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

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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

A colourful story

Colourfully painted
they have seen many days
Sitting next to smokestacks
on England’s waterways
Functional yet lovely
water for the boat
Keeping engines running
flotilla here afloat

Inanimate, their story
over all the many years
would cover several pages
but will never reach our ears
So here’s some inspiration
to help you on your way
Captured when I saw them
in the sunshine yesterday

©Jemverse

Photo – painted water containers on a barge in the Gas Street Basin, Birmingham, UK – Jempics

Gas Street Basin

The Gas Street Basin barges
look lovely in a line
Here in the heart of Birmingham
peaceful and sublime
Once this would have bristled
with industrial ingress
But now it is a haven
free from turmoil or distress
Testament to memory
preserved in the best way
And perfect for the passer-by
at any time of day

©Jemverse

Photo – Gas Street Basin on the Birmingham & Worcester canal, Birmingham, UK – Jempics

Brighton Greenway

High above the Brighton streets
on the old railway bed
Through the locomotive works
the Brighton Greenway led

The engines left here long ago
but their memory remains
Homage paid by sculptor’s hand
to Brighton’s long lost trains

©Jemverse

The Brighton Greenway follows the trackbed of a branch line that once led through the steam locomotive works based in Brighton. The ‘Ghost Train’ was sculpted by John Mills and is a homage to the ‘Jenny Lind’, a 2-2-2 locomotive designed in 1847. Photo – Jempics

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