Garvald Poems

From Judith Blatherwick:

I don’t have a limerick, but a little while ago an elderly lady wrote to me. She lived in Garvald as a child and shared her memories with me. Based on what she told me I wrote this poem for her. I can’t speak for the veracity of the facts but they are as given to me by this lovely lady. Her name is Margaret Tough.


There is a little village
That I lived in, in my youth.
I cherish it with fondness
In my heart. That is the truth.

The village was a haven,
Just one road, not long or wide.
The villagers who lived there
Kept their cottages with pride.

Some characters I knew there
Still come to mind today.
This little country village
Was a lovely place to stay.

There was a local policeman
He had a quiet time.
I can’t remember if he
Ever had to solve a crime.

To fetch the milk was my job,
Bought directly from The Mains.
I did the job with gusto
Walking swiftly up the lanes.

But if they did not have it
Then The Grange is where I’d go.
The hill was quite a challenge
From the village down below.

The farmer had a fish pond.
In the winter, when it froze,
We’d slide and skate upon it.
That’s a secret, no-one knows.

For we had all had warnings
From our parents, so concerned.
This fish pond’s reputation
Was a harsh one, they had learned.

One day a horse and carriage
Had stepped on. The horse had reared,
And horse and cart and driver
Had, quite sadly, disappeared.

They’d broken through the surface
Where the ice began to thaw.
The horse and cart and driver
Hadn’t been seen any more.

For this was a strange fish pond.
It was deeper than you’d think.
It didn’t have a bottom,
So forever you would sink.

Now back down to the village.
Just a few more things to see.
A few more childish highlights
Which meant everything to me.

The grocer and Post Office
Were where housewives liked to meet.
But to the village children
Somewhere else was hard to beat.

Mrs Beaton’s Sweet Shop
Was much loved by boys and girls.
With caramels and toffees
And her thick black liquorice swirls.

But if her shop was busy
And we felt we couldn’t wait
We’d rush to buy our sweeties
Down the road from Mrs Tait.

This village, it is still there,
Though it’s changed a little bit.
But if I ever go there,
I go to the park and sit.

I close my eyes and think back
To the days when, as a child,
I’d landed in this village
And at once I was beguiled.

So if you go to Garvald
Please pass on my fond hello
To villagers who live there
And to those from long ago.

by Judith Blatherwick