..Wigan Dialect

A Collection of Lancashire Dialect Poems, Photographs, Phrases & Sayings from around the Wigan area. By Jeff Unsworth

Wiggin Pier ( Translation )


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Wigan Pier

George Orwell wrote a book, you know. The road to Wigan Pier.
He tried to tell it how it was, how folk lived round here.
He tried to give a detailed view, About the unemployed and poor.
He even lived amongst them all, to help him learn some more.

He wrote about the miners. What their work was like.
What a rotten dirty job. Enough to make you cry. ( skraahk )
Conditions not being very good, working underground.
Hot and cramped and dusty, with not much room for turning round.

Tunnels only three foot high, working on their bellies. ( ballys )
Picks and shovels, scraping coal, in order to get their tallys.
They trudged home in their pit dirt, When their shifts were done.
It was hard to tell, which was your Dad, black faces everyone.

Stripping off their clothes, getting in the tin bath.
This is when you'd see the scars, the pit fall aftermath.
Dark black lines across their backs, were the coal got under the skin.
The wives would scrub but never would they be like what they'd once been.

Condemned houses, Orwell wrote. Around the area of Scholes.
Four rooms, two up two down. Sometimes flea ridden holes.
Leaking roof, walls falling down and damp in most of the bricks.
Windows wouldn't open right. Rent six shillings, rates at three and six.

Poverty was rife, Goerge Orwell wrote. Thirty thousand claiming dole.
You were glad if you even had a job. Even digging coal.
He wrote mortality was very high. And illnesses were rife.
And generally the folk around these times had a bloody awful life.

Wigan Dialect Copyright © 1998 Jeff Unsworth

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