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Song about Bradford Shire horses wins writer national plaudits
A song about Bradford Industrial Museum’s former working horses has reached the semi-final of a national songwriting contest judged by industry leaders who have worked with stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, Sting and Robbie Williams.
Called Workhorse Life, the song was penned by songwriter and musician Phil Maybury who was inspired by reports on the plight of horses Darcy and Murdoch, who were retired by Bradford Council to cut costs.
The authority, forced to make £80 million savings as a result of Government spending cuts, revealed the decision to move the horses back in August 2011. The relocation was expected to save £126,000 a year.
A petition of more than 1,500 signatures called for the horses to be kept and youngsters at Allerton Primary School presented posters and letters to the Council, urging leaders to spare them.
But in November 2011 the horses were transferred from the museum in Eccleshill to a sanctuary in Norfolk. Last year it was reported that they spent winter grazing with other shire horses at the centre and took part in demonstrations over the summer.
Mr Maybury said Workhorse Life was based on reports about the campaign to save Darcy and Murdoch.
“The song expands their experiences to echo the difficulties even human beings face when their working life is suddenly brought to an end,” he said.
The song was a semi-finalist in the lyrics category and commended in the country music category of the UK Songwriting Contest 2012.
Mr Maybury had two songs in the semi-final and seven commended despite spending a year in and out of hospital suffering from severe heart arrhythmia. He was admitted to hospital in December 2011 with an irregular and very fast heart rate.
“It has taken several months and two procedures at Leeds General Infirmary to bring it back under control,” he said. “I’m thrilled that my songs have been judged as semi-finalists. These successes would not have been possible without the dedicated staff at Yorkshire Heart Centre based at LGI. I am indebted to them for their skilfulness which has now almost returned me to normal life.”
- For more about Mr Maybury’s songs, including Workhorse Life, visit philmaybury.com.