Days gone

In Regency Square
where once stood the Pier
Victorian splendour
still evident here
but time has moved on
and the 360 high
is now the feature
high up in the sky

Yet standing here now
the future I hold
is recalling the heyday
('cos yes, I'm that old)
when the West Pier still stood
as a visual feast
besting the new one
a mile to the east

And none of the brash
we see here today
was even a thought
to get in our way
Slower those days
I think then than now
and I can't help but feel
we've lost something somehow

But though those days are gone
mind's eyes' not prevented
from memories clear
and with that I'm contented
For in Regency Square
I still stand and can here
see those halcyon days
when still stood the West Pier

©Jemverse

Photo – Brighton’s i-360 tower from Regency Square – Jempics

Jack and Jill

On the South Downs
high, top the hill
we walked around
the Jack and Jill
two windmills there
and standing still
though long time now
since flour to mill

The view gave all 
the eyes to fill
where we took stock
of our free will
November yet
not really chill
we wandered freely
with no ill

And here atop the
Sussex hill
by the two windmills
Jack and Jill
we live and breathe
and have our fill
for joie de vivre
as this is brill

©Jemverse

Photo – The Jack & Jill Windmills, Clayton, West Sussex, Uk. Jill (foreground) was built in 1821; Jack (background) in 1866

John Harvey

And down the Bridge Wharf twitten
the brewhouse brews beer and wine
standing proud there for tradition
now since eighteen thirty nine

John Harvey forty years before
in Bear Yard across the way
started brewing Harvey's beer
and does so to this day

So sometimes when in Lewes Town
to complete this Sussex tale
in the John Harvey's tavern
in Bear Yard I'll have an ale


©Jemverse

Photo – Harvey’s brewery, Lewes, Sussex – Jempics.

John Harvey established a brewery and wine merchants in Lewes, Sussex, UK in 1790. The Brewery remains to this day on Bridge Wharf where it’s been since 1839.

Buckingham House

As a boy I used to play here
inside the burnt out walls
playing hide n seek and other games
within its hallowed halls

Once we ventured to the basement
down dark and dusty stair
oblivious to danger
with innocence to dare

But now all these years later
it is a block of flats
although the outside walls remain
preserved and still intact

A part of Shoreham's history
with reminder of the past
and with thanks to planning foresight
that memory here will last

And yet there is a sadness
of the grandeur now long lost
a testament to passing years
and scandalous the cost

For this history lest protected
will vanish without trace
unless we have the foresight
to preserve it now with grace

©Jemverse

Photo – South elevation of Shoreham’s old Buckingham House, West Sussex, UK – Jempics

The original Buckingham House was built in 1655 but extensively remodelled in 1808. When it’s last owner passed away in 1905 it was left empty until 1910 when dry rot and fire destroyed it. The remains were in ruins until 1962/63 when plans for the new and still existing Woodview Court were proposed within its north and west elevations. Building of the new flats was completed in the late 1960s, the east and south elevations preserved as a part of the planning permission granted.

Eye to the sky

Soaring up to deepest blue
the i-360 there
as dwarfed beneath its structure
I turn my head to stare

The 'doughnut' glistens  in the sun
high up there in the sky
and tourists take their pictures
as they're taken way up high

Though truth be told I always would
prefer the old West Pier
this is still a fitting tribute to
the Brighton that's still here

©Jemverse

Photo – the British Airways i-360 observation tower, Brighton, Sussex, UK – Jempics

The i-360 was built on the landward site entrance to the old West Pier, derelict since the late 70’s and sadly destroyed by fire in the 1990’s

For Pops

Look at me now Pops, I’m an older man now
I’m past sixty, the years have flown by
That slap in the face
has long turned to grace
yet still on this day I will cry

Nineteenth of February nineteen seventy-four
etched in my mind for all time
The day that you left
leaving family bereft
although all these years later we’re fine

Just four of us left now, Mum with you now
We are older and wiser and free
Yet still we recall
as the years pass and fall
with that promise that one day we’ll see

