A Sing-Song For Stainless Steel

1

Sheffielders sit a little while

Ponder these letters cut clearly

Each note in the sing-song for stainless steel

And its unsung discoverer

Harry Brearley

2

Made in Sheffield

means the best

a worldwide reputation

our very knives and forks attest

and mime in CELEBRATION

3

Neighbours calling neighbours

Up and down the street

Neverending labours

Always

to complete

4

BLARTIN’

                  chimneys back-door us

Grandads and grandmas

The unacknowledged   CHORUS

Of soon-to-be dark stars

5

That steel in the spirit still buoys us now

in Harry it ferreted out stainless

It’s forging and fettling today’s know how

as sure as I’m lining this furnace

6

Years in the lab

white-coated

thwarted

stumped

Billets, slabs

tested

nothing is

exempt

EVERYTHING

                 MUST

                      CORRODE

                                            INEXORABLY

What

chemical code

is hanging on

to its key?

7

Oxidisation

        iron rusting and crusting

Resists all manner of chunter and passion

Till bright spark Harry unlocks the entire thing

8

12.8% chromium added to the melt

Erecting a solid barricade of molecules

Across the alloy’s surface, straightaway spelt

The end of promiscuous rusts. NEW RULES!

9

Blossoming

in the distance

blue vermilion bars

raising

              the ballad

                                of Stainless

10

Cuboid crystalline in structure

Three dimensional shape

A cell with lattice parameters

No atom may escape

11

Gifted to every woman at Firths?

A necklace fashioned from the first INGOT?

12

Beer kegs, saucepans, Saturn V rockets

Surgical implants, oil rigs, scanners

Scalpels, bridges, nuclear reactors

Nose-studs, pipelines, the Thames Barrier

 

Iconic Orbs in Millennium Square

TRANKLEMENTS bright as t’freshest air

13

A century of stainless girdling the earth

Lost lingos of ladling and teeming

The City’s young now dreaming into birth

Old brilliance, re-cycled, new-gleaming

14

LISTEN! Is that the Shiny Sheff’s bell still ringing

Or advanced manufacturing’s template for virtual singing?

 

‘Sweet hearts of steel

Hear what we think and feel

For right or wrong

We’ll raise our song

In praise of hearts of steel’

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