Me, Laurie and William in October 1972

and let’s walk into this past: Laurie Wheatley is half-asleep
in Springwell Park, Jarrow, before the Jobling exhibition.
Can you see me ambling past Saint Matthew’s church, down Butcher’s Bridge.
Yes, I thought it was an early-doors drunk lying in the grass
near the Bede Gallery’s flat roof overseeing the road.
His hat was at an angle, making me recall Laurie Lee
heading through his cider world, but it was our Geordie Laurie,
the maker of the Jobling sculpture for the exhibition.
One hundred soldiers escorted the pitman William Jobling
from Durham to Jarrow Slake in 1832. He’d been tried,
hung, covered in pitch and 140 years later
we walked him into the Bede Gallery: back on his gibbet,
given an evocatively painted Jarrow Slake back-drop.
Me, Laurie and William ventured to yesterday today.

Tom Kelly