The Lions of Stourbridge by Phil Clayton Recorded by The Light Side Chorus 1 We hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, Who came and shifted mud and sweated blood and saved the waterway for me and you. They lit a spark that set a blaze, It spread from here and out all ways So we can sail the cut to Pontcysyllte, Hebden Bridge and Dudley Tunnel too. Verse 1 Half a century ago in old Stourbridge town Ran a venerable cut that they wanted shut down The Waterways board in their usual way Put a sign on the locks – this is what it did say…. [Text in italics is spoken] British Waterways Stourbridge Canal Warning ! The 16 locks are unsuitable for the passage of vessels and all vessels are hereby warned not to attempt to navigate through the locks. British Waterways licenses do not apply. Alternative route is available via Wolverhampton Locks and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Verse 2 The cut was by now in a terrible hole Years of neglect having taken their toll Six inches of water from surface to bottom Locks with no beams and gates that were rotten Verse 3 The waterway folk wanted to stay afloat Bits in italics are spoken And so they arranged for a Rally of boats In Stourbridge Arm later on in that year. The call was for action, get stuck in, hear hear! Chorus 2 Let’s hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, Who came and shifted mud and sweated blood and saved the waterway for me and you. They lit a spark that made a blaze, It spread from here and out all ways So we can sail to Buggie Basin, Stratford-on-Avon, Titford Pools and Coombeswood too. Verse 4 The Council folk said that it shouldn’t be done They wanted a new bypass road to be run From Stourbridge to Amblecote – save a minute or two We can fill in the cut, said the Board “We’re with you”. Verse 5 A scour by the Stour had caused “a jam, innit” Vesta and Dane had resorted to rammin’ it A digger, a digger will soon get it out, There’s one on the Stratford and Hutching’s about. Verse 6 The man from the Waterways Board said no way If that thing breaks the surface you’ll be put away. The Lions they were fearless, “The Times” sensed a headline. The man from the Board said oh, hell, what a drag - line Chorus 3 We hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, Who came and shifted mud and sweated blood and saved the waterway for me and you. They lit a spark that made a blaze, It spread from here and out all ways To Furnace Vale and Maesbury, to Ripon, Todmorden and under Standedge too Verse 7 So whenever you’re cruising that old waterway Remember the people who got it that way There may be one here sitting right next to you, A Stourbridge Lion, nineteen sixty-two. Verse 8 Half a century’s gone and some Lions have passed by They’ve left for that great waterway in the sky Let’s not feel too sad for they’re sure to be found Stirring things up in some celestial pound Chorus 4 So hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, Who came and shifted mud and sweated blood and saved the waterway for me and you. They lit a spark that made a blaze, It spread from here and out all ways To Huddersfield and Newbury, to Droitwich and, in time, right through to Lichfield too! We hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, In 2019, on the 200th anniversary of the opening of the original Birmingham Canal into the town, Phil Clayton put together a musical, Birmingham Lads .... and Friends, telling something of the history of the canals in the Birmingham and Black Country area. Although focusing on the BCN itself, it started from a song he’d written for the 2012 Golden Anniversary of the ‘Battle of Stourbridge’, The Lions of Stourbridge. Over the years Phil added more songs, mixing contemporary songs, of which this is one, and more up to date canal standards to make an hour long show supported by much visual material. The group The Light Side performed the musical for the BCN Society’s celebratory cruise into Brum marking the anniversary at the Crescent Theatre’s Studio. The show is available on DVD and can be viewed on this website.
The Lions of Stourbridge by Phil Clayton Recorded by The Light Side Chorus 1 We hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, Who came and shifted mud and sweated blood and saved the waterway for me and you. They lit a spark that set a blaze, It spread from here and out all ways So we can sail the cut to Pontcysyllte, Hebden Bridge and Dudley Tunnel too. Verse 1 Half a century ago in old Stourbridge town Ran a venerable cut that they wanted shut down The Waterways board in their usual way Put a sign on the locks – this is what it did say…. [Text in italics is spoken] British Waterways Stourbridge Canal Warning ! The 16 locks are unsuitable for the passage of vessels and all vessels are hereby warned not to attempt to navigate through the locks. British Waterways licenses do not apply. Alternative route is available via Wolverhampton Locks and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Verse 2 The cut was by now in a terrible hole Years of neglect having taken their toll Six inches of water from surface to bottom Locks with no beams and gates that were rotten Verse 3 The waterway folk wanted to stay afloat Bits in italics are spoken And so they arranged for a Rally of boats In Stourbridge Arm later on in that year. The call was for action, get stuck in, hear hear! Chorus 2 Let’s hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, Who came and shifted mud and sweated blood and saved the waterway for me and you. They lit a spark that made a blaze, It spread from here and out all ways So we can sail to Buggie Basin, Stratford-on-Avon, Titford Pools and Coombeswood too. Verse 4 The Council folk said that it shouldn’t be done They wanted a new bypass road to be run From Stourbridge to Amblecote – save a minute or two We can fill in the cut, said the Board “We’re with you”. Verse 5 A scour by the Stour had caused “a jam, innit” Vesta and Dane had resorted to rammin’ it A digger, a digger will soon get it out, There’s one on the Stratford and Hutching’s about. Verse 6 The man from the Waterways Board said no way If that thing breaks the surface you’ll be put away. The Lions they were fearless, “The Times” sensed a headline. The man from the Board said oh, hell, what a drag - line Chorus 3 We hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, Who came and shifted mud and sweated blood and saved the waterway for me and you. They lit a spark that made a blaze, It spread from here and out all ways To Furnace Vale and Maesbury, to Ripon, Todmorden and under Standedge too Verse 7 So whenever you’re cruising that old waterway Remember the people who got it that way There may be one here sitting right next to you, A Stourbridge Lion, nineteen sixty-two. Verse 8 Half a century’s gone and some Lions have passed by They’ve left for that great waterway in the sky Let’s not feel too sad for they’re sure to be found Stirring things up in some celestial pound Chorus 4 So hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, Who came and shifted mud and sweated blood and saved the waterway for me and you. They lit a spark that made a blaze, It spread from here and out all ways To Huddersfield and Newbury, to Droitwich and, in time, right through to Lichfield too! We hail the pioneers, the volunteers, the Lions of Stourbridge of ’62, In 2019, on the 200th anniversary of the opening of the original Birmingham Canal into the town, Phil Clayton put together a musical, Birmingham Lads .... and Friends, telling something of the history of the canals in the Birmingham and Black Country area. Although focusing on the BCN itself, it started from a song he’d written for the 2012 Golden Anniversary of the ‘Battle of Stourbridge’, The Lions of Stourbridge. Over the years Phil added more songs, mixing contemporary songs, of which this is one, and more up to date canal standards to make an hour long show supported by much visual material. The group The Light Side performed the musical for the BCN Society’s celebratory cruise into Brum marking the anniversary at the Crescent Theatre’s Studio. The show is available on DVD and can be viewed on this website.