- THE IRONMASTERS
Miners, Moulders & Foundrymen
Graeme Miles -5- Another selection from one of England's most outstanding song-
makers. This album features some of his most well-known industrial ballads from
the Teesside & Cleveland area of Durham and North Yorkshire, including THE
NEW FORTH BRIDGE, on which local engineers were employed. The Teesside Fettlers,
Liverpool Spinners, Vin Garbutt, Ewan McColl & Peggy Seeger are among those
who have performed Graeme's compositions.
1. SONG OF IRONOPOLIS (unacc/ this is the 19th Century poetic name for Teesside/
Middlesbrough) - 4'07"
2. THEY'LL BE THE LADS (unacc/ 1961 when working as a moulderer's labourer
at Anderston Foundry, Port Clarence, Middlesbrough) - 3'20"
3. THE SEA COAL MAN (with banjo/ a fine gritty dust washed up along Durham
beaches which probably comes from the open seam out at sea near Hartlepool -
song represents the squeaky wheels of the vendor's cart & hesitant horse's
"clip-clop" during coal shortage in the early 1950's) - 3'28"
4. THE FACTORY GATE (unacc/ single verse about the closure of a small factory
at Middlesbrougfh in the early 60's) - 0'49"
5. I'M A FOUNDRYMAN BY TRADE (unacc/ I was a foundryman when I wrote this for
a slide documentary in 1961) - 2'53"
6. THE NEW FORTH BRIDGE SONG or THE YOUNG ENGINEER (unacc) - 3'20"
7. THE FOUNDRY YARD BATTLE (unacc/ based on fact at Anderston) - 2'46"
8. HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED IN THE TIME I'VE BEEN AWAY (unacc & with guitar
- representing the encroaching machinery eating up rural Teesside) - 4'28"
9. THE BALLAD OF AN IRON MINER (unacc/ source was from several old miners talking
in local bars) - 3'20"
10. OLD JACK, THE OLD FOUNDRYMAN (unacc/ comment on the gold watch syndrome
retirement attitude) - 2'57"
11. BILLY, THE STEELMAN or THE STORY OF RECESSION (unacc/ written when they
were closing down the smelt-plants along Teesbank, north of Middlesbrough, with
consequent redundancies - now levelled for light industries) - 2'54"
12. WHEN MY LAST MOULD IS CAST or THE FOUNDRYMAN'S FAREWELL (unacc/ 1961) -
13. WE'VE SEEN THE LAST OF THE CLEVELAND MINERS (unacc/ winter 1964 when Teesside
mining finally expired - the passing of The Iron Age) - 2'53"
Recorded & edited by Peter Kennedy & first published byon Folktrax
GRAEME MILES first had his interest in folk music kindled by the "As I roved
out" radio programmes in the fifties, introduced by Peter Kennedy & Seamus
Ennis, when he was living at Billingham and attending West Hartlepool Art School.
To obtain authentic background for his song-making, he worked as a moulder's
labourer, deck-hand, railwayman, docker and quarryman.
Then in 1955 came National Service. mainly in Germany with the Royal West Kents,
and, after demobilisation, the "Skiffle Craze" with guitars and banjo. In he
mid 60's he was living and working in the Cleveland hills and it was then that
he developed skills in shaping the more rural type of songs. Inspired then by
the work of Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger, he became interested in writing songs
for documentaries and to- date has recorded more than 200 of his songs for FOLKTRAX:-
221 THE GREEN BANKS OF GRAIN - First album from the Teeside & Cleveland
area, containing some of his best rural songs.
222 THE SMOKESTACK LAND - A Second album from the area, but containing rural,
but also urban & industrial songs.
223 THE SEA'S THEIR BREAD - Songs & Shanties of Fisherfolk & Sailors
224 THE SQUADDIE'S DREAM - Soldier Songs: Conscripts, regulars, deserters etc.
226 THE ENTERTAINERS - A wide variety of his contemporary songs.
227 HERE'S TO THE LADS - About all kinds of sport and play.
228 THE RING OF IRON - Outstanding songs of the local industries.
229 THE EAGLE AND THE DOVE - Some of the strongest protest songs.
230 THE LYKE WAKE - More songs about the North Yorkshire moors.
231 THE WEALDEN FOLK - Songs about Kent, "the Garden of England".