Freeman Street, Grimsby

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Location! Location! Location! It’s a mantra

the upwardly mobile intone,

who have set up shop elsewhere –

catchpenny merchants with tricks up sleeves,

purveyors of pleasures and deals.


On a street where ripples of boom

and bust have long since subsided

beneath the tide of failure

the footfall of ‘three day millionaires’

kept all the rest in business.


Awaiting turns to land their catches,

trawlers rode at anchor, backed up

beyond the docks.  Their crews staggering

ashore to re-establish land legs

lost them again in pubs


where men now washed up at forty

nurse disconsolate pints;

while workless youths hang out,

honing their skills with cues

in a room above the Scope shop.


Marks and Sparks pulled out, leaving

a space filled by Mad Harry’s

discount store that held its own for a while,

until it went the way

of Tony’s Textiles, the Polski Sklep.


Along this windy channel

nothing much survives beyond its upper

reaches, where Asda thrives like a final

outpost. There’s a place that fixes hoovers;

an Alpha course that fixes souls.


From time to time – like a twinge

of conscience there’s talk

of schemes, regeneration: but who throws

good money after bad?  Everything Must Go!

the sign says, when it’s already gone.

◄ A Waldorf Salad

The 2 CV ►


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steve pottinger

Fri 4th Jan 2019 10:52

This is, simply, superb.

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steve pottinger

Fri 4th Jan 2019 10:52

This is, simply, superb.

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Sun 30th Dec 2018 21:39

A poem that stands alone and expresses a reality with a poetic sureness . I love the Hoovers and souls lines particularly but there is some grim humour throughout. Curiously, Hull is another town of the east that has attracted the city of culture stamp of approval, Grimsby can't quite claim that. Life clings on. The whole poem seems a bit fishy to me.

Brilliant stuff David.


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M.C. Newberry

Sat 29th Dec 2018 15:58

Well said! For too long, the "high street" and its importance has
been neglected/discarded by authority = local and national.
Much of the blame (when that malleable word can be adopted) is to be found at the local council HQ...all too ready to grant planning
permission (via suitable offers) for out of town shopping centres
- encouraged by Parliament and its big business influences....
at the expense of the local shops/high street, whilst doing little to
reduce the financial penalties suffered by the smaller businesses
trying to survive and make town centres worth visiting. The present
government has woken up sufficiently to provide nearly £700 million
in financial help for these neglected areas and one can only hope
it makes some difference before it is too late for many.

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Sat 29th Dec 2018 14:15

Bloody hell David such insight is in great demand and very short supply.

Sadly yet another 'sign of the times'


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