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 once upon a time

linen

Sirens wail across 19th century Belfast.
Get up, get up and get to work. Tramp,
tramping of thousands of women’s feet
clattering through the early morning mist
another day in the linen mills has begun.

That was then, Now a mournful cry is
heard as the last factory admits defeat.
This proud workforce of women kept the City
of Belfast from starving, working 16 hours a day
whilst the men of Belfast stood their ground,in the Pubs.
Most of the half timers gone to their graves, lonely are
the memories of these once proud women.

Those many are now the few, forgotten in nursing homes.
Deaf from the hammering of beetles pounding the flax
One time you’d easily know a doffer when she came into town
They didn't have a penny, all given into the homes to keep
the family alive. Copelands mill has closed, their doors in Boundary St
finally succumbing to the harsh reality's of the 21 century.







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