Linda takes Save our Steel campaign to Trafalgar Square
Aug 7 2009 by Sarah Judd, Evening Gazette
A PASSIONATE poet is supporting the campaign to save Teesside steelworkers’ jobs by reciting one of her most poignant works from a plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Linda Robinson, 49, will take the Save our Steel campaign to London on August 26, where she will have the chance to read her works of poetry for one hour.
From the majestic height of the square’s empty fourth plinth, mum-of-two Linda, of Billingham, will read aloud Steel River.
She said: “I want to use my time on the plinth to speak up about what is happening to the steel industry on Teesside.
“I am from a third generation steel making family. My grandfather, Albert Wells, came back from World War I and was a charger driver and my late father Billy Wells was a steelworker for most of his life.”
Linda’s brother Steven, 48, is a steelworker employed in the industry for 32 years and brother, David, 42, had worked for a company supplying Corus before losing his job.
Linda, whose husband Derek, 50, has supported her protests, said: “I thought it would be an opportunity to give a voice to people who don’t have the chance to speak out.”
Linda’s appearance in London is part of the One & Other project which has been taking place since July 6 and runs until October 14.
Created by Angel of the North sculptor Antony Gormley, the project, invited UK people to form a living monument.
The fourth plinth is normally reserved for statues of Kings and Generals but every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days without a break, a different person, like Linda, will make the Plinth their own.
We are the children of the Steel River,
our spirit forged on the anvil of the Ironmasters ambition.
In the shadows of the chimneys and the furnaces we are indomitable and fierce,
yet open and loyal.
When our industrial masters eat us up and spit us out,
their pockets lined like the last blast furnace,
we are dignified and proud.
Steel in our hearts and steel in our spines.
From father to son and father to son,
the baton of our industrial heritage is handed on,
with many a false start in the race to remain relevant, economical, viable.
We will always be the children of the Steel River and if the sounds of industry are one day stilled you will still hear us roar.