£10 Poms from Nottingham

Migration is a fascinating subject. Why do people pack their bags and move somewhere completely different? I’ve met many ‘migrants’ in my time. Whilst all will say they are seeking a better life, rarely do they say that they a leaving to rid themselves of their unhappiness or problems at home. To seek a better life in a new country, there has to be a strong urge to get away from the old.

I have discovered a local story that typifies both extremes. An unhappy childhood in 1930’s Nottingham and a successful migration to Australia, in the optimism of the 1950’s.

Edna Johnson was born in 1923 to  Bernard and Sarah Johnson (nee
Smith) at 31 Dickinson St Nottingham. Like many people at the time she had a tough upbringing. She was the third youngest of ten children, two of which died in infancy. Her dad was a policeman but for one reason or another he did not provide much to the family.  Accordingly, it fell back on Sarah Johnson to improvise in order to clothe and feed her brood.  However  stoic and caring her mother was, Edna was never in doubt about the poverty that they endured. Despite moving to Carrington, Edna attended St Augustine’s Catholic School on Woodborough Rd, where she was treated abysmally by the nuns who ran it. Caned regularly for the slightest misdemeanour, her hands were to bear the scars for the rest of her life.
Lunchtime often meant running errands for her mother, to the pawn shop and back home again to get some money  order to get food for
dinner.

“It was still a fair way to go till I reached home. I would try and run
until my breath would enable me no more. I would have to get from Alfred St near St Ann’s Well Rd and back to Carrington in my lunch time. I have no idea how far home was from school but it was at least a mile.”

Edna’s education would finish at the age of 14. In her early teens and in order to provide for the family, she took on some babysitting work for a woman whose family lived on Carlton Road. During this time she got to know the woman’s brother Ronald Miles. Now 16, any hope of a relationship and happiness were interrupted by the outbreak of war. Ron would not return home until 1945 by which time Edna was now a married mother, although happiness had still eluded her. She remembered her husband Kenneth Leatherland as an abusive alcoholic who soon departed and  was to play no further part in Edna or daughter Carol’s life.

After returning from the war Ron Miles reacquainted himself with Edna and they became a couple. However, due to divorce problems with the Catholic Church, they could not  marry until 1953. They had two sons, moved to Kennington Road in Radford Nottingham and later to Clifton. Ron was now a printer but was restless for something better.

Edna   mum dad skegness [800x600]

In March 1957 the Miles family arrived in Melbourne Australia aboard the SS Otranto.  As  “ten pound poms” life was still a struggle, but Edna now had a happy family that settled and established themselves in the new country.

What is remarkable about Edna’s story is that despite her difficult early life, and her limited education, she developed a desire to write poetry. She wrote many, but none it would appear, directly about her time in Nottingham. This is a shame but understandable. The following poem published by http://www.ahstockwell.co.uk/ gives her view on her life.

DIVIDED HOPES AND DREAMS

We left our homeland with its green pastures and all familiar places, things and faces

But we must not forget the other side, of cold and frost and snows.

Neither must we forget the gale force wind that off the Atlantic blows.

We traversed a great ocean deep to arrive the other side

and were met with some kind remarks, and many that were snide

We settled down and a home for our children we tried to make

and through the years worked hard for a stable background to create

Now our children are all grown with growing children of their own

and grandad and grandmama still find our thoughts go home

across the great expanse of ocean and on the other side

Where our memories are deep and still glow

of the meandering streams and scented flowers that grow

Now our dreams are divided between the old and the new

For this is a wonderful country and has its hold on one too.

Edna Miles passed away in Venus Bay still living in her own home in 2009  aged 85 years. Her son’s and daughter still live in Australia.

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Hillsborough – The theatre of the FA Cup

In this post I am going to be a theatre critic and if that means 50% of readers go elsewhere, then so be it.

This post links a couple of memorable theatrical performances that are so different, and yet have a similarity in the message that they continue to send out in 2014.

To be a theatre critic for the day, I need to explain what I consider to be theatre and why.  I rarely visit a cinema or watch television.  I need my entertainment with a personal connection. Both sport and musical events are also theatre, whether the venue is a stadium or an open space.

In fact the most melodramatic, epic and tragic event that I saw unfold was the ill fated FA Cup Semi Final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool. To stand on a packed terrace and watch the events slowly develop over a 30 minute period was understandably memorable. Being there; seeing the whole stageshow, the complicated mix of choreography and sound.  Audience participation adding to the surreal experience.  A narrated documentary or news feature  can never match the complete theatrical experience of ‘being there’.

