Allotment IV (aka ‘A certain pleasure)

There is a certain pleasure
at the end of a long day
to pop to the allotment
and have a little play

I might do some watering
or strim the grass a bit
or do a little weeding
or in the sunshine, sit

But I’ll always take a photo
‘Cos it’s great to see stuff grow
And it gives a certain pleasure
‘Cos we’re proud of it, you know

©Jemverse

Photo – plot 1 (of 6), Hamfield Allotments, Shoreham-by-Sea – Jempics

Seagulls passing

Sitting in the sunshine
by the river at high tide
A seagull came and perched
on the railings by my side
We had a little chat
as it seemed the thing to do
Passing a few pleasantries
before away he flew

And I stayed a while and pondered
of how fortunate was I
to live in such a lovely place
with seagulls passing by

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Blue, the beach, twilight and a wander

Lights in the far distance
across the darkening sand
In swiftly facing twilight
as night-time gathers and
the beach and sea reflect the blue
with a peaceful lapping sound
And we’re the only people here
with silence all around

This is a good time for a walk
and the pleasure it will give
Always thankful for this place
of Shoreham where we live

©Jemverse

Photo – West Beach at low tide, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK – Jempics

A half pint of prawns

A half pint of prawns
and a beer in the sun
At the Bridge on a weekend
with Spring just begun

With my wife and two daughters
and the river down low
The tide’s on the turn
and everything’s slow

This is everything that
a weekend should be
In this wonderful place
where we live by the sea

©Jemverse

Photo – The Bridge Inn, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK – Jempics

Rummaging

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Something that I love to do
whenever I get the chance
is go rummaging in a charity shop
by design or happenstance
Some days I’ll just have a browse
as it’s a good way to unwind
but most times I’ll make a purchase
when a treasure I will find

It could be an ageing postcard
or a record or a book
or just a little trinket
that’s worth a second look
But it’s always therapeutic
as what some folk give away
passes pleasure on to someone else
to brighten up their day

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics. A postcard of Shoreham Beach, Sussex purchase in a Shoreham flea market for £3,50 on Saturday 4 February 2017. Postmarked ‘Shoreham S.O. 17 August 1909’. Message on rear to a Miss Maud Peacock of St James Road, London says ‘…Dear Maud. We are at Shoreham, Weather is lovely. From Will…’

This ‘Shoreham Beach’ (aka ‘Bungalow Town’) no longer exists per se. It began back in the 1870’s when, on a deserted shingle spit shielding the mouth of the Adur river from the sea, a fisherman decided to make a home for himself from disused railway carriages. Others copied him, including Marie Loftus, a music-hall star, who invited her show business friends to see the ingenious home she’d made. Her railway carriage homestead was decked out with wooden cladding to make it look like a traditional bungalow. Others followed including another music-hall star, Will Evans, who, with Francis Lyndhurst, a stage designer) formed the ‘Sunny Side Film Company’ to make short comedy films at the old fort at the eastern end of the beach.

As the film industry boomed, the settlement grew and became known as ‘Bungalow Town’. Many were formed from old railway carriages but most were transformed to include gables, wings and balconies. And, as you can see from this postcard, many were very close to the sea itself. More and more joined the community and, even though the film industry died with a disastrous fire at the main studios in the 1920’s, Bungalow Town established itself as a permanent settlement.

Then, in 1940 with the threat of invasion,  the War Department gave the bungalow-owners 48 hours to leave, and went on to blast away the majority of their homes. Soon much of the territory, overgrown and deserted, was back to where it had been before Marie Loftus discovered it. Only a few ex-railway carriage homesteads and the parish church remained.

All was not lost though as, after the war, drawn (as the first music-hall people had been) to the light and air of the beach, new brick-built bungalows began to spring up.  Bungalow Town was reborn and, although the ‘aka’ name remains, is now differentiated from the neighbouring Shoreham-by-Sea by the name ‘Shoreham Beach’. The most seaward plots are further back from the sea itself these days but a few of the original ‘railway carriage’ homes still remain, hidden beneath unassuming exteriors.

Sunday afternoons…

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Sunday afternoons
A walk, a rest, a cup of tea
This insouciance

©Jemverse

Photo – Ropetackle, Riverbank, Shoreham – Jempics

With eyes to see

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Every so often
now and then
I’ll take a walk
with book and pen
and use my eyes
to look around
when walking in
and round this town

Sometimes I’ll notice
something new
perhaps seen from
a different view
And I will note it
in my book
And maybe take
a second look

These little moments
I then will share
so others round me
are aware
For I don’t want
to selfish be
with all these things
out there to see

And when I’ve shared
as I’ve been blessed
it’s only then
that I can rest
My paper filled
my pen at bay
Until, that is,
another day

©Jemverse

Photo  – Jempics. Entrance lights from the first ‘Norfolk Bridge’, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK. The original suspension bridge, built in 1833, was replaced by a bow-string girder bridge in 1923 and again by the present concrete box girder bridge in 1986. These lights and two of the original buttresses are all that remain of the original bridge.

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