A Brief History of Forgotten Local Places by Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Brief History of Forgotten Local Places 

 

Beggars’ Bush Field:

where tramps gathered at night before entering the village. This hour was their salvation: the remains of the widow’s cottage, their temple. And they prayed among the overgrown shrubbery and clumps of long yellow grass for King Cob, their leader who’d passed.

 

Quarterway House:

the ramshackle tollhouse, built to mark the distance from village to city and its palatial replacement, also known as the insurance job, after a lorry missed the bend.

 

Dimock’s Cote:

nightly, the anglers come to sit in the old boathouse and guard the riverbank – their aim, to catch the unlicensed foreign, who cook pike, dace and bream on makeshift stoves. That anyone should eat the fish they’ve caught – rather than slip it free of the barb to return it gill-slashed into the Ouse.

 

Five Miles From Anywhere:

not just because it’s rare as a corncrake in South-east England, but because its overgrown banks and spinneys lend themselves to a creep of darkling beetles, a knot of natterjack toads.

 

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

 

 

 

 

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough is the author of Glass (Best Pamphlet Saboteur Awards 2017) and a full collection, Sightings (Michael Schmidt Award for Best Portfolio). A poem from Sightings was published in the Forward Book of Poetry 2018. Other poems have appeared in The Rialto, Poem, Mslexia, Magma and Stand.

 

 

 

 

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