You see in that 30 minute period, we stood, as part of the audience, transfixed. The main stage was the pitch. Initially an empty green space, then occupied by 22 actors, half in red and half in white. A choreographer in black. The opening scene was only a couple of minutes long but was exciting and frantic. Then some kind of incident began to unfold backstage. The audience were confused, then irritable. The stage was cleared. Irritation became frustration, then anger. The audience began singing songs to each other. The songs were derogatory but kept everyone occupied. The stage was now busy again.  A cast of tens then hundreds, all animated and busy; this time all wore blue. Blue denim, blue uniforms, and blue lights!

All became clear.  Ironically, now that the stage was occupied by hundreds of people, the script was easier to follow. Lifeless people were carried on advertising boards and placed near to us.

Now many of you will know the story of Hillsborough. It is a dark day in English history. The only advantage I had of being in the audience at the ‘opening performance’, is one abiding memory. As we watched people attempting resuscitation (stage front), my attention was drawn to a man who appeared centre stage and ran towards us. He stopped at the edge of the penalty box. He was about 50 years of age and dressed in denim. He looked towards us, his audience.  He spoke but no one heard his words. However,  his hand gestures were clear and unmistakable. They said, ‘Come and join me on stage where I want to fight you’

I turned to my friends.  ‘Time to go’ I said.

Liverpool supporter - Hillsborough disaster: A fan sits at the front of the Leppings Lane stand where his fellow supporters lost their lives

Yesterday was Valentines Day. I have learnt over the years that this is a day when men do something affectionate and that appears to be spontaneous. This affection should be made towards someone they either love; or would very much like to (so to speak!).

My act of ‘spontaneity’ was to take Lisa to Nottingham Playhouse to see the penultimate performance of My Judy Garland Life. I had booked the tickets weeks ago, which is clearly not acting on impulse. However in my case, I knew that the timing of this trip (to England’s finest regional theatre), would be so well received by Lisa that I would be excused a few misjudgements later in the year!

I first knew of Lisa’s connection to Judy Garland in 2005. Despite Lisa being born the same year as Judy’s death, she must have built up affection for her from childhood. We were at the Edinburgh Fringe sitting in the sunshine when a woman came passed smiling. Lisa acknowledged her as ‘Judy’,  as though they were old schoolfriends. This oddly dressed woman was in fact Isabelle Georges, a French entertainer who was performing a show ‘Une Etoile et Moi’ in tribute to the life and music of Judy Garland. We saw the show a few days later. We bought the CD of the same name. http://www.come-see-entertainment.com/en/etoile-2 

So, the world premiere of My Judy Garland Life in my hometown on Valentines Day, ‘had to be done’ as they say.

Now in reality, I am not qualified to be a theatre critic. I’ll leave that to the people who were sat behind us. They seemed to have a view on the career potential of different cast members. They seemed too opinionated to just sit back and be entertained, and entertained we were!

We were treated to a seamless and varied visual feast. Information and facts were communicated to us by clever video clips and soundbites. The cast of 5 were superb individually but allowed the whole experience to focus on the exhillarating and manic individual that Judy Garland was. Her portrayal as the complete entertainer who connected with her audience came across very strong. As the show progressed, it seemed as though we were all under her spell. The scene where she befriends some London cabbies and opens up to them stands out. For all of her talent, that she was in reality a commodity, vulnerable, used and abused by people around her from childhood to Hollywood icon. The same people who should have helped her and protected her.

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So, two very different theatrical events, but the same legacy.

Judy Garland died prematurely and was let down by people in the US entertainment industry, who should have  protected her from harm.

The Hillsborough victims died prematurely and were let down by people in the UK Football Industry, who should have protected them from harm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtRs-3jQmf8

Thankyou for reading

Nottingham – A Swan’s Eye View.

I am a townie through and through. I love my city. Its location, its history, its appearance and its people. Nottingham is a fantastic place. My blog celebrates Nottingham and concentrates on postcodes NG1-5. No disrespect to NG6 onwards but NG1-5 has everything I need. It takes a lot to drag me away from the eastern half of Nottingham’s conurbation. When I travel away, it is likely to be either work or my wife that takes me out of my ‘comfort zone’

Today was one of those days when I succumbed to pressure. I fired up the ‘Quattro’ and took Lisa in search of lunch at the Windmill Inn, Redmile in the Vale of Belvoir. In the end, this was an inspired choice and I have to compliment the staff on an excellent lunch menu. What wasn’t an inspired choice was my selection of a circular walk.

