The Trimdon Grange explosion of
16th February 1882 left 74 men and boys dead. Within hours, famous local song-smith,
Tommy Armstrong, had penned the following to help raise funds for the
Let’s not think of tomorrow, lest we disappointed be,
Our joys may turn to sorrow, as we all may daily see;
Today we’re strong and healthy, but how soon there comes a change,
As we may see from the explosion that has been at Trimdon Grange.
Men and boys left home that morning for to earn their daily bread,
Little thought before the evening they’d be numbered with the dead;
Let us think of Mrs Burnett, once had sons and now has none –
With the Trimdon Grange explosion, Joseph, George and James are gone.
February left behind it what will never be forgot:
Weeping widows, helpless children, may be found in many a cot;
Little children, kind and loving, from their homes each day would run,
For to meet their fathers’ coming, as each hard day’s work was done.
Now they ask if father’s left them, and the mother hangs her head,
With a weeping widow’s feelings tells the child its father’s dead;
Homes that once were blessed with comfort, guided by a father’s care,
Now are solemn, sad and gloomy, since the father is not there.
God protect the lonely widow, help to raise each drooping head,
Be a father to the orphans, never let them cry for bread;
Death will pay us all a visit, they have only gone before,
We may meet the Trimdon victims where explosions are no more.
By Tommy Armstrong, 1882.