O Little Town of Batleyhem

Jem Tovey

Written for and read at the Batley Community Choir Christmas Concert 19/12/18

‘Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the town
Not a resident of Batley, was wearing a frown.
A small Yorkshire town, right proud of its past;
Where wool and its weaving meant that we grew up fast.

Continue reading “O Little Town of Batleyhem”

8th December 1868

Mohamed Saloo

A historic moment
A milestone in time
The issued royal charter
By Victoria’s sign
To grant this town
Of shoddy fame
The right to define
Its future aims

Continue reading “8th December 1868”

Not My Favourite Things

Jem Tovey

Auctions on eBay that don’t find a buyer,
Finding a nail in a nearly new tyre,
Those Facebook statuses with the word “blessed”,
These are some things that I mildly detest.

Continue reading “Not My Favourite Things”

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!

When We All Got Together

by Mohamed Saloo

It started with excitement about the run
A day planned out for some sporting fun
A glass full of Pepsi, a packet of crisps
Then a plea to Twitter for some breakfast tips
A Mars bar, a Snickers and a two finger Twix
Were very quickly added to the breakfast list
We want Marathon to return again
So we initiated a referendum campaign

Engine starts for a sunny day drive
Picking up a friend before we arrive
Walking from the car park, I could feel the heat
Then looked down shockingly at my feet
OH NO! OH DEAR! I didn’t have a clue
Instead of my trainers I wore my black office shoes
Ah well, I guess, what it is it is
I maybe had a reason to give this running thing a miss

Off to registration whilst meeting friends
Then a warm-up by Kim which just wouldn’t end
We marched on the spot, then squatted down
Moved side to side and flung arms around
We shimmied our shoulders, swung our hips
I was beginning to regret that packet of crisps
It was very energetic, there is no doubt
At the end of it all I was all tired out!

And then began the race with a trot
Galloping down hills was about my lot
The uphill steps were indeed very trying
Whilst the long grass hill made me feel like flying
Conversations on route helped the kilometres pass
Along paths made freshly from folded grass
A dash to the finish through an arch of balloons
An achievement done felt over the moon

Falafels and burgers, fish ‘n chips and pies
Lunch trucks parked a pleasure to the eye
England thrashed Panama, six goals to one
As we watched from the shade of the afternoon sun
The cheers and the roars from the Oakwell crowd
Was noted in West Yorkshire as being rather loud
What a great get together, more in common as we know
When we all got together for our run for Jo.

We Can Choose

by Mark Griffin

If I understand the world one way and you understand the world another way then
WE CAN CHOOSE to understand one another. Continue reading “We Can Choose”

Internal Debate

by Tahera Mayat

I want to go to the funfair

But aren’t you a bit old?

I could go to the dodgems

Or you could dodge the fair?

Continue reading “Internal Debate”

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!