and compare the spaven'd horse and cart wi the puffin willyams and all the fine carriages. Look at the difference wen it tuk a week to go to Liverpool, and a month to Lundun, in a oud coach, and hev to mak wur wills afore we went - (Enthusiastic Cheering)
Yes, my friends, we stud a good chance e being robbed and plundered if net summat war. Besides wat an immense difference it will mak to Haworth, wen shoo can export her own mannifacturs to all the civilised and uncivilised wurld, and by means o'steam find their ways into rejuns nivver trod but by feet o' wild craturs and beasts o'pray. But to mak t'story short ha mean to say it will be a grate cumfort and a blessin to both the lame and lazey, and speshally to the latter. But as the time was gettin on fastish, as it allus dus when there's owt to be dun, so Mr Ouden finisht his speech as follows :-
Put yor shoilders to work, lads, and ne'er be danted. Think yer behint and theres no time to dally, For nah is the time yor assistance is wanted I' makin yor railway along the Worth Valley
The Spring-head band then played sum of their favorite tunes :-
Oud Rosen the Bow
and ended wi' God Save the Queen.
and all departed to their homes wi smilin faces.
Gather fra Stanbury, lads, wi yor carrot heaads,
Cum dahn fra Lockter tahn, lads, be the railway;
Cum wi yor wives, yor dowters, an relatives,
Shout lads, shout for the Worth Valley Railway.
Heard you Ned Oufield mak his noration
Yoh'l say in yohr conshunce he spak it reyt fairly
He said poor Haworth nivver yet hed fairashun,
And spak of the thing that will flurish it rarely.
The Railway, The Railway.
Saw yoh Icholden wi his mahogany wheelbarrow
Cum dig the first sod wi his trowel o' silver;
He weeled it dahn t'plenk as streyt as an arrow
And tipt as weel as a navvy or delver.
The Railway, The Railway.
Se yoh the church so'anshent in history,
Read yoh the latin words high in the steeple,
Hark to the sounds that arise from the belfry,
It seems to be shaating along wi the people
The Railway, The Railway
Nah then, lads, for wark, nout but wark al do, and these at can't wark mun plan.
This wor the cry all up and dahn Haworth next mornin, and for weeks all wor varry bizzy.
Won man made a weel-barra i't chamber, but it wor so big wal it couldn't be gotten aht withaht takin t'haase side dahn. Another invented a koulin-masheen to koul t'muck up both sides to save weelbarras and work tooils for the navvies.
Some started practicing fer porters at t'railway wi oppenin and shuttin, th'oven doors wi a bank, shaating aht at t'same time "All aht for Haworth" Wun man wor trying the dodge on, and t'cat wor i th'oven, and the poor thing, expecting that it wor i't wrong place, jumpt aht just at t'time at he wor whistlin to start, and wor cacht bi t'tail and the poor thing lost it, for it wur cut off as clean as a whistle.
A crookt-legg'd pedlar cum far Keighley wun day wi winter-edges, an they tuke him for a sapper and miner et hed cum to mezhur for t'railway, and mind yoh they did mak summat on him, they thout that the winter-edges wur the apparatus to mezhur by.
But hasumivver, the reyt uns com at after, and a sore disaster they ad yoh mind, for they laid the plans o' t'railway dahn at green swarth, an a' oud kah belanging to Blue Beard swallowed t' job; they tried to save em but all i' vain; a sore do wur this for both t'fowks and t'railway, for it put em a year or two back. and fowk wur raging mad abaht t'kah, an if it hedn't a been a wizzen'd oud thing they'd a swallowed it alive - the nasty greedy oud thing.
They hed a meeting t'other neet,
Fair o'top o' Wutherin Street,
To see what things they'd got complete
Concerning t'Haworth Railway.
Wen Penny Wabbac tuke the chair,
He lukt to be i' grate despair,
He sez, good folk, are yoh aware
Wat's happened to the Railway.
Wi persperashun on his brah,
He sez, good folk, al tell yoh nah,
Oud Blue Beard's nasty wizened kah,
Hez swallowed plan o't'Railway.
Wi these remarks poor Wabbac sat
Wen Jonny Broth doft off his hat,
His een they blazed like sum wild cat
Wi vengance for the Railway
He sed mi blud begins to boil
to think et we sud wark an toil
And ev'n t'cattle cannot thoyle
To let us hev a Railway.
