Letter: Clifton’s Lament inspired by Local Plan

Cliftons Lament inspired by Local Plan
Cliftons Lament inspired by Local Plan

Here is a poem I’ve written called Clifton’s Lament (adapted from a poem by David “Gwenallt” Jones).

About Brighouse

On the land around Thornhill and in the fields of Clifton

They have bulldozers digging up trees

to build houses for a burgeoning population

I call to mind my Grandmother in Clifton village

As she sat, toasting her muffins, by the fireside,

The skin yellow and dry on her face

through toil in the summer sun

On her lips, the broad Yorkshire of the dales near Leyburn

A Yorkshire lass through and through of another time

Although, I never knew him, my Grandfather

By all accounts was a character, a blunt twinkling creature

Fond of his pint;

You would find him in the Blackhorse after they’d called time

They brought up six children

Farmers, Methodist Preachers and teachers of Sunday school

And they were each made of the finest Yorkshire prime

My Uncle John was the Methodist minister in Clifton

And was, from the pulpit a preacher of great renown

He taught me village history, Robin Hood and Ned Lud famous in these parts

Robin Hood and Ned Lud knew our village name

Clifton people know them too and salute their fame

It was to him I sought my learning and inspiration

What was important what really mattered is, where we make our stand

For this vibrant community and culture that surround this our ancient land

Church, home and hearth

our identity is our village

Our community, stock and heritage are here in each and every field,

For a thousand years we have toiled, this our village, not to yield

For us there is only one path, no our land you will not pillage

And by this time there’s nothing but fields full of houses

Boxes made of tricky tack all looking the same

Houses where the greenbelt was

And an urban sprawl that was once farmland

Where is the village and community vibrant and mature?

gone to make the developers rich and all of us poor

The bulldozer growls where once there were cows, lambs and singing birds in the rye

And there, in the dark midst,

Is the death of the community by the corporate minotaur?

And on the trees as if on crosses

The bones of culture, community and heritage bleached white

by planners oh so contrite

in the fields the bulldozers are bellowing, Clifton destroyed by the modern day ludite.