Let me, if you don’t mind, give you a little history lesson for the day.
The little tale is centred around the coal mining industry of the UK over the last 150 or so years. In its heyday, coal mining employed a great many men. These brave souls were able to feed and house their families on the rewards of what was and still is, a dangerous industry to work in [see Chile’s recent events].
Most miners had little by way of possessions. They existed on beer, fatty meats and ‘butties’. A butty, is another name for a sandwich. The miners, could not afford expensive fillings for their ‘butties’. Cheese, between two doorstop slices of bread was about as much as they could afford. The only problem with that was, unlike today, where most foods have additives and preservatives to extend their shelf life, the cheese would go mouldy in the conditions down the pit [coal mine]. I am not sure how the cure for this problem came about, but you can bet ya arse it was a northern fella who discovered it.
You see, what they did was to add jam [preserve] to the butties, and this prevented the cheese from going mouldy. So the fare of the day became cheese and jam butties. For those of you who have not tried this delectable delight, I urge you to do so as its a great concoction. I prefer a mature cheese, Cheddar, Red Leicester, Derby, with strawberry jam. I can eat them by the plateful.
So me being me and one who enjoys a challenge, I set about thinking of how to combine the two prompts. I think I just about managed it, in a roundabout way. See what you think.
The Hinny Man
We a’al knew of wor Davy,
The la’ad who invented the lamp,
He took away wor candle lights,
Deciding they needed a revamp.
Now wor Davy was a canny kind,
He luked aft’a all of the hinnies,
It wasn’t fa the love of it,
It earnt him the extra guinea’s!
Davy went off ta woork each morn,
Wi’ a smile and a bag o’ scran,
We a’al knew him by his other name,
We ca,aled him the Hinny Man.
One day when Davy wa’ doon the heed,
There came a mighty crash,
It sounded like a cacuffle,
Of pit men oot on the lash.
The backrippers had just secured the heed,
And gone off doon ta’ pub,
The night shift had just clocked on,
On wa’ sittin having the’er grub.
Davy ha’ his usual fare,
Butties wi’ cheese and jam,
They wa’ waiting fa’ the hinnies ta’ cum,
When the heed came doon wi’ a slam.
The roof was caving in a them,
Until Davy appeared on the heed,
He had to protect his hinnies,
An’ ya can bet he would succede.
Wor kid took tha’ weight o, tha woorld,
Upon his shoulda’s tha’ day,
Until they got the hinnies oot,
Tha’s where he was gannin ta’ stay.
He held tha’ roof for many an hoor,
Until all men and hinnies wa’ oot,
He showed the courage a hero ya see,
Of tha’ there were na doot.
Wi’ lamp an butties, young Davy walked oot,
A hero ta’ man, boy an beast,
Wi’ a crate o’ beer, they a’al sat doon,
Ta’ enjoy a cheese and jam feast!
There’s words here you wont know.So I shall try to cover what I can.
A Hinny was a donkey, kept down the mine 24 hours a day to move the coal buckets to and from the head.
The Head is the bottom of the mine shaft.
A Backripper‘s job was to make sure the roof was adequatelty supported using timbers. These days they use steel.
A guinea is an old unit of English currency.
Scran is another word for food.
Oot on tha’ lash means out for a good drink of beer.
All miners clocked in and out for two reasons, pay, and safety.
Cafuffle, old word for fight.
Wor kid, meant brother usually, or good friend. Wor being our.
Grub, another word for food.
I think that about covers it. Any problems reading it or wondering what any words mean, please leave a comment and I shall try to answer.
This is what you get when you take a figure of history, a song [see if you can guess which one] two prompts and a Geordie accent, throw them in the bowl and mix for a few minutes!