They say that Brunel was cold, ruthless and a demonic boss. But he did inspire the working man - especially those who worked upon the magnificent Royal Albert Bridge.
The railway line from London had come to Devon's fields
The Tamar were its last great watery foe;
When jobs and cash were lackin' and the bridge were being built
And a working life was what I had to know -
I signed up as a mason - I'd always had them skills -
To build them spans a thousand feet and more;
The pillars and the girders - all from that mighty mind -
A single track to stretch from shore to shore.
Brunel 'e were a ruthless type who treated some folk bad -
But 'e were the brightest gaffer a man 'as ever 'ad;
Our bridge it were his greatest work and trains now cross
its span;
Old Izzie never saw 'em - 'e were a dying man.

Listen to "Old Issy's Bridge"