Song released for South Yorkshire’s arrested train cuts protesters

George Arthur and Tony Nuttall
George Arthur and Tony Nuttall

Move over X Factor and Band Aid, there’s a new recording making a push for chart glory - an anthem by South Yorkshire’s rail cuts protesters.

The song - The Ballad Of Tony And George - has been recorded by a Barnsley duo to pay tribute to Tony Nuttall, aged 65, and George Arthur, 64.

The two pensioners were arrested on a platform at Sheffield Railway Station in June and charged with obstructing police and fare evasion.

They had been protesting, alongside other ‘Freedom Riders’ from Barnsley Retirees Action Group, against the scrapping of free rail fares for the elderly across South Yorkshire.

But the charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Now Lee Short, aged 39, of Barnsley town centre, and Adam Myers, 35, of Thurnscoe, Barnsley, have immortalised Tony and George’s plight in song under the name The Platform 2.

The lyrics include: “We’re on the Freedom Ride, fighting for our future, fighting for our ticket to ride.

“Defend the right to protest, this is our fight,

“This journey we call life is one big freedom ride.”

The song has been released via Bandcamp.com and has apparently been adopted by rail cuts protesters across the country.

Mr Short said: “We know Tony and George, and when we saw the footage of them being arrested I thought it was horrific and outrageous at the same time.

“It’s quite a good campaign and it is going to go on, so we hoped we could get involved and help keep the profile of the campaign going.

“If we sell any we are going to donate the money to the campaign.”

Mr Nuttall said: “It’s a great song. It expresses the outrage at what happened very well.

“I like the bit at the end which says ‘the whole of life is a Freedom Ride’ and you need to all come together to fight against austerity.

“That’s a bit of a call to arms - it might help to bring people together in the next few months.”