On hearing this the Haworth foak
Began to swear it wur no joak
And wisht at greedy cah ma choak
At swallowed t'plan o't'Railway.
But hasumivver they gat ower this, and wur not long at after afore they hed more disaster, such as tunnils shutterin, and chapels sinkin, and law suits, an so on, wal t'Haworthers thout be t'hart at both the folk and the grund wor soft dahn at Keaighley an threttened to comb sum o' the crook-legged uns their heaads if they insinuated and the Volunteers threttened to tak their part if there wur owt to do; and farther ner that, they vowed that they were ready to go to war wi onny nashun that sud insult awther them or ther railway under the present difficulties.
But sighs and tears and doubts and fears,
Prevails with greatest folly,
For t'singagog hez cock't it clog,
And t'parson's melancholy.
Tunnels sink and navvies drink,
And chapels are upsetting;
For Railway Shares nobody cares,
And ivverbody's fretting.
The iron horse they curse of course
And fane wud it abandon
And loyer's fees their pockets ease
A thousand pound i' Lundun.
Misfortunes speed as rank as weed
An' puts on sich a damper,
Wal t'foaks declare e grate dispair
Its up wi't iron tramper
The volunteers prick up their eers,
An mak a famos rattle,
Thay want ta run ta Wimbleton
Or onny field o battle.
Their black cravats an toppen'd hats
Are causing grate attraction
Against Boneypart they want to start
E reglar fightin action.
The raw recruits hev got ther suits,
Thay brag ta wun another,
ta't first campaign thay'l tak the train
Withaat the sliteeist bother.
But t'oud foak thinks thair'l be some stinks
At menshun of invazhun
An hopes et taan will ride em daan
E cabs ta Haworth Stashun.
But hasumivver toime works wondert wi it an perseverance its gotten ta't last stage na, an foak is varry impashent fer it ta cum up, an tha're preparin ta give it a grand recepshun; wun oud woman hes a peggy tub full o' meyl an saar swillins for t'ingen, and they are preparin another puddin for t'passengers fra Keighley.
Theyr'e standing i' groups an theyr'e living i' hopes.
And more disappointments they dread.
Wi' they're ears touching t'graand, they've harken'd for t'saand.
Wal they've omust gone wrong i ther head.
Sez Dick o' Grate Beckers, just keep up yor peckers,
Yo hevn't much longer to wait
For the blue milk and porridge, yol get better forridge
Wen the railway gets fairly agait.
For it's labour i' vain to Harken for t'train
When all's goin on varry steady;
So pray yo be calm its takin no harm
They'll bring it as sooin as its ready.
For t'rails are all laid and ther's nowt to be made
Nobbut th'navvies to clear off all t'muck
Then all al be goin, for the Cowinheaad mooin
Is bahn to be browt on a truck.
So Sam o' Blue Bills, wi thi, pints and thi gills
Its bahn to be better for thee,
To Keighley an back, tha may go in a crack,
When tha's bahn on a bit of a spree.
And John o' Pot Ann's tha mun alter thi plans,
For tha nivver can get im i' force
For i'm happy to tell at Stead o'th canal
They're bahn to try t'big iron horse.
There's oud Jim O'Kyas is bahn to be wise,
An th' folk sez at he's takkin a hig;
He'll see it fair tried afore he will ride
He's dahn abaht t'Paper Mill Brig.
He sez he'll be sure, it dropt in before,
And it might do again for a pinch
For he sez they'll be kapt if sum on em trapt,
So he's blest if he'll trust it an inch.
There's oud Mally Brook hes been dahn to look,
And shoo's sore disappointed they say;
Shoo's ommust goan crack't for sho sez it wean't act
For they nobbut can run it wun way.
Sho sez at high class ats laid dahn all th' brass
Just nah they're begginnin ta craw
To mak up for th'trouble they're bahn to charge double
For bad speckulashun it law.
So to sattle em dahn, Sir Chrestofer Brahn
Hez tould em it wur his intent
If they'd nobbut be quiet till things wer all reight,
He'd give em a trip to Chow Bent.
