Brighton - queen of watering places

A poem

By Ken Fines

Buzz, buzz, buzz ... lively Brighton by the sea,
Wrapped in precious downland, haven for the free.
Five millennia of history since Stone Age Whitehawk Down,
But fisherfolk of Brighthelmstone built 'The Lanes' of our 'Old Town'.

Surprise! The blithe Prince Regent set Royal Pavilion there.
Soon Regency squares and terraces were spread around with flair.
Thus, 'the queen of watering places" was born by Vickie's reign,
Which brought the legendary Brighton line and gems like our North Laine.

We salute some famous folk starting Brighton on the run -
Architects Wilds and Busby, and 'dipper' Martha Gunn.
Rennie and Rastrick on the rail with an army of navvies too.
Then Sake Dean Mahomed for a wonderful shampoo!

Surely, they would now proclaim that growth can't run and run?
Too little space, too many cars and waste by ton and ton.
Now City of Brighton and Hove, we really must be strong ...
Conserve our priceless heritage...NOT A NEW HONG KONG!

Editor's note: The emboldening of some words at the end of the second verse was not in the original, but is adopted here to explain the inclusion of this poem on the North Laine Community Association website.

Sadly, Ken Fines died in 2008.

[Previously published in the 'North Laine Runner', No 185, Jan/Feb 2007 and in 'The Creative Touch', United Press Ltd, January 2007, an anthology of verse inspired by local surroundings]

This page was added on 17/06/2008.

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