Posts tagged ‘Sussex’

September 27, 2022

Mapping the past

by Jem Croucher

No. 15 in the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

Found an old map in Emmaus
worn and dusty and old
thought to myself 'I'm having that'
went out of the shop with it sold

Familiar but different
there are things long gone away
a past the history books have claimed
from our quaint yesterday

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September 19, 2022

Peace found

by Jem Croucher
Had ten days last month for wonderful things
to all bring a joy and pull at heartstrings
Places to visit and things to see there
taking photos to later re-live and re-share
Ten days of staycation what more could I need
when living in Sussex for this life that I lead?
As Sussex has all the 'joie de vivre' I desire
with its people and places and things I admire
So whenever a moment affords this release
I'm happy in Sussex as at home I find peace

September 18, 2022

Two thousand years

by Jem Croucher
Two thousand years of weathering
this column's stub has seen
in situ still in Sussex where
in all that time it's been
A testament to Roman skill
and craftsmanship to see
that though but just a stub remains
it's here and long will be
So, looking up to Bignor Hill
this ancient land so fair
I stood to ponder that a while
and in that moment share

September 16, 2022

Stopham Bridge IV

by Jem Croucher
At Stopham Bridge, late summer
with cool waters down below
as the Arun slowly trickles
on a turning tide quite slow

Sitting on the decking of the
White Hart across the way
this view is quite breathtaking
on this peaceful summer day

September 3, 2022

Four spans across the Adur

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

Four spans across the Adur
at its mouth at Shoreham town
on the road on into Lancing
at the foot of Sussex Down

Four spans of steel construction
admired for sixty years
'til Norfolk Bridge mark II's demise
'midst many local tears

July 10, 2022

The kissing gate

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘past to present’ series from Jemverse

Parallel to Oxen Avenue
the ancient trackway lay
from Mill Lane to Upper Shoreham
as a pedestrian way
Elm trees at its southern end
stood by the kissing gate
which though the trackway is still there
has long since met its fate

July 8, 2022

Of horses and lions

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘past to present’ series from Jemverse

When the Norfolk Bridge first opened
the High Constable had the key
for the old toll bridge in deference
in eighteen thirty-three
The Duke of Norfolk he was present
for a procession up the street
'neath both surmounting arches
and the horse and lion's seat
Designed by W Tierney Clarke
it was the first of three
to bear the name of 'Norfolk Bridge'
in Shoreham by the sea.

July 3, 2022

The Old Crab House

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘past to present’ series from Jemverse

Now long gone from the harbour
demolished years ago
the Old Crab Inn as once it was
is nestled there below
alongside the old shingle beach
beneath the tunnelled hill
at the bottom end of Gardener Road
for halcyon days to fill

July 2, 2022

Old Buckingham walls

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘past to present’ series from Jemverse

As a boy I used to play there
inside the burnt out walls
for hide n seek and other games
within its hallowed halls
once we ventured to the basement
down dark and dusty stair
oblivious to danger
with innocence to dare
But now all these years later
it is a block of flats
though with outer walls remaining
preserved and still intact

June 30, 2022

The last West Pier II

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

I found it on the high tide line
after a night of fire
the Grand Old Lady of the sea
destroyed by spite and ire
Yet carried on an ebbing tide
along the coast to me
a memory of those boards I trod
now rescued from the sea
So though her grandeur is no more
complete her fall from grace
Brighton's West Pier always will
in history have her place

June 29, 2022

The Gut

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

The beach Ted Bunker launched his
boat from sadly is no more
once called 'The Gut' its gutted now
no more a shingle shore
Filled in to make a car park
the beach where once we played
is another loss to history
and to the fishing trade

June 28, 2022

Bungalow Town

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

Just east of the church on the foreshore
bungalows once on the beach
presented a vista of Shoreham
history has put out of reach
Popularised by early movies
actors built many homes there
salvaging old railway carriages
the carriage works then had to spare
Mary Loftus, a music hall favourite
Florrie Ford, Ernie Mayne, Marie Lloyd
all of the lovelies who flocked to the beach
making it hard to avoid

June 25, 2022

Malduppinne

by Jem Croucher

Part of the ‘Past to Present’ series from Jemverse

'Malduppinne' as it was first called
in thirteen forty-seven
by grant from John le Pottere
to his wife in his succession
Its purpose now long lost to time
a museum now it hosts
in the oldest secular building that
the town of Shoreham boasts
From 'Malduppinne' to 'Marlipins'
this build of Caen stone
with flint-knapped chequered walls remains
the oldest one still known

June 20, 2022

Two bridges

by Jem Croucher
When in flight over Shoreham
a hundred years ago
two bridges you would see
'cross the river down below
The Norfolk and the railway
but no footbridge crossing yet
for the town and all its people
had that pleasure still to get

