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  • Writer's pictureJohn Hemming-Clark

An Independent Chislehurst? Or, The Ballad of The War Memorial Crossing Or, Abstain, Abstain, Absent

An Independent Chislehurst?

Or, The Ballad of The War Memorial Crossing

Or, Abstain, Abstain, Absent - A Lament

"Chislehurst is a special place,"

You often hear folk say.

"We love it here, suburban space -

We'll never move away."

View of White Horse Hill embraces

The City to north-west.

Further west great London places.

It really is the best!

The capital's ten miles away

When trav'ling on the train.

For work and play, whatever day,

Let B R take the strain!

However, on the other hand,

South, sixty miles at most,

You'll find yourself getting tanned

Relaxing on the coast.

Your thirst can easily be slaked

When you reside in Chis.

Nine pubs there are - highly rated -

For spirits, beer and fizz.

If shopping's something you quite like

Buy clothes that you'll adore.

Cards and gifts, nought to dislike.

Can even buy a door!

If fuzzy head you must eschew

Then seek a drink more light.

Chislehurst's abstemious too

But may give you a fright,

For coffee shops are everywhere

In Chislehurst's High Street.

Of soulless chains you might beware

Though others are a treat.

On Sundays work is sacrificed.

Nine churches you will find.

To sing the praise of Jesus Christ.

The saviour of mankind.

Oldest for worship of God's son

Known simply as St Nic's.

Even there once worship's done

Meet for a caffeine fix.

A library? Yes we have one too.*

A place to pick and choose.

Established tome or someone new

Who writes just to amuse. (Ahem)

Maybe you'ld like a woodland stroll?

In which case - come on down!

Fresh air for all we can extol.

A semi-rural town.

With such good schools you'll have much fun

When vying for a place.

For daughter fair or squeaky son

To form their learning base.

Come take a look and you will see

Why often folk move in.

There they remain - great devotees

Despite the biggest sin.

Because divided is this place

And something you will rue

If old or young or slow of pace.

It's called A 2-2-2.

To the east there's Royal Parade.

The old part it's agreed.

With shops, pubs, churches and some trade.

That's all you'll ever need.

But you will often find homes too.

Also for those in care.

Some schools with pupils passing through.

You'll find them all up there.

More of the same out to the west

In Chislehurst's High Street.

But walking there you may have guessed

Athletic, dang'rous feat.

Red, amber, green - for those who drive -

Slow down the traffic flow.

But when just red for seconds five

What do the children do?

Or adults old, infirm, not fast

When crossing Bromley Road

Once red light jumpers have all passed,

Rememb'ring Highway Code,

With four seconds now left to cross?

Look right then left then right.

Two seconds then the cars criss-cross

Once more to give much fright.

We take our lives into our hands

Or turn and walk away.

For there's no zebra at this place

To say, "Cars, please give way."

It's not that no one cares somehow.

The residents are kind.

But counc'lors must do something NOW

For all our peace of minds.

A crossing NOW is what's required.

Four thousand ticks obtained

For petition all much admired.

No Zebra's still maintained.

How 'bout a bridge built way up high?

Something we really need.

It could reach right up to the sky.

That surely would succeed!

The traffic would not need to stop

But travel full straight on

With pedestrians up on top

And traffic jams all gone.

Or maybe go deep underground

Down into flint and chalk?

Some ghostly Druids all around

When under road we walk.

Why struggle up or stumble down

When we could just go straight?

Let motorists for a minute frown:

It isn't long to wait.

But dinosaurs aren't on the side

Of old or young or slow.

So safer crossings they deride

'Cause, "Party just says no."

No party games! We have no thirst

In Chislehurst's fine ward.

We need three folk who put us first

Whose message strikes a chord.

Election time soon is coming!

"Vote Tory," now is grim.

Give the dinosaurs a drubbing -

Put Independents in!

*for now

© John Hemming-Clark 2022

Photo acknowledgement:

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