THE DOFFIN MISTRESS / BROOM BEZZUMS

SONGS FROM THE BALCONY


A doffing mistress was the woman in charge of a room of mill-workers; an early instance of health and safety perhaps. Elsie was plainly popular at work. When she left the mill to get married, or to take up a more lucrative job at another mill, the mill-workers escorted her home on her last day, singing and gesticulating. Broom Bezzums: street cries from Tyneside (there are, of course, many more verses).


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