Homeless, Victorian Era
Workhouse had special quarters. For tramps/vagrants/travellers. Sometimes called Spikes. Work could include picking oakum- reducing old rope to constituent parts. Or breaking rocks into stones to be sold for road making. Casuals were not allowed to return for 30 days. There conditions where worse than in poor houses. Food was bread and guel.
Were soldiers of the gutter and heaven
I think, I Frank am supposed to feel grateful
For the straw bailed bed
His last thought before a guttural deep sleep
Another days work. Then the soft hay of the bedstead
Tomorrow I will walk to Leigh spike
No one says nowt- so I guess this is our lot
A frown from the missus in Gaberdine and umbrella
A scowl from the man in top hat
Av you a penny sir for the poor
Its not much of a laugh I can tell yi
We don’t drink as we can’t afford to
Walking to next spike, in the biting cold.