Poetry about Winteringham & District

Winteringham Local History and Genealogy

Poetry about Winteringham & District

From: “Lyrics of Lovely Lincolnshire”

by Edith Spilman Dudley

kindly transcribed for the site by Harry and Pam Wells


Upon her placid time-worn face,
Old Winteringham displays the grace
Of ancient culture's varied ways,
And mystic lore of far-off days.
Long centuries gone, the men of stone
Made implements of flint and bone,
Which excavating hands have found
Hidden within the classic ground.
Now, heedless of the dust of years,
The traveller halts, and thinks he hears
The martial tread of Roman feet,
And echoing hooves on Ermine Street.
The Roman galleys sailed away
When Caesar's men had served their day;
Then, Saxon hordes, resistless, bold,
Swooped on these shores and scourged the wold.
Great pompous kings in all their pride
Have had to wait for Humber's tide,
And voyaging, have found it rough
Before they reached the shores at Brough.
Bold Marmions rest within the shade
Of Church which Norman builders made,
Where still, triumphant thro' the years,
Rings Kirk-White's hymn to banish fears.
Tho' men and cultures fade away
And Winteringham has had her day,
The dignity of ancient grace    
Still lingers on her lovely face.

The young English poet, Henry Kirk White  was a student at the ivy-covered Old Rectory of Winteringham.  He is said to have composed his famous hymn  'Oft in danger,oft inwoe,' after a tempestuous crossing from  Hull to Winteringham, when his small boat almost capsized.


(From an actual incident of June, 1908)

Wake oop, tha' young lig a-bed laggard!
The midsummer breeze is a'blow,
There's no time for dallyin' this mornin'
You an' me's off to Winterton Show ;
So rouse up, and polish thi leggin's
An' slip on thi new corderoy,
An' I'll lend tha my best buckskin weskit
'At I sported when I wur a boy.
An' I'm goin' to weer ma grey topper
(Tho' it's big since my 'air got sa thin)
Then we'll yoak up the mare (owd " Brown Bessie ")
To the gig—then we'll boath scram'le in ;
An' we'll drive thro' soft 'ighways of hemlock
All a'tangle wi' flowers sa sweet,
Where the wild-rose is queen o' the hedgerows
An' the poppies flame out 'mid the wheeat.
Then we'll ketch up wi' all the fine 'osses
An' carts, decked wi' ribbons an' paint,
'Till we drive thro' the streets to the Show-ground
Passin' cottages friendly and quaint.
Next, we'll see the parade o' fine cattle
While the judges debate i' the ring,
As we listen to wondrous grand music
By a band 'at as played for the King
“So, get up, tha lazy young laggard!
Look alive, and prepare for the fray!
We mun laugh an' be merry this mornin'
'Cos it's Winterton Midsummer Day.

The Reedbed

What was I hoping for, what was I trying to find
that September afternoon, skimming across
the Humber under slender cables to the other side.
The past of course, something to say this is how it was,
even something forgotten of my own, a view perhaps,
to account for how I imagine ships trawl
the top of an embankment beyond a kitchen window.
But there were no ships. All that brown water
and just a green-hulled light-float with its silent bell.

What was there to see in a village of closed doors
gone about its twenty-first century commute.
The church was locked. Not one headstone shared my name.
Behold, he taketh away; who can say unto him, what dost thou.
A gable end stopped me - not familiar, but seen before.
I'd gone because I still love the colour of bottled plums,
the press of golden flesh through crimson juice against glass.
I did find the orchards, now The Orchards, meaning
executive houses instead of trees. And one old brick wall.

On the sign outside The Ferryboat, one man rows another
across the estuary, all that distance in a little yellow hull.
But where the boatyard was, ploughed stubble.
The creek silted, narrowed and shallow.
No voices, no hammering, no trace of planking or a nail;
nothing to write home about as my father would have said.
Only the reeds, their grey plumes and dry leaves
lilting in the sun with a sound like running water
tell how it was then. The tall, plumed reeds


Reproduced with permission from Jane Routh Teach Yourself Mapmaking, 2006

Have you tried the other Winteringham Websites?
Winteringham News, Don Burton World of Nature Photo Archive (modern photographs of the village), What the Papers have said about Winteringham (since July 2004), High Resolution Historical Photographs , Winteringham Film Archive, Winteringham Nature Site, Winteringham Recipes, Winteringham Camera Club, Winteringham Village Hall, Winteringham Chapel

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