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]

Jublains

7 of 12 in “The Bucket List” series from Jemverse

Although the sun was shining
it was minus fifteen there
and absolutely freezing
in Jublains in open air
Northern France, December
Two thousand ten all wrapped up warm
we visited the fortress
on the hilltop all forlorn
But we really didn’t linger
but walked swiftly round the walls
of this fortress that the Romans
used when conquering the Gauls

©Jemverse

Jublains, in the Mayenne region of North-Western France, is also the site of the Roman capital fortress of Noeodunum. Photo – Jempics

“The Bucket List’ series features the following:
[1] Pompeii (190904)
[2] Paris (190905)
[3] The Parthenon (Athens) (190906)
[4] Rhodes (190907)
[5] Santorini (190908)
[6] Minack Theatre, Cornwall, UK (190909)
[7] Jublains (France) (190910)
[8] Venice (190911)
[9] Lands End, Cornwall, UK (190912)
[10] Korcula (Croatia) (190913)
[11] Parc Guell (Barcelona) (190914), and
[12] Stone Henge, Wiltshire, UK (190915)

Bignor

Two Roman villas
Two Mondays past
we’ve visited and found several ways
to lose ourselves here
with plenty of cheer
a cure for any malaise

Bignor this time
Mosaics again
under thatch to par excellence
Discovered when farming
at the time quite alarming
in the nineteenth century perchance

Had the place to ourselves
with no-one else here
so we took time to take it all in
Inspired here to capture
in awe and some rapture
this Bignor palace will bring

We took lots of pictures
with details to use
in things that we make when back home
Sculptures and drawings
of mosaic floorings
that antiquity to us has shown

©Jemverse

Photo – detail from a 2nd century mosaic floor, Bignor, Sussex, UK – Jempics

Fishbourne

And so it was with Romans
Fishbourne finally today
saw Sal and I this morning
venture out and come this way
England’s mosaic glory
tessellated on the ground
tells a tale of history
when in the sixties found
And now this treasure prospers
revealed for all to see
Especially today for
my soulmate Sal and me

©Jemverse

Laid in AD 160, this is the mosaic floor of one of the main dining rooms in the north wing of Fishbourne Roman palace, near Chichester in West Sussex. Discovered by accident in 1960 during the laying of a mains water pipe, excavations have since revealed it to be the largest Roman palace in the UK. [Photo – Jempics]

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