Birmingham by Night
All about the art, from the artists.
Scroll to find the artwork, and tap the image for more details.
'Light the way with strength'
by Beth Bennett
by Ryan Hart
Night Shift Timeline
by Adam Carthy and Habib Ali
by Ahsen Sayeed
'Courage coalesces by candlelight'
by Christian Asare
by Olivier Jamin
Your reward for all the scrolling is an excerpt lamplighter-inspired poem from 1820, when the much of Britain’s street lights were still powered by oil rather than gas.
The poem is very long and is divided into seasons. We thought the winter section might be appropriate!
But now comes on the prospect rude and cod,
A dreary season, which we all behold;
When hail, rain, snow, and clouds appear,
Collected from the rest of all the tear;
When often not a sar affords its light,
To guide ye thro’ the dreary shades of night,
Then must the Lamp-Lighter renew his toil,
And clear his globes and pour the useful oil,
Watch ev’ry blast for fear the blust’ring wind
Should dim the cheering ray, o well design’d.
Then slipp’ry stones too oft our feet betray,
And on the pavement oft we breathless lay;
Yet we must not our useful labour cease,
Though ev’ry night the danger may encrease;
Yet crown’d with pleasure Christmas comes again,
With plenty found to mitigate our pain;
While the plumb pudding and the fam’d sirloin,
Smoke on the board, with turkey and with chine,
And the heart cheering liquor circles round,
With happiness my worthy friends are crowned.
Amid their pleasure on each festive night,
Their flowing bowls, their seats and vast delight,
Their Lamp-Lighter with kindreds they will cheer,
That he may bid them welcome each new year.