Union Songs

The Norley Gate

A Song by Reg Holmes©Reg Holmes 1996
Tune: The Wild Colonial Boy

There was a Norley fellow
Who owned some small estate
And sought to make it bigger
With padlock, fence and gate.
He knew the land was common
But didn't give a toss,
[And so he] Thought he'd try it on
And fence the people's moss.

On the 10th day of February 1966
His minions there arrived
This shameful fence to fix.
The locals grinned discreetly
And many the bet was cast
Just how long the time would be
That ruddy fence would last.

Some told the County Council,
The Parish council too,
Which soon 'twas amply evident
There was nought at all they'd do.
The Norley lads then did combine
To shift that fence to hell,
But sad it is I must decline
Their name or ranks to tell.

On a moonless night
They made a start,
And likely lads were they,
They ripped that ruddy fence apart
And bore the gate away.
Fifty quid he must have blewed
To fix that fence so stout
But Norley lads in generous mood
Shifted it for nought.

The police they came enquiring
As to who the deed had done
But no informer could they find
Nor where the gate had gone.
Gale Moss now lies open wide
With sweet gale scented still
And people there may came and bide,
And of its beauty drink their fill.

The sequel now I can relate
How a joiner with his tools
From the oaken gate he did create
Some lovely little stools.
And now my story's really done
Though t'is strange I do declare
How Norley folk still sit upon
A gate that isn't there.


Many thanks to Yacov Lev for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection. Yacov is webmaster of http://www.hatchmere.com/ a website dedicated to the campaign to maintain public access to Hatchmere Lake, Cheshire. Norley is a Chesire Village.

Reg Holmes (96 in 2009) is an undiscovered poet and story teller. Visit his web page at http://www.hatchmere.com/reg/

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