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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