The Village Hall

The Village Hall

 

In a remote corner of England's pleasant land

a village lay hidden off the beaten track

Down a country lane a church spire could be seen

a church at the heart of an English village

This is the land our ancestors cultivated and defended

here the people, good and hard working folk

Their homes radiate away from the church

modest dwellings lovingly cared for

 

I walked along the road past the church

there tucked away I found the village hall

It was open as the summer fete was in full swing

inside stalls with cakes, second hand books and potted preserves

were for sale

Tea was served from a large urn into blue willow patterned cups

people laughed, exchanged gossip and banter

Above a makeshift stage was a portrait of the Queen

she seemd to gaze with a smile on her assembled people

 

On a wall I saw a photograph of the village cricket team 1932

with the vicar sitting centre stage and players standing either side

I was offered a buttered scone and bought a raffle ticket for a Paddington Bear

This indeed was my England, my home the land of my birth and its people

I was amongst my own, good decent folk

who had seen two World Wars and still held together

 

People milled about chatting freely

young and old bonded and secure in their land

People who were certain of who they were

never to be uprooted or the victims of fear

I stood and looked into their faces, each of which held a story

a resilient and honest group of faithful souls

I was overcome with emotion as I felt

I was seeing for the last time this stoic breed

 

The past would envelop them in the passage of time

it was a scene the last of its kind never to be repeated

For me a privileged glimpse of who I was

and what all this meant to me

This place and its people had formed me

now in a twilight of time it was slipping away

A golden age of pastoral beauty

an idyll in an English heaven

◄ A Blinding Flash

The Indian Ocean ►

Comments

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John Botterill

Tue 30th Nov 2021 13:40

A beautiful poem Keith. I can read my own childhood in this. John Botterill.
?

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keith jeffries

Mon 29th Nov 2021 20:12

Since writing this poem, in which I found myself surprised at my own thoughts, I have on retrospection realised that it was an image of the past, with no change in the village on the surface but a place now in isolation. Surrounding towns and cities belong to another world. Two worlds in the same time zone reflecting different cultures and life styles. I prefer what I saw that morning in the village.

Keith

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Graham Sherwood

Sat 27th Nov 2021 22:37

Ah! I was born in Finedon.

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keith jeffries

Sat 27th Nov 2021 22:21

Warmington

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Graham Sherwood

Sat 27th Nov 2021 20:21

I’m a Northamptonshire boy Keith. Which village are you referring to here?

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keith jeffries

Sat 27th Nov 2021 19:32

This poem was based on a visit to a nearby village in Northamptonshire. I spent two hours there and experienced feelings which I had thought no longer existed. I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and a profound sense of loss and being disconnected from my roots.
Keith

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 27th Nov 2021 18:26

A much appreciated evocation of a country that existed (and can
still be found in isolated spots) before change exerted its
influence in so many ways. It is pleasing to read of this sort
of identification expressed in these lines. A refreshing antidote
to the negative naysayers who might be able to spell "pride" but
have little else in common with the word.

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Stephen Gospage

Sat 27th Nov 2021 16:49

I like the idyllic, yearning quality of this, Keith.

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