This song from the 1890s reveals how the press gallery was once an exclusively male domain — as it continued to be until the 1970s.
‘Silas Wegg’, Fair Play, 1 August 1894. Read by Megan Hutching.
The midnight chimes have rung, the House is getting bare,
But still the ‘Gallery Boys’ toil on, and still the ‘boys’ are there.
Though their eyes may be weary and their fingers be sore,
Their pens they must drive till of talk there’s no more.
And then for home and bed through dark deserted street,
Midst sticky mud and slush and driving rain and sleet,
Sometimes no bed until it’s well nigh dawn,
For the ‘stonewallers’ will keep them on well into early morn.
Sing Ho! for the Gallery Boys,
The ‘Boys’ who are youths, the ‘Boys’ who are men,
who sit up aloft where oratory cloys,
And ‘graft’ night and day with tireless pen,
Sing Ho! for the Gallery Boys!