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24 September 2014

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You are in: Hereford and Worcester > Features > Stories > The Grand Closure Of Colwall Railway Bridge

Railway tracks

Railway track

The Grand Closure Of Colwall Railway Bridge

A tongue-in-cheek poem, written by Adrian Mealing, after the Herefordshire village was split in two by the closure of an unsafe road bridge.

I say, do you speak English
Parlez-vous Francais
Sprechen Sie Swahili
or Dutch or Mandalay?

We shouted hoarsely 'cross no-man's-land
raised our heads o'er parapet
this looks like the work of Health & Safety
but we're not beaten, not just yet

Pedestrians, toddlers & horses
cyclists, farmers too
are tunneling under the railway tracks
here's a helmet & pick-axe for you

while old folks down at Chevenham
have built a human chain
to carry Brownies across the line
for their badges and home again

Granny's got a paraffin can
Uncle Jim an old bed sheet
we'll flaming wave it at the Council
show the Highways we're on heat

Auntie Vi has made some biscuits
the Scouts are doing the biz
the village is in uproar
well, my half is

the other half looks empty
like a glimpse of East Berlin
across the barbed wire fencing
Health & Safety tanks roll in

By jove, it feels like Gaza
or an enclave in Algiers
we clasp the children to our breasts
and sup the final beers

Such tender years. Reception Class?
Not this side of the track.
Beau Thai, The Crown or Colwall Park
No way. Alack, alack.

Dusk.

The Inter City train speeds through
the bridge collapses. Is it true?
No, it's stood since 1892
we are not Minnesota.

This is Colwall Railway Bridge.
Are you receiving us?
This is Colwall.
Are you receiving us?
This is Colwall...

last updated: 21/08/07

You are in: Hereford and Worcester > Features > Stories > The Grand Closure Of Colwall Railway Bridge

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