THE company Mapseekers suggested a poem about the gun lock makers of Darlaston to accompany the narrative in the book Wildfire Through Staffordshire.
The Gun Lock Makers of Darlaston
Darlaston is famous for its gun locks
But the town streets look like farmyard byways;
Its lewd citizens should be put in stocks,
Squalor seen from the Grand Junction Railway.
In the wars, gun lock makers became rich,
Working only a few days in the week:
Two days at work, four spent drunk in a ditch,
Houses in poor repair with roofs that leak.
Millions of gun locks, their god mammon,
A prosperous town in the neighbourhood.
They dined on plates of chicken and salmon
But in peacetime their wealth was gone for good.
Fortunes made in days of prosperity,
Workmen crafting locks on anvil and forge
Then lost to vice, greed, immorality
And drunkenness whilst Darlaston has gorged.
Bull baiting, dog and cock fighting, pure sin:
Darlaston loves surrender to drinking,
Swearing, an amusement they indulged in,
Belligerent carnival their thinking.
Low and debased behaviour. just uncouth,
Their harsh language is unintelligible
With no proper role models for their youth,
Darlaston people are incorrigible.
Markets dried up when the war with France ceased
And the massive loss of trade this entailed;
An old story - unemployment in peace,
In Darlaston, great misery prevailed.
The town cursed in ignorance and distress,
Reduced demand for gun locks that they made,
Descent into a pit of their own mess,
The decline of the gun lock making trade.