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The Blackleg Miner

Blackleg Miner

Blackleg Miner

It’s in the evenin after dark
When the blackleg miner creeps to work
With his moleskin pants an dorty short
There goes the backleg miner

He takes his pick an doon he goes
To hew the coal that lies below
But there’s not a woman in this toon row
Would look at a blackleg miner

Oh, Delaval is a terrible place
They rub wet clay in the blackleg’s face
Around the pit-heaps they run a foot race
To catch the blackleg miner

Divvn’t gan near the Seghill mine
Across the way they stretch a line
To catch the throat an break the spine
Of the dirty backleg miner

Tak your tools an gear as well
An hoy them doon the pit of hell
Doon ye go an fare ye well
Ye dirty blackleg miner

So join the union while ye may
Don’t wait until your dying day
For that may not be far away
Ye dorty blackleg miner

The following is an extract from: ‘Great Strike of the Northumberland and Durham Coalfield in 1844′ by Derrik Scott:
‘After the resumption of work old scores were settled. Some Welshmen were particularly harshly treated. A riot took place at Seaton Delaval with the Welshmen coming off second best! Another riot took place at East Holywell where the miners took their revenge on strikebreakers who happened to be Irish. Writing in his book “Pit Life in County Durham” David Douglass mentions the neighbouring villages of Seaton Delaval, Seghill and Cramlington (all in the county of Northumberland). After the defeat of the miners in the great strike of 1844, they took in hand the task of disciplining the blacklegs. At Delaval and Holywell lines of cable were stretched across underground roadways to catch the heads, throats and bodies of the Welsh blacklegs as they rode past on tubs, with ponies or on man riding equipment. At Delaval, Seghill and Cramlington the tools of the blacklegs were hurled down the shaft. N.B. the above villages, together with some in Co. Durham were known as “red villages” because of their left wing activities in the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries.’

Read more about the Great Strike of the Northumberland and Durham Coalfield in 1844 here.
View Map of Area In Northumberland

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