Chippy: Just Passing Through.

There's a place back in my childhood
We were always passing through.
Nice town for a stop off,
Especially for the loo.)
Or, for joyrides in the Cotswolds
From our house on Churchdown Hill
This town would be the limit
Of our driving round at will.
And for trips as far as Luton
This would be the way we'd go
In spite of the Cotswold saying
That 'all roads lead to Stow'.
And here's a thing, since childhood,
Though I have to think and stop,
My many childhood joyrides,
Don't remember Adelstrop!
I knew Chippy had a railway line.
I read it closed in sixty two
But you never really take much in
When you're just passing through.
What I always did remember
Was THAT BUILDING, oh so square
Like a massive mausoleum
With it's chimney in the air.
It's not just any chimney,
It makes you stop and look.
It's the thing you really notice
In every tourist book.
It's so bulbous yet so pointy
And it challenges the sky,
A tweedy tower of Babel
Humungousally high!
And opposite, is that playground;
A lovely place to play
'Twixt Bedford town and Trowbridge,
It was just about half way.
Our own kids were to play there,
The perfect place to meet.
My husband's folks from Bedford,
Would bring picnic things to eat.
We'd meet up for exchanges
And they'd take our kids back home,
Leaving us unencumbered,
And FREE, free, to roam.

Passing through the town and back,
While lives and time moved on,
We'd stop for coffee or a snack,
Though the Little Chef had gone.
Passing, hardly stopping,
Never saw a Rollright Stone,
And the brown sign - with the Duck
Was many miles from home...
Until, the day the job changed
And we moved to Oxfordshire
Where the town they all call Chippy
Was very, very near.
We visited the Duck place,
We saw the Rollright Stones,
We even went to Applegarth
And bought some garden stones.

No longer passing through now,
(Bedford not so far away),
Now that Nanna was a widow
She sometimes came to stay.
She liked a visit into town.
She bought a coat at Beales,
There were all the shops she needed
And places for light meals.

Now my husband is retired,
Though he still has much to do.
We've made good lives near Chippy,
Since we're not just passing through.
There's walking and there's swimming,
There's music, art and song,
And chip shops, pubs and restaurants.
The list goes on and on.

And next Chequers, down on Spring Street,
You'll know the place I mean,
Is where we keep our minds alive
In comedy, stage and screen.
That perfect little Theatre
Where Everyman can go,
And muse and stop whilst working through,
Our own lives passing show.

 April 27th 2014.

© Joanna Huckvale 2014

The up-coming 40 years Showcase at the Theatre where we have our Creative Writing Classes made me think about my long-term involvement with Chipping Norton. I started writing a prose piece but got the above verses instead.

Joanna Huckvale

I have always enjoyed writing and concocting stories and poems and I would like to thank my mother for singing to me when I was young and showing me that it was natural to write things down. Telling impromptu stories to my kids when they were young was also fun.

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