June 16, 2022

Tarmount Shepherds

by Jem Croucher
Now where people park their cars
on tarmac for some shopping
once stood an open field where
you'd oft see sheep a-hopping
A shepherd's hut stood to the south
close to its southern border
fenced in with wooden latticework
to keep the sheep in order
On Tarmount Lane in Shoreham town
the shepherd's field you'd see
for many years with grazing
for the sheep that wandered free

June 15, 2022

Ferry cross the Adur

by Jem Croucher
On the corner of East Street the Ferry Rigg
keeps history alive with its name
though the vista to South with a century past
will never now quite be the same
For once cross the Adur the ferryman pulled
his oars for the people to cross
from the beach to the town for business and such
with a gain to the past and our loss

June 12, 2022

Sussex Trails

by Jem Croucher
These hills, these ways, these wildflower trails
so many times traversed
and yet in absence, no regret
as evidenced by verse
For here I'm in my element
my heartstrings pulled to smile
whenever I'm on Sussex trails
for mile on wondrous mile

May 19, 2022

Sandcastle

by Jem Croucher
We made the best sandcastle
that a beach has ever seen
it took us several hours to make
a mark where we had been
Little children paused to stare
and admire it with a smile
for it was truly massive
and took all of us a while

May 8, 2022

Reversing the loop

by Jem Croucher
Six miles and thirteen thousand steps
reversed, the loop's still fine
as this quite pleasant circuit
is something wholly mine
Takes around two hours
with a few stops in between
to savour once again the views
amongst the best I've seen
For this is Sussex and my home
we share a synergy
taking full advantage of
each other's company

May 3, 2022

Shoreham my home

by Jem Croucher
Through a gap in the bushes
I spied Shoreham town
nestled there under the Downs
twixt me and the sea
safe there in the lea
the bearer of treasure and crowns

May 2, 2022

Chalky

by Jem Croucher
These chalky trails on Sussex loam
in these green hills above my home
are quite the best so many times
I will return as they are mine
and with a joy I'll shout aloud
this is my Sussex and I'm proud

April 29, 2022

Back to the loop

by Jem Croucher
It was back to the loop
with a whim and a way
as the sun was quite warm
on this late April day
and I was on leave
and the hills were all green
and the chalk of the trail
is the best I have seen
so I put best foot forward
with this walk 'cos it's there
reacquainting myself
with this pleasure to share

April 28, 2022

Greenship

by Jem Croucher
There's a green ship in the harbour
up the river quite a bit
much further on than usual
so I took a pic of it
Rarely dredged of course these days
the building silt means most
will rarely venture up this far
at Shoreham on the coast
A far cry from my yesterdays
when every berth was full
so good to see the odd one still
with time's incessant pull

April 27, 2022

Summer in April

by Jem Croucher
At the end of April, summer
made an early show of hand
as the sun shone warm on Sussex
fair across this pleasant land
So I put a best foot forward
took advantage with no shame
once more into the hedgerow
bordered pathways, trails and lane
Exploring parts of Sussex
I had never been before
in this lovely springtime sunshine
as that's just what it is for

April 25, 2022

Fairwarp Cimb

by Jem Croucher
Above the eighteenth century village
through yellow gorse and sand
on the edge of Ashdown Forest
neath shady beech trees grand
we climbed to top of Ashbourne Hill
walked past the airman's grave
silent in memorial
this bright day April gave
then back down through Campfields rough
crossing Small Brown's brook
to conclude this four-mile circle
at the starting path we took

April 22, 2022

The silence of ancient walls

by Jem Croucher
Beside old Railway Gardens the old flint wall has stood
built two hundred years ago but still it's looking good
And if its stones could talk and tell the history of the years
of Shoreham since the railway came of all those toils and tears
What a merry tale that would be for us who live
in this town beside the sea and what we wouldn't give
For history books are great to have but the interesting essence
can only come from something that has stood from past to present
So sadly we will never know for these old walls are still
and silent from the years they've seen as they forever will

April 20, 2022

Sussex my home

by Jem Croucher
From up here with this vista
three sixty turn around
I can see the hills I've walked upon
on this fair Sussex ground
Some are many miles away
feint shadows in the mist
but all of them both near and far
my feet have trod and kissed
For this kingdom is my Sussex
with its flint and chalky sod
all its hills and pastures
touched by the hand of God
So whenever opportunity
gives me the power to roam
I offer up a prayer of thanks
that Sussex is my home

April 19, 2022

Sunset glow

by Jem Croucher
High on Ditchling Beacon
the warmth of sunshine glow
hid the fact of bitter cold
with Sussex Weald below
But sheltered in the lea this bank
gave us some respite there
as we took in the setting sun
this special time to share
And as the evening gathered
and the gold slipped slow away
the glow outside so too within
confirmed this lovely day