My mindset is such that I am unable to justify driving a distance for a social lunch, without doing something in the area. When the weather forecast is good, a walk is a natural choice.

On a shelf at home I found the Pathfinder Guide which boasted 28 ‘tried and tested’ walks in the East Midlands. These ranged from Worksop in the north to Northampton in the south. A scan of the book revealed ‘Walk 6 – Bottesford and the Grantham Canal. A walk across the beautiful Vale of Belvoir, the views extend to the imposing profile of Belvoir Castle. The route includes a walk along the towpath of the Grantham Canal’.

Who could resist such a description?

Now I’m all for a bit of floral language but there needs to be a thread of truth in any sales pitch. The following is even more floral but with a golden thread of truth:

‘A pointless walk across a series of muddy fields, including a dash across the dangerous A52 trunk road. The views extend no further than your partner as he/she slides about in the grey mud that has the appearance of industrial slurry.  At various points (broken stiles) you can admire the imposing Belvoir Castle; something which every motorist on a five mile stretch of the A52 is also able to do! The route includes a 200m walk by a stagnant and disused canal where you may be lucky enough to see a swan with a sad face. Prior to the second dash across the A52 the walk follows a roadside ditch which reveals a plethora of discarded items including Lambrini bottles and a dead rabbit.  The walk ends near a pub that does not open during the day, at least not since Laurel and Hardy stayed there in 1952!’

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Now I know that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but surely, Walk 6 would never have been published had it not been for its proximity to Belvoir Castle.

Back in NG3 I can visualise a great five mile circular walk that would include great views, undulating terrain, impressive buildings, a working canal, a river, and a pub that is open.

Okay, I accept that Lambrini bottles are strewn all over the country and not just in NG13 but the last time I saw a swan on Victoria Embankment Nottingham, it was definitely smiling!

Oh, one more thing. As we dashed across the A52, a van drove passed bearing the name Belvoir Fruit Farms.  A great business that produces quality soft drinks and cordials.  I know this because I have bought several of their products; from my local shop on Mapperley Top.

Thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with this…..

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Traffic Alert – Plains Road is Blogged

Don’t panic! I said blogged not blocked.

But would we cope if this were true?

Mapperley Plains and its shops mean a lot to the locals. They also mean a lot to the thousands who pass through by car. Some stopping for a visit, others commuting or bypassing the north of the city. Lucky for us and the Mapperley traders that we can commute!

Mapperley owes its existence to the car and the roads that supply it. At over 400 feet above sea level and on a ridge between the main A60 and the river, who would walk up it without good reason? 200 years ago few people would have had good reason.

‘Mapurley Barns’ were recorded in 1496 after Thomas Mapurley and the location was nothing but a forested hamlet described later as a ‘pleasing embellishment to the Mansfield and Southwell Roads’,

Clay quarries and brick making gave Mapperley its ‘raison d’etre’ in the 19th century. The railway and substantial tunnels beneath made it accessible. Employment followed but this place was still remote by the nature of its terrain.

No wonder that Nottingham’s two asylums were located there! Coppice Hospital (now Hine Hall) was for middle class families and Porchester Road (c1880) was for… well the 500 other poor souls who had succumbed to mental illness.

Meanwhile the local philanthropic brick company lead to the area known as Porchester Gardens being purchased from Earl of Carnarvon (c1886) for £13,000.

These town gardens or allotments were the reward to the brick workers. A place of recreation in what was still a remote place compared to the city, two miles away, down Mapperley Hill (now Woodborough Road. Even more remote from the magnificent St Pancras station that was built with its bricks. The gardens also has its own pavilion and tea gardens. As a feature there was a huge bole of an elm tree that seated 20 people!

The motor car had not yet arrived but the tramcar had, and the trek up Mapperley Hill on foot was now optional.

In 1901 Porchester Gardens extended just beyond Moore Road. But by 1920 the gardens extended past Kenrick Road. Housing was taking place on both sides of Plains Road. Woodthorpe was also being developed. Despite this Marshall Hill Farm and other farms maintained the rural aspect.

