Iron Valley

abandoned abandoned building architecture building

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

The streams descending from the hills
Ran red with the iron they brought. 
It could as well have been lost blood
For all the wealth they sought.

Plenteous in ore and rich in scope
Those Northern hills were ravaged;
In the name of thrusting Revolution
My native land was savaged. 

The earth’s spoils harvested to feed
the world’s gross need for steel;
So while the master’s pockets bulged
No stop to progress’s wheel. 

The cost was counted in toil and sweat,
In the maiming of the land,
And the crying of unnumbered souls
Who did not understand. 


NOTE:  There were 400 fatalities at Eston, North Yorkshire, in the 100 years (in the 19th and early 20th Centuries) the mines were worked there in the Eston Hills, between Cleveland and the River Tees Estuary.

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LONDON Strolls … #3. Waterloo

Waterloo Walk

On Revisiting the gentle London strolls of my Youth . . .

 

  1. WATERLOO

I set off excitedly, without trepidation, from Waterloo Station.
Via Hungerford Bridge, I briskly traverse the Thames.
At a jaunty pace, I cross The Embankment,
before enthusiastically undertaking the short climb of Villiers Street.

Swiftly crossing The Strand,
I tread vigorously into St Martin’s Lane.
Almost strutting into Charing Cross Road,
I pause to browse the books in Cecil Court’s shops,
soon afterwards  cutting through Garrick Lane.
I drift back now to St. Martin’s Lane
to take a welcome break in Goodwin’s Court Georgian Tea rooms.
 
Then on to plod the length of Long Acre
before lazily cutting through James Street to reach Covent Garden.
Ambling sluggishly, I pass the Royal Opera House,
from where I step out with determination,
although somewhat less purposefully now.

Thus I return to the Strand,
following it along into the length of Fleet Street until,
visibly wearying, I reach St. Paul’s Cathedral and turn right
to cross the Millennium Bridge over the Thames.

Now, heading languidly westwards,
I sluggishly wend my way upriver,
along the South Bank of the Thames,
past the Globe Theatre, Tate Modern Gallery,
Oxo Tower Wharf and the Royal Festival Hall.

Meandering now, very slowly and decidedly weary,
until, much relieved, and decidedly thankful,
I find myself back at Waterloo Station.

 

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LONDON Strolls … #2. Hyde Park

 

Gloucester Rd Walk

On Revisiting the gentle London strolls of my Youth . . .

 

  1. HYDE PARK

On foot from Gloucester Road
I step out briskly and with soaring expectation along Cromwell Road.
Striding forcefully then up Queens Gate,
I shortly find myself, almost trotting now, beside the Royal Albert Hall.
Soon afterwards, I am jauntily following Kensington Gore.
Slowing a little, I meander now, across the width of Hyde Park.
Pausing frequently and sauntering to take in the scenery,
I haltingly cross over the Serpentine.

Slackening my pace again, I keep heading North to Lancaster Gate.
Then, at a relaxed pace, I drift into Sussex Square,
from where, slowing even further,
I tread the hot pavements along Sussex Gardens.

Working my way sluggishly along Westbourne Terrace
I then trudge the length of Praed Street
to reach Paddington Station.
Thence, struggling increasingly, I head to Edgware Road. 

Continuing south to Oxford St and Marble Arch,
I move, almost idling, and with the occasional stumble,
along the exacting side-walks of Monopoly Land.
Then through Mayfair, plodding now, 
down Park Lane.

Slowing even more, (Is that possible without actually stopping?)
I traipse across Piccadilly and round Hyde Park Corner.
I turn, unsteadily, into Grosvenor Place,
heading towards Buckingham Palace,
but, after taking a breather,
and deciding to simplify my intended route,
I make a right turn through Belgravia.

Treading heavily, I work my way through Embassy Land.
I stumble across Sloane Street
to Cromwell Road and the V&A Museum.

Thus, at last, weary and definitely plodding now, 
my failing feet drag my exhausted body
back to Gloucester Road, to relaxation and
the sought after assuagement of the aches in my trembling limbs

 

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LONDON Strolls … #1. Chelsea

LotsRd

On Revisiting the gentle London strolls of my Youth . . .

 

  1. CHELSEA

I leave, with joyous expectation, from Lots Road
to retrace one of my favourite London walks.
Stepping out brightly along the Kings Road
to the World’s End,
I soon move sprightly into Cheyne Walk.

I trip blithely along the Embankment to Albert Bridge,
from where I head purposefully along Royal Hospital Road.
Onwards then, slowing somewhat, to Chelsea Bridge Road,
thence to amble into Sloane Square,
from where I cross, a little hesitantly, to Brompton Road.

Soon I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to pick up the pace into Fulham Broadway. 
I cautiously stretch my legs past Stamford Bridge Football Ground.
Aching a little now, and wavering somewhat,
I head along the North End Road.
Eventually I stumble haltingly into Fulham Palace Road.

Bearing south, with a definite degree of stress now,
I continue to where, near Putney Bridge,
I take a left into the New Kings Road.
Gasping feverishly, I trudge past Parsons Green
until, breathing intemperately,
and desperate for liquid sustenance and my chaise longue,
I return, my curiosity both battered and sated,
but with undisguised relief, to Lots Road.

 

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The Ballad of the Fatberg

Fatberg – Fatberg, Growing so fast;
Fatberg – Fatberg, Growing so fast;
Please don’t tell them where I am
They’re sure to set up a webcam.

