Teesside Bridges [demo]

I recorded this as a demo for a live project, not a future recording, but it struck me that this is a song whose time has come (again), and not altogether in a good way. It was written by Eric Gooding in the 1960s about a holiday job at the doomed Dorman Long steelworks on Teesside. If I remember rightly it was entered for the BBC’s ‘Songs of Grief and Glory’ competition, but not one of the winners. Well, it was my favourite…

Oddly enough, while I was a student at Bangor a few years later I was supposed to take a summer job at Middlesbrough steel works, but the agency cancelled it at almost the last moment. And now, with the closure of the SSI works at Redcar closing, parts of Caparo going into administration and Tata threatening redundancies, there doesn’t seem to be much left of what was once called British Steel. As Peter Bond said in another great song (Category ‘D’):

‘Its purpose served, the ironworks sleeps, and silence chokes the air…’

David Harley

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