The swinging bridge
Under the swinging bridge flows the old canal
Bridgewater canal built in 1761 to carry coal to Manchester
To fuel the industrial revolution, the black Satanic mills
Full of women workers on their first step to emancipation
And on one late summer day one sailor met one mill girl
She reminded him that joy came after trouble.
Manchester at night was a strange stage for their love affair
'Town' rang out with laudunum and tincture of opium fuelled debauchery
On these nights Jenny and Cyril found a quiet cemetery for their love-making
Hand in hand, face to face, the sailor and the mill girl
Scurry over the swinging bridge, heads down, collars raised
While under the bridge black water mixed with red iron deposits
There were no waves.
Jenny and Cyril's love does not spill away like running water
But remains constant with locks of hair lovingly entwined in lockets
Love could so easily have flown away
But it decided to stay.
In Jenny and Cyril's hidden life it was not possible for Jenny to be the wife of a blackamoor sailor man
So Jenny and Cyril stay hidden
Until at the Quaker chapel on the 28th October 1787, they met Thomas Clarkson an anti-slavery campaigner, and a good man
Clarkson took Jen and Cyril under his care and they were protected by the Abolitionists
Jen and Cyril helped Clarkson research the issue of slavery
Advising him to show the British people the metal instruments of torture used to control and punish slaves
Wilberforce showed these instruments to a shocked House of Commons
Setting in motion the steps that would lead to the abolition of slavery
When Jenny and Cyril were grey and old they walked over the swinging bridge together.