Plains Road had become accessible by tramcar and the gradient of 1-11 ½ had been mastered. With the terminus at Porchester Road, workers, gardeners and visitors to the asylum could sit back and enjoy the views.

The roads Whittingham, Bennett, Robinson, and Haywood were named after the families who bought and created Porchester Gardens.

Despite the importance of Woodborough Road and Plains Road, the Ministry of Transport Act of 1919 gave it B status. The B684 had a lower traffic density than the main trunk roads, or A roads.

Whatever its title, Plains Road and Mapperley was now becoming more populated and over the next 50 years the motorist commuter would mean that the B684’s attractiveness as an alternative route into Nottingham would increase. So too would its ‘traffic density’. No wonder that many motor dealers located there.

This increase was gradual though, and it is worth noting that in 1926 Westdale Lane was described as ‘quite in the country’.

In 1931 the Nattriss family started their car sales and servicing on Porchester Road. The family raced vintage sports cars and would expand onto Woodborough Road. Our obsession with the motor car was under way and unsurprisingly, the tramcar (which had extended to Westdale Lane) ceased operating 1936.

By this time, houses had been built. Schools and churches followed. The barn at Marshall Hill Farm had become St James’ Church The following link is worth a look History of St James

Woodthorpe and Carlton were now established as residential areas.

Following the second world war the B684 became the shopping and commercial area it is today becoming ever reliant on the car. The railway was to suffer a similar fate to that of the tramcar before the war.

By 1962 house building was now taking place on the site of the area’s disused quarries.

Mapperley Hospital was now the main employer and in1966 Dr Duncan Macmillan was on national television in a documentary where he described his methods as ‘industrial therapy’!

Mapperley’s shopping precinct opened in 1968, ‘catching the eye’ of the visitor! Mapperley’s shops have always been functional and the Top Tub launderette has survived to this day.

Mapperley Hospital made the news in 1974 when Dr Julius Kay (senior psychologist) calls for the death penalty for ‘political killers’ in reference to the Provisional IRA.

In 1989 the local authority made a compulsory purchase of the shop forecourts to allow road widening and parking bays, amazingly with some objection. The importance of allowing the motorist to park easily and at no cost have been proven to be crucial to Mapperley’s economic success. Local politics fought an election on it as recently as 2012.

So there we have it. Plains Road has a short but significant history. Much has changed but so too have some things remained constant. The treatment of mental health can fit both aspects of the last sentence!

Enjoy Mapperley.

Treat it with respect.

Walk around it if you can.

Visit its shops.

Wash your 1970’s kaftan in the launderette. You won’t be the first!

Future posts will be to report on the personalities that have a connection with Plains Road. I will seek them out and get their stories. If you have any of your own, I would be interested to hear them.

Thanks for reading.

Alan Dawson

Railway Lines and Danger.

Railway lines are dangerous! Surely everyone knows that, don’t they?

In my memories of railways; excitement, adrenaline and danger were never far away.

All memories are stored randomly in our minds, until an external ‘trigger factor’ brings them back to life.

I had such a moment in West Bridgford Nottingham a couple of months ago.

I had decided to take my 91 year old father out for a drive and look around some of his old haunts. Things had been going really well. He was on good form, recognising places and pointing them out. I was pretending to understand all the names and places he was referring to! The fact the The Globe public house on London Road was named after a cinema, and the large brick pillar (on the city side of it) was the entrance to some kind of ‘old peoples home’. Don’t forget, I’m talking about the days before the NHS and Welfare State.

Our trip was going really well. We were now on Bridgford Road just after the cricket ground, and then came the dreaded words….

‘During the war’ !!@#$!.’

My immediate reaction was a quick ‘Del Boy’ impersonation, turn towards my father, who did (it should be said) look a lot like ‘Uncle Albert’ from the sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’ .

He was pointing to the new flats being built at the side of the old railway embankment, next to Bridgford Park.

 

‘At the start of the war, I was in the Home Guard and that’s where we paraded on.. It was a big house. I can’t remember what the chap did, but he used a room for us to parade on’.

Now I already knew that in the 1930’s my father had lived on Melbourne Road in Lady Bay; that after his dog had died he buried it under the hedge that runs alongside Holme Road, and that he’d been on the ‘right’ side of the river when the bombs dropped on Meadow Lane; but this revelation was a new one.

‘So what were you guarding then, in the Home Guard?

I asked, trying to show a bit of interest.

