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It's those soul assassins the town planners again! Except it's 1969

I Love This Dirty Town (too)

I found this plea
In the archives of the BBC
Margaret Drabble, Sean Kenny Arthur Doole
I love you
But weep knowing
They took no pity
The architects and town planners always win!
Wise words from Theo Goody
Highlights the wasted taxpayers' money
On skills are wasted for empty words
Paid for by the sweat and toil of ordinary workers
Joan Littlewood as usual
Fighting on the side of good
Money talks
Developers walk
All over our souls
Until we do them a favour
And become their natives
In a concrete jungle





Posted by Wendy Young, 29 September 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

Unlimited great, limited food not!!

Where can I get some decent food in this goddam town?  In between the fantastic festival I just needed a real dirty fry up to keep me going and guess what?  Been around the world and I, I , I can't find a fry up... Runaround Brew.... where are you? Had to settle for MACDONALDS

ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!! Get this city back to reality please and give us back the cosy Italian cafes and Full English brekkies!  Then I find that:  London Hot el is charging £39 for the humble fry up!!!  Let's reclaim our food!

At least my anger churned out quite a long poem and all the Embankment trekking inspired The Waistband in me!

For Real City

Ravenous for a dirty breakfast
Of bacon and eggs and all things fat

I traipsed Charing Cross
And borders of Covent Garden

To satisfy my stomach’s wretch
Horrific and wrong

Tempo Temper Tantrum
The large male Italian

Who served the best breakfast
My mate from Amsterdam vver had

Had turned into a cappuchino
Muffin selling slim line youth

Lounging across
The counter looking

At this alien
Asking for a fry up

‘haz changed’ he seemed
Perturbed at being

Disturbed whilst fiddling
With his mobile phone

Oh No I cried
Another nail in the coffin

Of a London that caters
For my craving heart

Who needs to eat
Albeit on occasion

Something other
Than an airy bun

Fucked up City
Ray Davies said

Unreal City
T.S. had it sussed

We’re losing culture
We’re losing character

To three flouncy boys
Entering Thai Pot

Looking like a greasy spoon
Would ne’er be on their map

I have seen Stratford
It’s flattened it’s lost

Like a wasteland crying
For years of growth

Torn from the backs
Blood sweat and toil

Of dockers and labourers
Now just building blocks

Horizon crying
For some kind of realism

Not just Westfield
And fancied up locks

A burger’s the alternative
Full to bursting on the Strand

Coke milk shake chilli
Relish slurping

Scoffing meat
Unreal, cheese

Unreal, these are now
This is now

I look for familiar
Earlier I saw a face I knew

Curly mop and little eyes
Crossing the bridge

On Embankment
Dark, daunted

By disappointment
Older now

I nearly shouted
‘I know you don’t I?

Weren’t you with me
On the stage in Mile End?’

Traitorous bitch! We acted together
Thought she was a friend!

Turning into Bakerloo Northbound
End of the corridor walk annoys every time

When Trafalgar Square’s entry
Is shut I imagine

That I’ll see the ghost
Of my lovely Gabby

A friendly face
In a sea of scowls

Rushing opposite way to me
‘Hi Vendeee’

Bespectacled, smiling
Lit me up, we chatted a while

But her ghost never walks
Charing Cross Station

I am left in quandaries’


Meine Leibchen
My dear dead Gabby

Reekious in Pace
With long gone bacon

Greasy fry ups
Sweet smells dying

Posted by Wendy Young, 29 September 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016

I will remember you Arthur Bowler - Victim of The Great Slaughter 1914-18

98 years ago my Great Uncle Arthur Bowler was 'killed in action' in the 'organised murder' (Harry Patch).  He is commemorated on a brick in Thiepval, France. 

Strangely, he was near an area called Albert, and he had a brother called Albert, pronounced very differently with a Barnsley accent, who also served in Malta in the same conflict and survived to have a very good life.  I wonder if Arthur may have connected these names as he waited in the trench to die. 

His sister, my Grandma, had a strange, small piece of heavy black glass on her mantelpiece which I used to pick up and look at and feel and say 'that's not a pig!' and she would say 'yes it is, our Arthur made that pig for me!'.  He worked at a glassworks before and was looked after by my Grandma and now I see it was a pig, a precious memento beside his brass plaque, one of millions, Arthur Bowler, who died in the Great War.  I wish I could go back and say, 'yes, I see it is a pig' but like most things we regret, it's too late.  I was too young and naive and all I can do is pay homage by the magic of social media.  

Thank you Arthur for giving your life but it was all in vain, the slaughter goes on, again and again.  Here is Wilfred Owen's superb poem as a dedication to you and all the innocents who thought they were doing the right thing and also the ones pressured through the 'white feather' anti-conchie brigade.

Parable of the Old Man and the Young

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,

Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
and builded parapets and trenches there,

And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,

A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

Wilfred Owen

Posted by Wendy Young, 15 September 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 May 2016