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The Hard-Hat Cafe

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

Come on down to The Hard Hat Cafe

where there’s clatter and chatter and building site natter,

a backing track beat for today’s roundelay.

The tea is as strong as a scaffolding pole.

The grease of the sausages flavours each roll,

with doorstep wedge sandwiches laden with bacon,

egg yolk drips through fingers but hands are still shaken

as each new arrival is greeted by Ray,

Maitre D of The Hard Hat Cafe.

Everyday at The HardHat Cafe

there are loud engineers who are longing for beers

while quarrelling over the plans on display

of ducting and wires and new ventilation.

The architect’s causing them massive frustration.

If he got his hands dirty, he’d know a bit more.

Let’s hope the poor man isn’t next through the door.

They’d say what they think of his grand Opus Dei

if he came to The Hard Hat Café

Make your way to The Hard Hat Cafe.

Join Bamidele from the H S and E

as he riskily balances cups on his tray

with a tower of snacks and an apple for later

like some kind of fancy-pants restaurant waiter,

apprentices trailing along in his wake

all bickering over the crisps and the cake.

He gives them a lecture on safety each day

at this time in The Hard Hat Café

Get in line at The Hard Hat Cafe.

There are sparkies and chippies, turd-herders and brickies,

a legion of trades all in glorious array.

Now in come the cleaners, all gossip and noise

with stories to try to embarrass the boys.

Big Alice is telling her favourite tale,

The one where the tampon elopes with the snail

and legless they struggle to catch the bouquet.

Cabaret at The Hard Hat Cafe.

No one frowns at The Hard Hat Cafe.

Here’s Pascal the porter who’s proud of his daughter

who works at a similar site in Calais.

His latest tattoo is her name on his wrist.

Love and hate are in ink on the back of each fist.

He’s built like a tank both in height and in girth

and he swears like a skunk in the tongue of his birth

but the lines on his face come from grinning away

at the jokes in The Hard Hat Café

Say hurray for the Hard Hat Cafe

where jest and derision is poured with precision.

The barrack-room banter and boisterous play

creating an overall sense of community.

Workers in harmony, teamwork and unity.

No need for corporate values and missions

for workers engagement you just need conditions

where everyone smiles and they just want to stay

with the gang at The Hard Hat Café

Come on down to The Hard Hat Café

12 views3 comments

3 Yorum

Most enjoyable, and very well performed. As an ex chippie myself it bought back a lot of memories. I miss the banter, but not the mud and rain

Şu kişiye cevap veriliyor:

Lots of good memories of those double egg and bacon sandwiches :-)


Alison Blevins
Alison Blevins
03 Oca 2023

This gets more brilliant with every read

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