This page is to show some of the
talents of William Willis - The
Email received from William
recently introducing Pete MacLeod
would like to tell you about a guy
from Coatbridge, Mitchell Street of
all places who has just signed a
record deal with Alan McGhee
(founder of band OASIS) .
know that you love to hear stories
about all things Coatbridge. Well
the guy in question is the brilliant
Pete MacLeod, he is a singer
songwriter from on our doorstep and
is about to hit the big time......I
have always had faith in Pete.
learned to play acoustic guitar many
years ago and I learned my younger
brother Ian, how to play too. He in
turn learned our friend Peter
Macleod to play and now It's
exciting times for Pete.
has been living in LA for a few
years where he met his wife and just
a few months ago he returned home
after hearing that his father BIG
PETER MacLEOD was dying with cancer.
Big Peter was an inspiration to
Pete, especially his record
collection that Pete always used to
Pete again a few months back and I
told him about my poetry and he
could view it on Monklands Online.
Pete loved the site, especially all
the old photos of Coatbridge and he
told his dad about it too and he
loved it also. So well done John.
Anyway, last week .....he got in
touch with me again and asked if I
would write a poem about him. He
further stated that if it was any
good, then he would read it out
personally on BBC RADIO 2 THE JANICE
LONG SHOW on 30th July.
I wrote it and he read it. Pete's
story is a "boy done good" from our
little town. My thoughts re-the poem
were as follows. Our home town of
Coatbridge, is quite a dismal place
with high unemployment, the parks
and streets are strewn with broken
green Buckfast Tonic Wine bottles.
(The drink is notorious for fueling
Sometimes a feel good story comes
out of Coatbridge......I now give
you the poem he read out on NATIONAL
Smashed bottles (green), a dismal scene...his town is
on the brink.
An Ironworks town, all mills shut down, men's dreams
go down the sink.
Oh how, fragmented dreams obey the Coatbridge
It tasted sweet! Full bloodied! They indulged it!
Apprentice dreams, those ironwork scenes...forged...
what some say could've been?
But job to job played inbetween, still grappling with
the music scene.
'Tis no charade,the plans were made this lad would
join the hit parade.
That friendly wit, those beats, those riffs performed
by callused fingertips .
Smashed bottles (green,) at music scene...the lads
they sang, the girls they screamed?
"How good was Pete? Whit a player! He rocked that
stage, without a care!"
Reputation! Mutation!...Time to test another nation!
USA, to learn and play...a guitar man on holiday.
Inspired by Dad whose vinyl had... the sound that
twixt his soul.
Spun all his tracks, from way on back, collection of
He played his way through cool L.A. met wife and
friends along the way.
"So what's the news", that let him loose, back home
to Scotland, to his roots.
Smashed bottles (green,) that funeral scene...the
saddest day there's ever been.
"Aye, he wiz a great Dad, the best he's ever seen!!!"
Doorstep darkness takes it's toll, he and him and and
his battered soul.
But come the day, come the man, he'll prove to Dad
(his biggest fan).
Tours and dates would mediate which way his path
would really take.
Hamburg, Glasgow, L.A shows...he reached McGhee, a
man who knows.
"Pete! You're in demand, I like your band, sign the
deal here lad!!!!!"
Sweet bottles (green), A CHAMPAGNE SCENE, "THIS ONE'S
FOR MA DAD!
Other poems by William-
Petes Dream by William Willis
Moira Anderson - Where is she? William Willis
The Lament of RB Tennent - William Willis
Petes memories of Kirkwood in
The Lament of RB Tennent
Our foundry's last
arc-furnace, has now
simply all gone cold.
There is no steel to
pour no more, there is
no sand to mould.
Our steelwork's molten
ladles, of a 1000 odd
Our industry is gone
now, it's been brought
down to it's knees.
R.B. Tennent was where I
did work, for 15 years
So I write these few
verses for the ones who
We made steel rolls for
the rolling mills, we
made them by the score.
What a pity that these
skills, are not used
Our furnace it would
blast, felt our eardrums
they were bleeding.
Our metal was now
crunching, it was
melting, it was
It blazed just like a
hell on earth, like the
Devil's own back yard.
But watch you didn't get
burnt, had to be good on
With the crane-man's
skilled hands, the ladle
it was lowered.
And with sublime
precision, the metal it
The temperature was
good, it was now all
The ladle was positioned
and the metal, it did
60 tons of metal held,
by a few course of hot
Didn't think what might
happen, t'would just
make you sick.
Many men they suffered
burns and a few they
They will always be
remembered, by those who
The metal it was
pouring, like the shot
out of a gun.
It thundered and it
roared but shone, just
like the setting sun.
Tiny sparks they were
flying, as fireflies ran
It's funny how one
always seemed to end up
in your sock.
You would feel the spark
inside your boot, it was
now time for the
You looked like Shakin'
Stevens doing a silly
dance and prancing.
Your workmates they all
had a laugh, as it
burnt right through yer
Simon Cowell would have
been impressed, Oh Boy!
How you could rock.
It was a hot place to
work and the noise it
But we always had a
laugh and the crack it
We toiled and we sweated
in our 40 hour week.
But there always was
that little bit of
overtime to seek.
Two nights and a Sunday
was enough to feed the
Extra pieces in your
piece-box but she's put
in cheese again!
Stirred your coffee with
a pencil, that was
lodged behind your lug.
Scraped the beans out of
the can and used it as
Turners, furnacemen and
moulders always fighting
Electricians and the
labourers would also
have their say.
Union men and strikes,
you know the two go hand
Fighting for their
colleagues pay and how
the jobs are manned.
Those days I can
remember, though it
seems so long ago.
The local steelworks
closing down, the whole
town dealt a blow.
The steelwork lying
barren now....... in
silence...... it is
The site now a resident,
to that company B&Q.
M O I
R A A N D E R S O N
(An Acrostic poem- where the first
letter in each line spells the topic of the poem)
Is She ?
mindset lurked heavy on that day. One
little girl's life being cruelly snatched away. In
a world where EVIL turns sunshine into night. Ruining
of lives, being blinded by its sight And
the search goes on, where is she ?
Oh dear Lord, where is she?
shillings in her pocket, an errand she did run. Ne'er
sensing that pure wickedness would banish her return. Dressed
in trademark pixie hat to beat god's winter chills. Every
time we see her face, the pain gets deeper still Remains
a shrouded mystery, remains were never found. Some
say that Monklands Graveyard, had her body in its ground. One
of our ain, that poor wee bairn, is closure drawing near? Now
years of 55 have past, the mystery is still here. ....And
the search goes on, where is she ?