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The Salt Peolple
Last updated: 02.02.20
I was introduced to The Salt People when joining the Tyneside Maritime Chorus in 2011. A great favourite, it is a very evocative, and may it be said typical Graeme Miles song, which he wrote in 1959. Short and sweet, with just three verses, it paints a vivid picture of the Greatham marshes near Hartlepool in winter where the salt work-people would drill for brine.
During the Medieval period the area was used for salt-making and the Greatham marshes have been used extensively as a brine-field since the late 1800s until the 1960/70s. The site had tramways, a refuse/spoil heap and the still existing historic salterns (salt mounds) which are of national archaeological significance.
Poignantly, the song iterates that the white salt people are not as bitter as the salt they mine. This song may be found in the Tyneside Maritime Chorus songbook