Moments in Bristol

We had a brilliant time down in Bristol
reliving the days from my youth
Great to see the familiar sights
with some ‘moments’ to tell you the truth

We wandered along by the water
to the SS Great Britain still there
Refurbished of course now and lovely
its history and glory to share

Which was when I had a ‘small moment’
when fifty years back a small lad
stood and watched the Great Britain
towed into dry dock with his Dad

©Jemverse

The SS Great Britain was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was the largest passenger ship in the world between 1845 and 1854. She was also the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic. She was scuttled to a sandbank in the Falkland Islands in 1937 but, in 1970, was towed back to the UK to the dry dock in Bristol where she was originally built. A full restoration programme was begun, returning the ship to her full former glory. I was one of the first people to tread her boards after the 1970 salvage; 48 years later I returned for another look. Photo – Jempics

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Viaduct

The viaduct on London Raod
Brighton, late at night
lit up blue with vibrancy
is a lovely sight

High above the city streets
with Victorian pride
to carry trains up there on which
so many people ride

But down here close to midnight
just a passing car
and me with phone to capture
this spectacular

©Jemverse

The London Road Viaduct, Brighton, East Sussex was built in 1845-6 by James Orpeth Rastick. It has 27 arches and is now grade II listed. Photo – Jempics

Ironic digging

Irony seemed appropriate
in Gordon Square today
Archeology under wraps
for sometime yet I’d say
I wonder what they’ll find in there
under London’s ground
especially whilst the expertise
is evident around

©Jemverse

Photo – the Archeological Institute (ironic building site), University College London (UCL) – Jempics

St Mary of the Harbour

So, there’s already some words written
about me as I am today
But there’s more to make the story
complete in every way
For once I was much bigger
cruciform in shape
Part of Shoreham’s presence
on the Sussex south landscape

St Mary of the Harbour
I was known as when first built
before my western transepts
fell to ruin with a tilt
Gone by medieval times
my nave in disrepair
My walls retained the choir
with the tower remaining there

Five hundred years have passed since then
yet still some vestige stands
reminding folk that once my size
was wonderful and grand
St Mary of the Harbour
I still stand proud and tall
The parish church of Shoreham
overlooking one and all

 

©Jemverse

Photos – Jempics. Top – the ruins of the western transept walls. Bottom left – filled in nave arches against the standing tower and ruined nave walls. Bottom right – St Mary of the Harbour today. See also Church – 29/11/17

Church

5 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series

Nine hundred years I’ve been here
in Shoreham’s ancient port
A Catholic church turned Anglican
the parish to support
My cruciform original has
crumbled over time
But what is left still standing
is still within its prime

©Jemverse

Continuing the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series, Church is about St Mary de Haura (St Mary of the Harbour) – the parish church of New Shoreham –  founded in 1096 by William de Braose, 1st Lord of Bramber. Photo – Jempics

Everything

1 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Shoreham’ series

It has the downs, it has the sea
with a river running through
It has a thousand years of history
for the memories it grew
It has my heart, it has my love
with home right at the centre
It has excitement every day
for a spirit of adventure
It has unique, it has sublime
with everything for me
It has a name, synonymous
with Shoreham by the Sea

©Jemverse

Today sees the start of another Jemverse mini-series, this one being six poems about aspects of my home town of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK. I took the picture used for ‘Everything’ in June 2014 from the beach side of the town looking back across the river to the 11th century tower of the parish church of St Mary de Haura. 

James Brindley

James Brindley was an engineer
born seventeen seventy-two
Who later, when he’d qualified
canals and water knew
He designed many aqueducts
and tunnels through the rocks
along with single traffic gates
in narrow water locks

Fitting then the Canal House
on Bridge Street, Birmingham
should bear his name upon the wall
with fitting epigram
For out there at the water’s edge
his gift to us remains
Where waterways and watercraft
pay homage to his name

©Jemverse

Photo – The Canal House pub (formerly ‘The James Brindley’) (and before that, a canal storehouse and boat works), Bridge Street, Birmingham – Jempics

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