This Yorkshire Lass

by Rachel Dunn

This Yorkshire Lass is from Batley, a fact of which I’m proud

It makes me feel quite special, like I stand out from t’ crowd

It’s a shoddy town, that’s filled wi’ dark soot-covered mills

And my once young, spindly legs, ne’er cared much for its hills

Its folk are proper northern, and of the truth they ain’t afraid

They’re definitely the sort who call a spade a spade

As a bairn you could smell Foxes Biscuits, wafting through air

And a bag of broken biscuits you could get from any market stall on t’ square

On weekends I’d see me Grandma, she lived off Soothill Lane

She allus made me fat n bread and told me “not to be so vain!”

In never ending summers, we’d spend afternoons at cricket

I didn’t pay much attention, less Soothill got a wicket

In winter we’d watch snooker on t’ telly in black n white!

Or have pie n peas in t’ smallest café, by ‘eck that space were tight

Better still we’d go watch best team in t’ world – up hill at Mount

We’d stand there cold and frozen, at Ref we’d scream and shout

There ne’er seemed right much to do in me teenage years

We’d spend us time on street corners, drinking cider or beers

Suppose I started suppin’ young; it’d make a Social Worker shiver

Ah, it never did me no harm – though I can’t speak for me liver!

Hours of me mis-spent youth in the Vic at Hick

Playing songs on juke box, me money allus went too quick

Tap room filled with REAL men, downin’ pints of Tetley Bitter

No doubt their wives at ‘ome, makin’ Sunday Dinner

But those days have bin n gone and I’ve travelled far n wide

But a place as fine as Batley, well I simply cannot find

Though after all I’ve said, I should get to St Marys for confession

Cos I were born in Dewsbury, and me Mams from chuffin’ Wigan!

Save Batley Library

by Mohamed Saloo

Save our library! Shout it loud
This jewel of Batley makes us proud
The retreat for reading and things of fun
A haven of safety for everyone
Greetings of warmth, pleasant through smiles
Crafted beauty in a timeless style
Activities and groups and clubs meet too
Artist exhibits to fascinate you
Popular as always if not even more
Our library is precious from the roof to the floor
So HANDS OFF! We say with passions raised high
This library is a need to all our lives
With memories treasured safe in hand
For every child, woman and man

Dear Council of what we call Kirklees
We plead our case for cuts to cease
We’ve grown and watched our services go
Emptying buildings lined in a row

Plead dear Councillors for the want of your ward!
Listen with care to what we adore
Answer the call your voters ask of you
The library service is the building too!

Stand dear people of Batley wide
Let us stand together side by side
Link arms in a chain, stand proud and tall
To save Batley Library let’s give it our all!