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Meanwood Valley Tanneries

by Henry Parker

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  • Limited Edition Clear Lathe Cut Single
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Please order here: www.reverbworship.com/future-grave. and contact Roger at roger.linney(at)btinternet.com

    Please send him your address when making payment.

    Released by Reverb Worship /Future Grave. www.reverbworship.com/future-grave.

    Limited to 50 copies.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Meanwood Valley Tanneries via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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In Meanwood Valley By the old tannery Smell the leather See the dye stain your hands Cruel hours and hard labour The air is acrid The sun is weak behind the cloud The fell-monger Will strip the wool from the hide While we tanners Will soak the skin in oak and lime Please listen When we say the work is hard But there’s pride here The Meanwood Valley knows it’s part There’s cries heard in the night when you walk home The morning heralds rain We’ll see you at the quarry face Or the leather works again The common trees are long since felled We can hardly bear the name The wood shipped in from Ireland or France For the tanning and the flames The turning of the century has passed The work moved overseas A hundred thousand boots a week we made From the factory floors of Leeds At our height Now it’s quiet In the trees
A wind from the sea Cross the hills rolling down green Deep in the wood but your through Winters black cloak is unclasped Sweet Spring Weaving a crown of leaves Watch the grass grow green The rain of the winter feeds the earth And sun kissed flowers breathe the sweet air Sweet Spring This flesh humbly impressed Bear witness thou art my lord You hold me green and dying Though I’ll sing in my chains like the sea Sweet Spring


7" Lathe record cut available from Future Grave / Reverb Worship: www.reverbworship.com/future-grave

Side A
Meanwood Valley Tanneries
(Henry Parker)

A song written for the tanning industry of Leeds, which grew up in the Meanwood Valley, to the north of the city, in the mid 17th century. The song tries to conjure atmosphere and describe the process of the work, of fell-mongers stripping the hide, before soaking the skins in lime and oak-tannin. In the 19th century Leeds was the second largest leather producing city in the UK, throwing out 100,000 pairs of boots a week. Due in part to it’s foul smelling industry, the Meanwood valley was known for being a particularly rough place to live, with drunkenness and crime being rife. Eventually the local woods were completely stripped of the necessary bark used for the processing of the raw leather and in the early 20th century foreign competition drove the mills and tanneries out of business. The son of the owner of Meanwood Tannery, Samuel Smith, went on to run the family’s famous brewery in nearby Tadcaster.

Inspiration for the song and information for sleeve notes comes from The West Yorkshire Woods – Part II: The Aire Valley by Chris Goddard, 2021.

Side B
Sweet Spring
(COB / Clive’s Original Band)

Appearing as a bonus track on the Sunbeam Records CD re-issue of COB’s 2nd album: Moyshee McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart, originally released by Polydor in 1972, this song, possibly written by Mick Bennet or Clive Palmer never made it onto the LP at the time but remains an enchanting glimpse into the period. The band were immersed in philosophy, Buddhism and poetry; and Sweet Spring’s yearning lyrics draw from Dylan Thomas’s Fern Hill, “Time held me green and dying, though I sang in my chains like the sea”.


released February 9, 2024

Side A recorded in 2023.

Side B recorded in 2021. Originally released October 2022 as a digital-only track for the compilation tribute album - ‘Spirit of Clive: A Tribute to the Music of Clive Palmer & COB.

Both tracks recorded at Corner House Recording Studio, Keighley
Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Kurt Wood

Side A features Rob McNicholas on electric bass and Louis Berthoud on drums.

All vocals and guitars on Side A & B by Henry Parker.

Physical artwork for 7" by Roger Linney.
Digital artwork by Henry Parker


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Henry Parker Leeds, UK

Henry Parker's contemporary take on folk, which he explores via thoughtful yet deeply accomplished guitar playing, unfurls and moves much like the landscape itself - mirroring the unpredictable, yet beautifully flowing, rolling hills and valleys of his hometown, the Aire Valley in West Yorkshire.

RnR Magazine - ★★★★★

Shindig! Magazine -★★★★
"guitar virtuosity and confident song-craft"
... more


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