I can imagine how trying this must be. My Great Uncle Stanley, in the final stages of his illness, could only understand what people were saying to him if they played a ukulele and sang like George Formby. The entire family was gathered around his deathbed, gamely strumming away with inane buck-toothed grins, and improvising verses along the lines of,
'Oh, you've lesions on your brain, dear Stan,
You've not got long to go,
Now you make sure and write a will
So we can get your dough.'
And then we would wink cheerily.
But I am not sure I can help you in this case. I believe you are shit out of luck, unless of course you ever get the yen to write a mail about a girl called Sally who was the pride of your alley.
Also did factory workers of the 1930`s really all dance out of the gates linking arms and singing? My mum works in a factory and they never do that, do you think I should complain to the union?
Oh, the irony! Oh, the ingratitude! Do you know nothing of labour history? It is only thanks to the efforts of unions in the past that factory workers are no longer forced to sing and dance upon pain of dismissal. In the 30s workers who did not have a song on their lips and a merry skip in their clogs were suspected of being agitators. Anyone who refused to take part in the sinister orchestrated happy dances were taken behind a shed, beaten senseless and force-fed a bale of cotton. Indeed, mill-owners and so forth would only hire workers who could demonstrate their proficiency at jigging around and yodelling and the hiring halls were like a West End audition, with men and women in cloth caps and clogs desperately trying to impress the bosses with their dance moves and vocal projection.
The following is an oral history I obtained from Joe Lamprey, an aged local labouring type:
7th July 2002
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