Small earthquake in Chesham and Amersham

entry picture

The end of the line

for John Betjeman,

where Metroland

petered out

in leafy Bucks.

Amersham Common became

Amersham-on-the Hill

after the coming of

the Metropolitan

railway in 1892.


Now locals face

another railway,

viaduct, tunnelling,


A tremor in the Chilterns,

old allegiances cast aside  

as true-blue Chesham

and Amersham

votes Lib Dem.

What’s happening?


◄ 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' on Juke Box Jury

Wild roses ►


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Tue 22nd Jun 2021 11:27

I love a bit of verbals Greg! We could go on - The destruction of the Arch at Euston still hangs heavy in one's mind but luckily justice has been served with Betjeman's presence. Your poem is so true to your style and gives us pause for thought as always - no doubt in 100 years time the HS2 will have joined the annals of railway heritage too.


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Greg Freeman

Tue 22nd Jun 2021 09:03

I only mentioned Betjeman as a geographical locator, Ray. You and I share a fascination with him. Knowing nothing about C & A, as it were, my interest was aroused when I realised their proximity to Metroland. I thought, there's a poem here. Not much a poem, I admit, but maybe I will go back to it some day. I'm going on holiday soon, and I plan to take his Collected away with me for a fresh look. Betjeman an anachronism? Maybe. But if it wasn't for him and other campaigners, we wouldn't still have the wonderful St Pancras station. There's politics in everything, I believe.

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Mon 21st Jun 2021 20:27

Interesting Greg mentioning Betjeman and politics in the same poem, a juxtaposition which I feel may have left him bereft . The poem is a neat awakening from one period (when of course much land was available to little opposition apart from the egotistical landowners insisting on their own stations) to one where lots of political balls may be in the air at any one time. Betjeman himself was an anachronism of sorts in the class sense. (IMO)


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M.C. Newberry

Mon 21st Jun 2021 14:06

Timely and pertinent. Shams Ville emerges to wave its righteous
fist against the might of mess up your world monopoly money.
The HS2 project is certainly controversial, not least because of its
effect on established communities that see no obvious benefit
from the upheaval and destruction it represents, added to which
there are the niggling questions about its real necessity when
existing rail infrastructure could be updated/improved to produce
an acceptable modern service. There's the suspicion someone's political ego-trip has melded with that great persuader, commercial profit, to produce what many consider an egregious excessive enterprise.

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Greg Freeman

Sun 20th Jun 2021 00:17

You're right about byelection results, of course, Stephen. I just hope that there will be a few aftershocks after this one.

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 18th Jun 2021 17:33

Good one, Greg, but, as you say, very typically Lib-Dem. From Orpington onwards, spectacular by-election wins have turned out to be false dawns or no dawns at all.

I love High-Speed trains, but HS2 seems to have touched a deeply sceptical nerve in England. I wonder what it is?

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Greg Freeman

Fri 18th Jun 2021 17:22

Thanks for your comments, Brian and Graham. From the Guardian today: "The Lib Dems’ vigorous campaigning against the local impact of HS2 – a project the party supports nationally – resonated." A typical Lib Dem position! But the theory that many Labour supporters voted tactically is very interesting, too.

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Graham Sherwood

Fri 18th Jun 2021 14:25

Clever piece Greg
Love the Tremor in the Chilterns line.
Ballot papers flapping?



<Deleted User> (30611)

Fri 18th Jun 2021 11:50

Greg you are spot on. TV folk will pore over the result but it looks like a massive protest vote because of HS2...which will probably be reversed next time.

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