So this one’s for you Pops, this day I remember
once a year with a glass in the air
As with happiness here
with you share a beer
and the memories happily share

©Jemverse

In loving memory of my father – John Alan Croucher (10/5/34 to 19/2/74)

Old and new (haiku)

Through the grandiose
a glimpse of today’s Brighton
History merges

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

The Square Tower

Where once King Henry the Eighth resided
overlooking the Solent right there
In Portsmouth old city on the sea wall
still stands the Tower of Square

Smoke Fairies played here into the night
for our pleasure at the end of their tour
with rhythm and music and flair and aplomb
to our echoing shouts of ‘encore’

And in twelfth century walls built thick for defence
like Henry we danced with the power
to different purpose eight centuries past
but still in Old Portsmouth’s Square Tower

©Jemverse

Photo – The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth – on 9 February –  the last leg of the ‘Smoke Fairies’ 2020 UK tour

The Square Tower was built in 1494 as part of the fortifications and served as a home to the Governor of Portsmouth. In 1584, it was converted to a gunpowder store, the governor having moved to a residence next to the Garrison Church. At the time of the royalist surrender of Portsmouth at the end of the Siege of Portsmouth during the English Civil War 1200 barrels of gunpowder were stored in the tower; the royalists were able to use the threat of detonating the store as a bargaining chip during the negotiations leading up to the surrender. It’s unlikely that Henry VIII ever lived there – but he would almost certainly have visited.

Shoreham Airport again

5 of 7 in the Jemverse series ‘Shoreham again’

Shoreham Airport’s terminal building
The oldest in the land
Is getting a new makeover
To make it fresh and grand

It’s 1930’s facade fell into
a terrible state
With peeling paint and cracks in walls
But soon it will look great

Stavers Tiltman will be proud
Of his Art Deco creation
England’s oldest licensed airport and
a credit to the nation

©Jemverse

The Shoreham Aviation Ground started in 1910 just 7 years after the Wright brothers first flew in 1903. Situated on the flat coastal strip of land on the South Coast of England between Brighton and Worthing, the aerodrome was officially opened on 20 June 1911. The first flying school was established in 1913 and, on 13 June 1936, a beautiful Art Deco style terminal building, designed by Stavers Tiltman, was added.

Photo – Shoreham at low tide by W Standen

Jemverse first posted “Shoreham Airport” on 12 November 2014

Koper

7 of 12 in ‘The Adriatic Affair’ series from Jemverse

For our first time in Slovenia
we found Koper on the coast
originally an island
for the day to act as host

I climbed the old bell tower
two hundred steps for the unwary
and though the view was excellent
the drop was really scary

Then later on the palace
museum’s peaceful halls we found
following the history
as we walked slowly round

Another really lovely day
for this very special trip
so we are making sure that
we both make the most of it

©Jemverse

Photo – Koper, Slovenia from the top of the old bell tower – Jempics

[‘Koper’ is the seventh of twelve poems capturing our autumn 2019 ‘Adriatic Affair’ cruise aboard the Marella Celebration. From 24 through 31 October we visited…
24/10 – Dubrovnik, Croatia (‘Finding Summer’ (02/11) and ‘Dubrovnik Divine’ (03/11))
25/10 – Hvar, Croatia (‘Hvar’ (04/11) and ‘Hoorah for Hvar’ (05/11))
26/10 – Ancona, Italy (‘Ancona Encore’ (06/11) and ‘Ancona II’ (07/11))
27/10 – Koper, Slovenia (‘Koper’ (08/11))
28/10 – Venice, Italy (‘Venice (touch & go)’ (09/11) and ‘Venice II’ (10/11))
29/10 – Rijeka, Croatia (‘Rijeka’ (11/11)), and
30/10 – Split, Croatia (‘An unexpected tricycle ride’ (12/11) and ‘Split II’ (13/11))
…before sailing back into Dubrovnik for the flight home on the 31st]

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