Yes, and besides a trip to Chow bent, they gat several more trips promised bi th'different distingwisht citizens o'Haworth. Wun promised to give em trip to Bullock's Smithy' anuther to Tingsley Bongs, wal they wur getting quite up o' thersels and t'railway. Or else they'd been for many a year and cudn't sleep a wink at neet for dreamin abaht t'railway ingens, boilers, and so on, and mony a time they've wakken'd i' ther sleep shakin th'bed-posts, thinkin they wur setting t'ingen on or stoppin it. But they's gotten reight and thout they wur bahn to hev no more trouble; but alas, it wur a mistak, for o't' monring of the 14th November an oud skyologer went aht a weather-gazin and planet-ruling and woful news and bad omens he browt back wi him, for he sat at t'
Stars wur shooiting in and aht
And gavel ratches wur abaht
And t'folk he sed, they little knew
What mischief it wur bahn ta brew
And news he spread abaht the tahn
What lots o'rain wud tumble dahn
And like his anshent sires he spoke
The shockin news withaht a joke
For sooin the rain i'torrents fell.
And O what awful news to tell,
it lookt as t'clahds wur bahn to shutter
For every dyke, and ditch and gutter
A regular deluge did resemble
Which made haworth folk to tremble
Some tried to stop it's course with stones
And some dropt on their marrow bones,
And hoped at if the wurld wur drahnd
The railway wud be safe an'sahnd
But prayers like these hed no avail
For t'waters deluged all the dale
And t'latest news et I hev heerd
T'railway's nearly disappeared;
But if its fun withaht a flaw
Wha folks I'm like to let yo knaw
"Work boys, work and be contented"
Ha its all varry weel for the poit to sing that, but if he hed a railway at stake he wud happen alter his tune, an espeshully if he wur an eye witness nah, for t'storm war ragin at hevest, and folks wur waiting wi pashent expectashun to knaw whether they wur bahn to be at an end or not, for t'floid wur coming dahn thicker an faster and there look'd to be monny a hunderd mile o' watter in t'valley. Hasumivver, they muster'd all t'energy they cud, for they wur determined to knaw t'warst, so they went to see if they could find t'oud weather gazer at hed proffesied t'flooid; and after a good deal o' runnin abaht, they fan him peepin thru summat at shap o a tunnel. Some sed he wur lookin at t'mooin, others sed he wor looking into futurity; hasumivver they asked him to come dahn an' look at t'railway, and tell em whether t'flooid wur bahn to tak it away or not, but t'saucy oud hound refused at first, for he sed at he wor flaid at sum on em wodn't be able to stand t'shock if he tell'd em t'warst, so t'oud lad sed
If my advice yoh want, poor things,
An cannut do withaht it.
Go arm yor seln to t'teeth, he sed,
An' doan't be long abaht it;
Both rakes an' powls an' props an' ropes
Yo cannot get ta sooin,
An' tak the Cowinheeader's plan
When they discuver'd t'mooin,
Don't t' gape abaht but when yor arm'd
Take each a different rowt;
And let yor cry be ivvery man
T'poor railway's up the spout.
It wurnt long afore they gat arm'd - sum wi clothes props, muk forks, ropes, an' so on and there wor som competition yo mind, for they wur all trying which cud mak best movement so as they could immortalise their names i't'history of Haworth, for there wur one Joe Hobb, a handloom weaver browt his slay boards, and as he wor going dahn t'hill he did mak sum manoevures, an talk abaht fugal men i't army when they throw their guns up into t'air and catches em again, they wur nowt to Joe, fur he span his slay boards up an' dahn just like a shuttlecock. But w'all all this wur going on t'storm began to abate, and t'watter seemed to get less, but still thye kept at it. Wal at last a chap they call Dave Twirler shahted aht he saw summat, an' they all look't wat at he pointed, and there behold it wur won o't' ribs o't railway sticking up (here a dead silence tuk place which lasted for abaht three hours) for nobody durs't open their maaths, flaid a t'wind wud mak t'current stronger, and sum a't' wimmen held their tongs to that pain and misery wal their stockings fell dahn ower ther clog tops; hasumever t'silence wur broken by a Haworth Parish chap at they call Bob Gimlet, he happened to be there and sed nah lads. look down t'valley, for I think I see t'skeleton at onny rate, and Bob wur reight, for it wur as plain to be seen as aelephant in a shop window.
