The Hadleigh I Knew

A Poem by Ron Hurrell

Hadleigh's Crown Pub, in all its glory
Retouched by our H&TCA regeneration specialist
The original postcard, faded to obscurity
By courtesy of Peter Lewsey

The Hadleigh I knew had unmade roads

Potholed, muddy and quite o’er grown.

Ponds where all my children played.

I look at Hadleigh now, dismayed

To find the roads are still unmade

And potholes all around dispersed

And ponds spring up where sewers burst

So one thing I would like to know

Where did all my Council Tax go?


The Hadleigh I knew had green front gardens,

But no more lawns and no more blooms

The days-eyed lawns and hollyhocks

O’er-grown by cars and paving blocks.

The cars all spouting monstrous plumes

Of stinking, choking, toxic fumes.


And Hadleigh downs; a place for hikes

Given over to mountain bikes

Just because some Council chap

Said he’d put Hadleigh on the map.


Of Banks, my Hadleigh once had four

But one by one they close the door

Soon they’ll all be gone and then

What shall I do when I need a new pen?


Patten Clocks have long since stopped

Their ticks and tocks

And where in Hadleigh can one go,

To buy a pair of socks.

No Yeaxley’s; Woolies; The Crown the lot

And Reynolds scrap-yard full of tot

The Kingsway, what a shame we lost her

Never mind we’ve now got Costa

It’s not the same you must admit

There’s no back row where we could sit

In dark and …

talk about the weather.


The Hadleigh that I viewed with veneration

Will suffer soon, regeneration.

Plans galore and then some more.

And soon our kids will echo us

And some may even make a fuss

As changes come and projects new

Where is the Hadleigh that WE knew?

You see it’s all about the march of time

“The moving finger writes.” And all that stuff

Will still go on, in spite of all our Huff and Puff.


The Hadleigh I knew has long since Gone

Sold to William Morrison.

But from this town I’ll not be straying

What keeps me here? I don’t mind saying,

Not Hubert’s Castle; James’s steeple.

It’s simply all you lovely people.

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