• The Bleach Packers

The Bleach Packers – a poem (How could they breathe?)

Below is a poem written by a young person from GLOW, with collaborating artist Louise Fazackerley.

Lou Chapelle has been appointed by Halton Borough Council to create an ambitious artwork inspired by Halton chemical industry, and working with young people from the borough. Following a series of workshops in October/November 2021, the work will consist of large scale public projections, reinventing the stories of the Halton Bleach Packers and other trades of the chemical industry. It will be created with collaborating artists: costume designer Rachael Prime, sound artist Wendy Smith, poet Louise Fazackerley and film-maker Tim Brunsden. Young people from Halton are invited to contribute to the piece, and we are currently working with Fashion students, Graphic Design students, Dance students and Music students at Cronton Sixth Form College, the Young Choir group and GLOW group at The Studio.

More information about Halton’s heritage can be found at Catalyst and on the Halton Heritage Partnership website

The carrier bag feet
Carry the woes and worries
Coursing from head to toe.
Swirling around his cloth and paper
Amour in flurries.

Traipsing through his 19 hour shift
Letting his thoughts float adrift.
How could they breathe?
18 hours until they could leave.

The ammonia seeping deep into his skin
Sure he’ll be paid
But he can’t win
With his soda ash heart
And sulphur laced veins
Will anyone ever know his name?

When the things that he handles every day
Poison his veins and take his life away.