‘The railway, from here all the way to Plumtree. It was the line to Melton. We were given our rifles and had to walk it in darkness, looking for any Germans dropping out the sky and coming to blow it up!’

Well, by the time we’d parked up, my adrenaline was pumping. Railways are even more dangerous than I’d thought! Especially when you’ve got the distraction of the German equivalent of the SAS to sort out! My own memories had dropped down the ranking when it came to excitement.

My father was still talking about the line to Melton Mowbray, how lime (or something) had been discovered when the railway was first dug, that the lime had been quarried, and this was the reason for the somewhat unusual location for the industrial estate on Ludlow Hill Road.

But I wasn’t listening properly, I was now in the other direction, on Radcliffe Road where the embankment used to emerge. Just about opposite where McDonalds now is. This time I was back in 1979 not 1939.

Brian Clough and Peter Taylor were still friends. Forest were flying high, and, it has to be said, so were the missiles coming from the embankment. The Spurs fans had done well tactically, using the high ground and arming themselves with those mottled grey stones that you always find on railway lines!

I’m sure you can picture the scene.

Traffic at a standstill, lots of lads and policemen running around wearing a combination of the following attire:

Beanie hat or helmet

Harrington jacket or tunic

Silk scarf or truncheon (wrapped around your wrist)

Doc Marten boots (Ox Blood or Black depending on who you were!).

It seems an awfully long time ago.

For my next railway memory, we need to continue over Lady Bay Bridge and round to the Low Level Station.

Having changed trains, we return through Sneinton, a tunnel, Porchester Road, then another tunnel under Mapperley and into Woodthorpe Grange Park. Our final stop.

There used to be a cutting from Woodthorpe Drive to a short tunnel under the park itself. In the 1970’s the embankment and the tunnel were filled in and landscaped. My childhood ‘adventure playground’ was gone forever! Our days of scrambling up banks and climbing its trees were over. Prior to the tunnel disappearing the embankment was filled with soil and rubble. This loose bank of earth dropped steeply to the mouth the tunnel.

In a final act of recklessness, we used to run and jump off the top. It felt like seconds before we landed and slid down the unstable bank towards the darkness!

Adrenaline and danger create strong memories

Everybody knows that railway lines are dangerous, don’t they.

There’s Talent in them there Hills!

Somewhere between Colwick Hall in the east and Wollaton Hall in the west, there is another Hall of considerable importance to Nottingham’s heritage. I am speaking of Jezz Hall, a dedicated and talented singer songwriter who can be found a “stones throw” from Mapperley Top.

When you first meet Jezz and hear snippets of his life to date, it is easy to assume that he may well have been raised in one of those ducal palaces, privately educated and trained in the classics. He has that quirkiness of a middle class man who chose a more bohemian lifestyle.

When I interviewed Jezz this assumption was soon dispelled. His humble origins, growing up in a Cambridgeshire village, moving to Nottinghamshire aged 11, a comprehensive education and no formal musical training. This makes his development into a performing musician even more impressive. He writes, he sings, and he plays guitar, piano, mandolin, and (of course) harmonica.

Two things stand out as being significant events that have shaped the music of Jezz Hall.

Finding your parents’ Bob Dylan records, whilst not unusual, was to Jezz like finding a golden nugget. Spending a year in the creative hub of Oxford Mississippi as part of his English American Studies; was like finding the pot of gold.

Prior to the ‘Dylan’ moment, Jezz had dabbled with music. He played an electric guitar and his peer group were then into heavy metal and Black Sabbath.

Dylan’s folk ballads and poetic phrasing had struck a chord with Jezz. So much so that at the age of 17, with an acoustic guitar and a head full of ideas, he knew that Folk music was his destiny.

During my interview I asked for his first memory of Mapperley, Nottingham.

The response was perfect for this post although I was surprised that his memory of the place went back to his teenage years.

It may not recreate the atmosphere of Dylan travelling from Duluth Minnesota to Greenwich Village, but his bus journey from Kinoulton to the Carrington Triangle Folk Club was pivotal!

At the time, they used the Duke of Cambridge public house on Woodborough Road Mapperley (another ducal reference!). This particular night Sean Cannon of Irish band The Dubliners was performing.

Then, as now, there was another local public house of the same name, but not the same reputation.

A naïve and adventurous Jezz entered the Carlton Road premises and asked where the Folk Club was.

‘The only folk in ‘ere are for the stripper!’ was the reply.

