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16 October 2014
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John Bowdidge

I was born in 1938. I am now retired but used to run my own business as a consultant on the environmental impact of thermal insulation products and for thermal insulation products generally. Before that I worked with Rockwool Limited. I have spent years on various National and International standards committees writing thermal insulation standards.

Langley Company by John Bowdidge

Langley , bangley block of steel

Threads of iron on a reel

Punching sheet and rusty nail

Red- hot bolts thrown in a pail

Making ships of iron and men

Working hard with sweat and grime


Rising early sweet lady Grace

Caught a train to Langley Chase

Champagne ready people gathering

All around upon the landing

Breaking bottles it's a party

Clapping hands all hale and hearty


Langley ships for ocean trade

Looks as if they've got it made

Iron ships, oily craft

Deckhouse fo'ard, rudder aft

Orders books nearly filled

Foreign buyers to be billed


Langley ship off Dogger sound,

Struck the sand and went aground

Raging storm broke her back

Spilt oil upon the sea so black

Tragic loss of men and boat

Can Langley Company stay afloat?


Company's broke and closing down

Sole source of work for Langley town

Bodies smeared with sweat and tears

Rip the planks from launching piers

Breakers working with a will

Find that work comes faster still


Poor old Langley, poor old town

Sad people walking with a frown

Empty factory empty halls

No echo from its empty walls

Sign upon the old steel gate

Records its final closing date

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