Denys E. W. Jones
Burberry Goes To China - Poem by Denys E. W. Jones
In Wales there is a valley,
Which isn’t very green.
The hills are bare, wild flowers are rare,
Trees few and far between.
Beneath the ground lay this dale’s wealth –
Much coal in vast, rich seams.
A town, Treorchy, sprang up there,
Strung out along one street.
The winding-gear whirred night and day,
The shafts sank ever deeper.
Until they found importing coal
From Katowic’ was cheaper.
So then the Rhondda pits were closed,
The jobs went to the Poles.
The men hung up their Davy Lamps,
And signed on for the Dole.
Yet still the women earned their keep,
For them there was some work –
Down at the Burberry Factory
That churned out polo-shirts.
(The famous Burberry label,
Around the world well-known.
Wherever folk have cash to waste,
You’ll find their products worn.)
Now, like the mines, that Factory’s closed,
It’s stitched its final shirt -
Upped sticks lock, stock to China,
Where labour’s cheap as dirt.
Yes, rates of pay are low out there,
‘Cos Unions are forbid,
And workers toil for sixteen hours
To earn a coupla quid.
The Management is pleased as Punch,
Shareholders get their Div.
But in that bleak Welsh valley now,
Pray, how are they to live?
Next time you buy a Burberry,
Umbrella, mac or shirt,
Recall that scarred Community
That’s been left with no work.
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