My Grandad’s Poetry 6 – A Job of Work

The following poem is about a real person, the grave digger at Great Budworth church (as mentioned in the previous poem). I recently discovered that my nan is still friends with his grand-daughter, so here’s hoping that somebody steers her toward this particular piece!

Hallowed, quiet, peaceful rest

Inside these sandstone walls.

Respect and love follow in

To worship in God’s hall.

The ground is marked and wood pegs set

With string upon the turf

The spade is sharp, the digger strong

As he sinks it in the earth.


The digger fellow is a friendly chap

A laugh and a joke to all,

A stop awhile and talk to me

And a glassfull when I call.

Top sods are off, and in neat pile

The sand spills on the grass

But deeper down he’ll hit the clay

And start to curse at that.


At six feet down he stops to rest

The soil all in a ruck,

He drinks his ale then clambers down

To dig another spit just for look.

His job is done, he checks the size

And moves around the hole

Standing there amidst the soil

Just like a human mole.


That’s it for today, his work is done

Now home to wife and kid

He’ll be back tomorrow though

To lay soil upon that lid.

Hallowed, quiet, peaceful rest

A new soul in that place

Fresh flowers lie upon the ground,

As he meets the Lord, our grace.


That lonely digger if he stops to rest

Leaning on his spade and head on chest,

Sets his eyes to Northwich ever the fieldly green

To see the rising, wafting clouds of Thompson’s steam.


Thompson’s salt from Marston’s clear brine,

Is it pumped from the old flooded mine?

But those stout square chimneys, puffing their smoke

Breathe out steadily as their fires are stoked.

The Saltworks is in Marston village, by the cut

So stop and look, for look you must.

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