A packhorse driver sings his disdain for the efforts of the Turnpike Trust to make him pay the toll!

Packhorse train

 

Play the song below or click here to download it

 

 

 

The Jagger’s Refrain – you can find the words here:

From Halifax to Oldham I tread the old trackways,
I lead my train o’er Cop Hill
and down the cobbled lanes
Past Tyas’ Slawit Manor
and on to Marsden town,
Past stocks and church and hostleries,
my bell horse in the van

The packmen of the Pennines, we bring you pretty things
As well as salt and corn and coal to warm you till the spring.

From Marsden we climb up Pule Hill,
the ways are rough and steep;
The panniers catch on the rocks,
the cloughs are dark and deep.
There’s no way for the wagons or
coaches through these hills,
No way to bring machinery
to set up carding mills –

The packmen of the Pennines, we bring you pretty things
As well as salt and corn and coal to warm you till the spring.

And cross Close Moss to Uppermill
we trek through rain and snow.
The biting wind cuts through my cloak,
my feet freeze with the blow.
But now the highway’s laid below
by Knaresborough’s Blind Jack
He’s crossed the mires with cunning guile
by bundling whin and brack.

The packmen of the Pennines, we bring you pretty things
As well as salt and corn and coal to warm you till the spring.

Jack’s roads are fine, his roads are wide
and coaches will sustain,
But not for me the turnpike road,
for a jagger with his train.
The toll-board at the bar-house
spells it out loud and clear,
It’s thruppence for each pony!
We think it very dear.

The packmen of the Pennines, we bring you pretty things
As well as salt and corn and coal to warm you till the spring.

I cannot spare a florin
That’s all I make each day,
And for the ease of coachmen
I’m not inclined to pay.
They’re welcome to collect their tolls
And though they find it galling,
We’ll keep our old ways cross the hills-
You’ll hear our bells come calling:

The packmen of the Pennines, we bring you pretty things
As well as salt and corn and coal to warm you till the spring.