And this wur a fact this wur t'railway they saw
And at t'first sight o't'spectre they all stood in awe,
For it wur smashed all i' pieces asharmed to be seen.
As tho' it hed passed thro' a sausidge masheen;
Wi horror some fainted, while others took fits
Aud these at cud stand it wur picking up t'bits.
But after a while when they all became calm,
They gatherd together like bees in a swarm,
Resolv'd to pick up all fragments an t'wood
And splice em together as weel as they cud,
Hasumever they started a putting it streyt,
And wi' spelking and braying they soon made it reight
Six months nah elapsed and t'gert job wur don,
And t'next thing to argue wur wen it sud run,
So they sent Joe a-Stirks arahnd wi' his bell,
And gave him strict orders at he wur to tell,
At th'inspectot hed been and examined it thro'
And cum t t'conclusion et t'railway wud do.
So to wark wi a vengeance, the bellman set to,
To warn up a meeting to meet at t'Black Bull.
It wud dun yo all good to hear Joey shaht,
For they heard him distinctly for miles all abaht,
And i' less ner ten minits, they flockt in so fast,
While Johnny Broth horses they couldn't get past.
So they fram'd on wi' t'meting an' t'chairman spak first,
and tell'd em a' t'railway wur finish'd at last;
And declared at t'inspector hed passed when he com
Both viaducts and bridges as sahnd as a plum;
As for sinkin agean they wud do nowt et sort,
For they sailed thro' the arches i' Marriner's boat.
So he hoped i' this meeting they all wud agree,
And settle when t'opening o't'railway sud be.
he thout for his part tho' he nobbut wur won,
At first day o' April wur t'fittest to run,
Wen a voice sed, sit dahn or I'll pelt thee wi' spooils,
Duz ta think at wur bahn to be April fooils.
Then up on t''tplatform jump'd Red Dicky Brook
Along wi his uncle Black Tom at Dyke Nook
Determined to sattle and bring things arahnd,
As t'railway wur finished both proper and sahnd;
So they pitched on a day - this wur April the 4th
To oppen t'grand railway fra Lunden to Haworth.
It wur carried as usual bi' t'showing o' hands,
Amidst grate rejoicing and playing o' bands.
Both oud men and wimen hed a smile on their face
For all wur dead certain this wur bahn to tak place,
So they fled to their homes like bees to a hive,
Impashent and anshus for t'day to arrive.
Hasumever t'day com at wur menshun'd before
And folk wur all flocking fra mahntan and t'moor,
And little they thout when they set off that morn,
Anuther disaster would laff em to scorn;
For Joe Stirk wur sent out to tell em to stop,
For poor haworth railway hed getten i' pop.
Nah this wur a damper and t'biggest i'th'lot
And t'fowks they declared this wur a Keighley plot
But one Jack o' Ludges sed he'd stop em their prate.
He'd learn 'em i' Keighley to insinuate,
They'st hev no excurshuns for nout but their lip,
And Shipley and Bradford should hev the first trip.
He sed he'd been quiet, but he'd nah interfere,
He'd wauk up to Derby and tell em up there,
Hah they hed been skitted, sin first they begun,
And nah when this wur finished they wurn't to run,
But hah he went on I never did hear
But won thing I'm certain he must 'a been there.
For t'tenth day of April Bill wur put aht
That t'railway wud oppen withaht any daht,
And a famous excurshun fra Bradford wod run,
And call at all stashuns wi' t'excepshun o' wun
For nowt aht o' Keighley to Haworth sud ride,
For that day all t'luggage wur left o' won side.
Scarce Keighley corrkt-legged ens heard o' the news
Ans wur just bahn to give 'em the gratest abuse,
When an order cum aht fra sum unknawn source,
That Keighley crook't-legg'd ens cud go up of course
They thowt it wur best, and wud cause t'least bother
For wun sun be welcum as weel as another.
Hasumever their hopes hes not been i' vain
for the day's arrived and yonder's the train
And thahsands o'folk is flocking to t'spot
The gent fra his hall and t'peasent fra his cot
For all are determined as t'weather is fine,
To hev an excurshun up t'Worth Valley Line.
They land up i' Haworth, and sport et is seen,
Wur never yet equalled i't reign o't'Queen.
