The Seaton Snook
Zinc Workers Band

Pity Me Chorale - The Seaton Snook Zinc Workers Band
00:00 / 00:00

Recording taken from a shellac 78rpm record, pressed in 1928

It was common for factories in the North East - like coal mines - to have a workers band, and the Zinc Factory appears to have joined in this tradition.

I have not been able to find any photographs of the band, and the lack of much other brass band music coming from Seaton Snook does lead me to think this may have been a very small and short-lived endeavour (it is also clear from the recording that there are only four people playing - hardly a "band" by colliery band standards).  

 

This recording made on Imperial Records (now defunct) was presumably written as tribute to the new houses for the workers built by the Zinc Corporation, known as the "Pity Me" cottages (possibly named after the village of the same name↗ also in County Durham).  The record was, however, pressed in 1928, nearly two decades after the Pity Me cottages were built.  ​

Note the wave-like swells in the accompaniment, reminiscent of waves found in I Can Hear A Siren (Trad, and Peoples Mass), and in works by Gaynor Leigh.

Curiously, the writing credit is assigned to John Franklyn.  John "Jackie" Franklin was a local landowner, but as far as I can tell had absolutely no aspirations as a composer or musician.  I am fairly certain, therefore, that this credit is erroneous, but this still leaves the question of why Franklin was credited, albeit with an incorrect spelling, as well as who actually wrote the piece. 

The B-Side is sadly of little interest, featuring the Grangetown Singers of Grangetown, (then North Yorkshire, now Middlesbrough), rendering the children's song Old Roger Is Dead.