Tight rows of course-laid bricks
Marl made, black-blue, batter in,
Empire-line, high waisted.
Stays & anchor plates, rings of iron
Fortified by ferns and creeping jenny
Holding the old thing up.

The slip house next door
Is empty of late; the windows
Flaking and blown; walls bowed,
Echoes of work-time chatter…
Today only the slates slip
From the legacy of memories.

Alleyways of setts connect
The lodge to the engine house,
Mould maker’s to the bottle kiln;
Wind down, past a full skip and rotting cable reels;
The memory of a thousand footsteps
Whispers onward.

Looking out, across the cut,
Small shoots of enterprise push into the light;
Girdered skeletons arise; life anew?
Sheds and warehouses,
The stage for new conversations?
Transit and transitions for goods

Made far away; shipped far away.

Where are today’s makers?
Our chance to turn the veins of carbon & clay
Of lead, salt and sand into wares…
Into the wares of today, is here.
Our time to build on the foundations
Of those who strived before us.