Such processhuns wi' music yo ne'er saw the like,
There wur bands fra all nashuns excepting t'Black Dyke
And Sham o' Blue Bill's sed he'd kick up a shine
For nah they hed oppen'd the Worth Valley Line.
There wur Jim o' t'Damems, and Will o' t' Gooise Coit,
And the lads at wur in at that pudding exploit,
There wur Ned dahn fra oakworth, and Ike fra Loin Ends,
Along wi their aristocratic friends,
They repair'd to t'Black Bull, of sahnd puddin to dine,
That dat at they oppen'd the Worth Valley Line.
I' all nooks and corners and chimla tops
Wur floating gert banners wi' might big props,
And stamp'd on each flag I' figures so nice,
Sum an inscripshun and sum a device,
but t'nicest i't'lump at swung on a band,
Wur welcum to Haworth fra ivvery land.
Yor welcum, yor welcum, all men upon earth,
Yor welcum to the Valley of Worth,
Fra T'Humber, to t'Mersey, fra t'Thames dahn to t'Tyne
Yor welcum to travel the Worth Valley Line
T'last Scene of all that ends this strange eventful history.
Fra t'Correspondent o't'Hoylus End Mercury.
Good folk you've inkwired at home an' abroad
Ha we're gettin on wi wur famous railroad;
And when I've tell'd yo the disasters we've hed,
Yo've greeved monny a time wal yo've tain to yor bed,
But ha yo will gape when yo read farther dahn
What famous big stirrins we've hed up i't'tahn.
I knaw yo'd be mad as soin as yo heerd,
Abaht that oud kah at belong'd to Blue Beard,
For as like as I saw yo just hod of its tail,
And braying it rump wi' t'end o' yor flail,
Dor I wisht monny a time at yo hed been here,
For swallowing t'plan yo'd a geen it what cheer.
Ha ivver good folk I'll try to be breef,
For I knaw you're i' pain and I'll give yo releef,
So to tell yo the truth in a plain honest way,
The railroad is finish'd an oppen'd to-day;
And I've tain up mi pen for ill yo'd a taint
If I hed'nt a geen yo a truthful ackahnt.
Hasumivver this morninh, as I tell'd yo before
I wur wakken'd wi hearin a awful uproar,
What wi' t'prating o' wimen and t'shahtin o'th' folk,
And the bells at wur ringin, they wur past onny joke,
For ivvery two minnits they shahted hurrah,
We are nah bahn to oppen t'Haworth Railway.
So I jump'd up i' bed an' I gat on t' t'floor
i slipt on my cloas and ran out at door,
And the first at I met, it wur wun Jimmy Peg,
He cum'd up fra t'Bocking and brout a gert flag,
And just at his heels wur the Spring-heaad'd Band,
Playin a march - I thout it wur grand.
So I fell into the step for I knaw how to march,
For I've been stiffened up wi' guvernment starch;
And the first smell o' music it maks me fair dance,
And I prick up my ears like a trooper his lance,
Hasumivver I thout as I'd gotten i't'scent,
I'd follow this music wharever it went.
Then I march'd up erect, wal I come to t'grand stand,
And that wur a' t'stashun where t'tain hed to land.
There wur flags of all nashuns fra t'Union Jack,
To Bachus and Atlas wi't'globe on his back.
For t'Inspector and conductor and all sorts o' fray
Wur expected directly to land at t'railway.
So I Star'd was both enn wur varry near bleared,
And waited, and waited - at last it appear'd
It wur filled ful o' folk as eggs full o' meat,
And it tuk four ingens to bring it up reight,
Two hed long chimla's and t'tuther hed noan,
But they stuck week together like a dog to a bone.
They wur gruntin an' growlin wur t'folks at gat aht
So I made some inquiries awht it wur abaht,
And i' all mi born days I ne'er heard nout so call'd
For three or four times they sed it hed stall'd
Wal some o't'crookt-legg'd end bethout of a scheam,
An they went back to Keighla' for a hamper o' steam.
And my word and honour it did mak a gert din,
For I stood by and heard it, and saw it come in,
I expected it coming as quiet as a lamb,
But no daht at t'noises wur nobbut it sham,
But what's t'use o' telling yo ha it did come,
I'd forgotten yo'd ridden to Wibsey begum.