I’ve made my way along this river
Accepting all from every giver
Now I’m stuck – a great fat ball.
Full of gunge and ten feet tall.

Mounds of wet-wipes, cooking fat.
Now you know what happens to that.
Rolled into one gigantic ball,
Big as the goddammed Albert Hall.

They say how many of us exist
In pipes and rivers in our midst.
Across our fair and pleasant land
Disposed of waste … Ain’t it grand!

When they’ve dispersed my fat and grease
all those wet wipes, every piece
Then at last I’ll meet my end
But then the next one will descend

And when dissolved, where do we go?
Why, into the sea then, don’t you know?
That great big cess pool in the ocean,
Unlikely to stir your dulled emotions. 

A FATBERG is a congealed mass in a sewer system formed by the combination of non-biodegradable solid matter, such as wet wipes, and congealed grease or cooking fat. Fatbergs became a problem in the 2010s in England, because of ageing Victorian sewers and the rise in usage of disposable cloths. Wikipedia

Ralph Roister Doister

 

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Ralph Roister Doister was a bit of a wenching lad
Lived in Tudor London with his dear old dad
Braggart soldier, doomed to fail, upstart braggart and a cad.

His story, our first comedy,
Nick Udall gave it birth;
Joyfully pleasing London folk
With merry quips and mirth.

Mumblecrust and Talkapace
Featured in this play
Raucous, Fun and fluffy –
‘Twas the sixteenth century way.

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See the Wikipedia entry for more on  Ralph Roister Doister 

Ralph Roister Doister is a sixteenth-century play by Nicholas Udall, which was once regarded as the first comedy to be written in the English language.

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RHS Wisley . . . Summertime

[  Photo Gallery # 103  ]

The Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in the English county of Surrey, south of London, is one of four gardens run by the Society.  It may be unseasonal, but my Photo Gallery today takes me back to a visit there in Summertime ten years ago.  Following last week’s photographs of Spring in these gardens I give below some of my photographs taken 4 months later.

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Wisley-Aug07 031Wisley-Aug07 038Wisley-Aug07 043WisleyFlowerShow-Aug07 004WisleyFlowerShow-Aug07 007WisleyFlowerShow-Aug07 008

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RHS Wisley . . . Springtime

[ Photo Gallery  # 102 ]

The Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in the English county of Surrey, south of London, is one of four gardens run by the Society.  It may be unseasonal, but my Photo Gallery today takes me back to a visit there in Springtime ten years ago.  I accept that these are formal arrangements, but it is still a delight to view the brilliant colours of both daffodils and tulips – a delightful reminder of what Spring brings every year.

Wisley-Apr07 027Wisley-Apr07 001Wisley-Apr07 003Wisley-Apr07 008Wisley-Apr07 009

Wisley-Apr07 015Wisley-Apr07 016

Wisley-Apr07 021Wisley-Apr07 024

 

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Shaftesbury and Sherborne

[ Photo Gallery # 101 ]

Shaftesbury (in Dorset) and Sherborne (in Wiltshire) are towns only about 12 miles apart in South West England – in the area formerly part of Wessex. Both are charming historic towns with much to offer the visitor. Perhaps the best known features of these two market towns are the picturesque Gold Hill in Shaftesbury and the magnificent Abbey in Sherborne. I include just a few photographs of these two features in my Gallery below.

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Gold Hill is a steep cobbled street in the town of Shaftesbury. It is famous for its picturesque appearance; the view looking down from the top of the street has been described as “one of the most romantic sights in England.” The image of this view appears on the covers of many books about Dorset and rural England, as well as on chocolate boxes and calendars and Television advertisements.

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Gol Hill, Shaftesbury

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Dorset-Oct07 05 SherbornAbbey

Dorset-Oct07 06 SherbornAbbey

The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin at Sherborne is usually called Sherborne Abbey. It has been a Saxon Cathedral (705–1075), a Benedictine abbey (998–1539), and now, a parish church.

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Dorset-Oct07 11 SherbornAbbey

Dorset-Oct07 13 SherbornAbbey

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Portland Bill & the Abbotsbury Swannery

[ Photo Gallery # 100 ]

Portland Bill, or The Isle of Portland, lies immediately to the east of Chesil Beach.  This area of land is not in fact an island, but a promontory, 4 miles by 1.7 miles, jutting out out into the English Channel.  It forms the southernmost point of the county of Dorset, England, and is 5 miles south of the seaside resort of Weymouth.

The ‘island’ is renowned for the quality of its limestone, formed during the Jurassic period and for many years since it has been quarried here.   Being of such excellent quality, the stone has been used extensively as a building stone in many major public buildings throughout the British Isles, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace in London.  Portland stone has also been exported to many other countries and has been used for example in the the building of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

I have also included in my photo gallery below, a few pictures of swans from the Abbotsbury Swannery situated on the banks of Chesil Beach, just a few miles west of Portland Bill.

Dorset-Oct07 17 PortlandBillDorset-Oct07 19 PortlandBillDorset-Oct07 20 PortlandBillDorset-Oct07 21 PortlandBillDorset-Oct07 23 AbtsbrySwnryDorset-Oct07 25 AbtsbrySwnryDorset-Oct07 28 AbtsbrySwnryDorset-Oct07 30 AbtsbrySwnry

 

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