Poetry & Meadows to Meaders

Above: Kath Horseman at Meadows to Meaders 2017, Photo © Paul Blakemore

The convention for including poetry in the performance began when Southmead Resident Kath Horseman provided poems to ‘book end’ the original Meadows to Meaders soap opera.  Beyond this, Kath also ensured that we strike the balance between family entertainment and honestly telling Southmead’s history, and we hope that this balance has been maintained for our second episode ‘A New Direction’, for which the poetry has been written and will be performed by Pam Fowler and Ron Brooks

By Pam Fowler

Being a child brought up in the war
I saw many things a child today wouldn’t have to bear,
Running to the shelter in the middle of the night,
With the sky lit up all orange and bright,
Mum making sure she had all five of us.
The baby had been forgotten once, what a fuss.
She had a bag that she always had ready
A torch, a bottle of water and if we were lucky
She’d made bread and jam in case we got hungry.
The enemy aeroplanes crossed above
The searchlights shining, it was so exciting.
The next day out in the street we went
Looking for shrapnel was our intent.
And when the night came, the sirens would go.
It would start all over again.

Pam Fowler is a member of the Creative Writers’ Group run by Kath Horseman. The group meet every Tuesday at the Greenway Centre between 10:00 and 12:00.  New members are welcome.

V for victory – painted to celebrate the end of WW2. Photo courtesy of Ron Brooks (1958)

Ron Brooks was inspired to write poetry by the script writing sessions for Meadows to Meaders, A New Direction.

By Ron Brooks

The ‘V’ sign

The war is over hip-hip hooray!
And Winston Churchill has won the day
What can we do, young Florence thought,
To celebrate, we really ought.
After five long years of fighting away
Dad will be coming home to stay
Something is needed to welcome him back
Something quite special with plenty of crack
I know, she said, it would be cool
To paint Churchill’s V sign on a wall
On either side of the front door portals
That will do nicely she gaily chortles
In the shed are pots of paint
But what we don’t want is something faint
What we need is something quite bright
What about that tin of white
Two feet high and one inch thick
That will be so very slick
What about some Morse code too
Three dots, one dash that should do.
Come out Mum and see my painting
Mum emerges almost fainting
Rules are rules and the Council’s pedantic
What can she do, she is totally frantic.

Poetry Please

O Mother dear I’m at a loss
To understand why you are cross
A brand new house we have been given
And we’ve escaped the city midden.
Our millennium house is simply stunning
With inside loo bath water running
A garden for flowers, what wonderful scenes
And Dad has a nice little plot for his beans
A big civic welcome was the main plan
Which ensured the presence of the editor man
Cameras were ready to record the event
of the Mayor, who was there, with Council consent
From since you knew the Lord Mayor was coming
Around this house you have been zooming and buzzing,
From dawn to dust you have been posing and preening
With powder and rouge and lipstick a teeming
With pencil skirt and high heeled shoes
With bows and ruffles and buttoned down blouse
With garters for starters and black Nylon stockings
Everything matched, and you thought you were rocking
Oh mother dear, there is no use pretending
That your efforts to please were never ending
Whilst you now feel a right royal prat
Stuck behind the Mayor’s wife’s big hat
A twang of a garter and down your hose came
You ducked down in panic to stop further shame
The photos were taken, the die had been cast
By the time you stood up the moment had past
From Jubilation to humiliation in the blink of an eye
When next day in the press you did espy
Something that gave you much distress
It was Dad, right there, in his scruffy black vest.
Could it be Mother dear, you are further distressed
That Dad, the one, who could not have cared less
Was in the newspaper, all happy and beaming
Whilst you have been left all upset and steaming
Oh Mother dear I am still at a loss
To understand why you are still very cross
Perhaps it was Dad who said next time he felt
You would be much better off, in your black suspender belt.

Photo courtesy of Know Your Place – 1000th house to be built on the new estate, September 1947

The great fruit robbery

I’m fed up with scrumping for apples,
These high trees are so hard to climb
I’ve already snagged my best trousers
I’m late and I’ve outstayed my time
My Mum will be furious with me
I’m in very deep trouble again
What can I do to appease her
a strawberry treat, that’s the game
Let’s stop off at the school allotment
Where plants in their dozens we ‘ve grown
And help ourselves to a handful
And quietly slip off to home
Strawberries, raspberries and lovely red grapes
Are now in abundance and ripe
Just look at them now, what temptation
A truly mouth-watering sight
Oh, Nobby stop scoffing those raspberries
And Smudger, just leave those grapes be
And Ginger stop eating raw onions,
What disgraceful behaviour you three
Please stop, this was never intended
Now we have demolished the lot
Oh my god, we have now ruined everything,
and that was never the plot
What started with the best intentions
Is now an utter disgrace
There are bound to be severe repercussions
We will all be in a very bad place
What Headmaster will say when discovered
Is nothing I want to foretell
But one thing I know is for certain,
We will regret it and end up in jail.
All my friends have nicknames
It really is quite fun
As long as it’s done with humour
And doesn’t hurt anyone.
Reflective or descriptive
It doesn’t matter what
Historical or hysterical
I just don’t care a jot
There is a nickname for everyone
When all said and done
Curly or Lofty or Matchsticks
As long as it’s all done in fun
Ken Brown had the nickname Hovis
And for years I wondered why
And then one day on the telly
The reason I did espy
The advert was for brown bread
And for me a TV novice
All immediately became crystal clear
Just don’t say Brown say Hovis