There wur fifty i' number invited to dine,
All us at hed acted reight loyal to t'line,
So I thout at I'd go, for I knew weel enuff,
At the puddings this time wud be made o't'reight stuff.
And noan o' that stuffment they gav t'Keighla' band,
Toan awf on it rubbish, and t'other awf sand.
For twelve stone o' flour (3 lbs to a man)
Wur boiled i' oud Bingleechin's kah lickin pan,
Wi gert lumps o' suet at t'cook hed put in't
At shane like a ginney just new aht o't' mint.
Wi' knives made a purpose to cut it i' rowls,
And t'sauce wur i' buckets an' mighty big bowls.
They wur chattin and taukin and souckin ther spice,
And crackin at dainties they thout at wur nice,
Wal t'oud parson gat up an' pull'd a long face,
And mutter'd some words at they call sayin t'grace.
But I nivver goam'd that, cos I knew for a fact,
It wur nobbut a signal for t'pudding attack.
And aw'l tell yo wat, folk tho yo main't beleeve,
But yo tauks abaht Wibsey foak heytin horse beef,
Yo sud a' seen Locker-taaner's brandishing ther nives,
An choppin an' cutting ther wallopin shives;
An all on em shaatin thay lik'd t'pudding t'best,
Fer nout wur like t'puddin for standin the test
An while thay wur cuttin an choppin away,
T'gallant Spring-Heeader's wor order'd ta play,
But thay dain't mich loike it fer ivvery wun,
Wur flaid at they'd play wol t'puddin wor dun;
But as luck wor thay tice'd em, wi' a gert deeal to do.
Ta play Roger the Plowman an Rozzen the bow.
Ike Ouden wo t'chairman at com to preside,
An Will Thompson o' Guisela' wor set bi his soide,
Na Will's a director o't'Midland line,
An as deeacent a chap as sat dahn ta dine,
Along wi Jin Sugden at held t'Vice-chair,
Wor won Billy Brayshaw, t'Bradford Lord Mayor.
Ther wor Jonathan Craven, Mic Morrell an' me,
An' a lot o' more lads at wur set for a spree,
Ther wur Nedwin o'George's an' Peter Featherstone,
They sat side bi side like Darby an' Joan;
And I hardly can tell yo, but yor noan to a shade,
but I knaw they wur Ingham an' little Jack Wade.
So he says, be silent, all t'folk i' this hall,
So as any won on yo can hear a pin fall
An' Jone o' Bill Olders, just shut up thi' prate,
For I've summat to say an' I mun let it aht,
For I mun hev silence whativer betide,
Or i'll cum aht o't'loom an' tan sum o' yor hide.
Three years hes elapsed and we're going on to the fourth,
Sin' we first started t'railway fra Keighla' to Haworth
What wi' dreamin by neet, and workin by day,
Its been to poor Haworth a dearish railway.
And monny a time I've been aht o' patience
Wi' t'host o' misfortunes and miscalculations.
The first do at we hed wur t'kah swallowin t'plan,
And then wur bad luck and misfortunes began;
Afore Ginger Jabus cud draw us another,
All went on wrong and we'd a gert deal o'bother;
He must a been dreamin, t'silly owd clahn,
Foe three fields o' Oud Doodles he nivver put dahn.
As for thee, Johnny Broth, its a pity I knaw,
For th'art one o't'best drivers at ivver I saw,
An' nobody can grumble at what tha hes dun,
If thi buss drivin wearisome race it is run;
For who nah cud grumble, ha fine wur thur cloth,
To ride up to Haworth wi' oud Johnny Broth.
So Johnny mi lad, don't thee mak onny fuss,
I shuttin thi horses, or sellin thi buss;
For if t'railway hes done thee, there's wun thing I knaw,
Tha mud mak o't'oud bus a stunnin peep show,
An' if I meet thee at Lunden, the two hundred miles,
I sall patronise thee if it be in St Giles.
So strike up yor music and give it some mahth,
And welcum all nashuns fra t'north to t'sahth;
The black fra t'east, and t'red fra t'west,
For they sud be welcum as weel as the rest;
And all beyond t'Tiber, t'Baltic or Rhine,
Shall knaw at we've oppen'd t'Worth Valley Line.
End of story
Transcribed by Alan Longbottom
T' History o't Haworth Railway.
By William Wright poet of Haworth.
known as Bill o'th Hoylus End.