The second stand out event was his time in Oxford, northern Mississippi. A perfect place to soak up the music and politics of the area. Dylan had been there and Elvis Presley originated from nearby. The stench of racial segregation still hung in the air, and provided a heady mix.

After graduating, Jezz continued his musical preparation and was now formulating his own set of songs. His first public performance(2001) was at Nottingham’s iconic music venue The Running Horse. His first album ‘Smalltown’ was released.

In 2010 he released his 3rd album ‘Silhouette Man’. http://folkwit.com/artists/jezz-hall

A couple of my favourite tracks on Strangetown refer to water. I asked Jezz whether water had any importance in his life.

‘I grew up in villages and rivers have always meant something to me. We used to spend time on riverbanks, fishing, playing. I feel close to nature and rivers are synonimous with it!.

Mapperley’s hilltop location cannot lay claim to any rivers or ponds, although a walk to Spring Lane and along the Lambley Dumbles may compensate. I suppose the enclosed reservoir on Woodborough Road may be pushing it a bit!

‘So what do you like about life on Mapperley top?’

‘I like the local grocers, to be able to buy fresh produce is a good thing. I like the fact that Mapperley does not have a 24 hour culture. I’ve lived in places with all night takeaways and they bring the place down. I hope that doesn’t happen in Mapperley.’

‘Silhouette Man’ is clearly a more accomplished album. It has maturity and a subtle use of some good musicians. The opening track ‘Solid Ground’ hints at the quality through the whole album. Nic Aconsi’s violin cuts through the chorus on ‘Solid Ground’ like the haunting screech of an owl in Woodthorpe Park.

Coincidently, my interview with Jezz took place at The Bread and Bitter pub on Mapperley Top, home of the ‘Screech Owl’ itself.

Another track is entitled ‘Beautiful City’.

‘So Jezz, is this about Nottingham?’

‘It could be quite easily, but the influence goes back to Oxford Mississippi and a song Dylan wrote about the place!’

When I asked Jezz what his current plans were. I assumed that a new folk album was underway. His folk pedigree had already earned him a 22 date tour with Phil Beer and supporting Idlewild. What I didn’t expect was to learn that Jezz is having fun with a new band playing, in his words……. ‘psychedelic space rock’ with an electric guitar. And the name of the band……. ‘Lord Ha Ha!’https://www.facebook.com/lordhaha.esquire

I managed a wry smile. I was right all along. Clearly Jezz had been born into, then gave up, a life of privilege. He may not be the Duke of Cambridge but as Lord Ha Ha he may soon be appearing at a place of the same name!

In closing this post, it has to be said that the area around Plains Road Nottingham is awash with creative talent. From such a high vantage point, we need to shout about it. We’ve a good chance of being heard from up here!

The Soil is all the Richer – A Tribute to Hungerhill

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The soil is all the richer, to have formed on Hungerhill.

Years of cultivation and domestication with little time to play

Industrial winds and those of change, supplemented the gardeners skill

Brick, coal and human dust, now settled on Mapperley’s clay.

Gazing over the town to the Trent, preceding a time for nostalgia

Grazing, rearing and coppice clearing

Indigenous bracken and gorse, adding acer and salix alba

These hills now had more meaning.

Industry led to wealth and something novel; leisure time

For the middle class, their houses of glass in a space to sail away.

Town Gardens the answer, within a mile, supplied by Messrs Hine

Relief from the noise of the framework, the mine and railway

The concept proved great and the gardeners free; to produce in variety

Only restricted by the need to feed in times of war

Where wholesome and plain outweighed the fragrant and pretty.

While digging for victory was the call; they dug for much more

Coronation and the liberated youth brought forth new optimism

The struggles of the past were very fast forgotten

The area developed, the gardens enveloped, a siege not unlike a prison

This rustic retreat now in defeat, had the smell of something rotten

Nature ahead of nurture and no-one to make a stand

As factories diminished, Hungerhill looked finished and dead

The area’s inevitable future? Another Legoland

The city’s leaders lacking a plan, looked away instead.

To those that remained and initiative regained; in 1994

To the features and the creatures that remained for many years

To those that understand history but never experienced war

Celebrate this fertile ground,appreciate its laughter and tears.

The people are all the richer, to have been part of Hungerhill.

The panorama has altered, and society did falter that is true

Industrial winds and those of change, happen again they will

Yet resolute is this place of calm, more so than me and you.

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