At first from afar.

Houses of red brick and candy striped timber
With colourful covering paint
Tiles, chimneys, smoke from fire.
Castle’s rocky ridge
Cold damp and ghostly
Wrecked ruins with wild flowers.
Church’s peacefully sculptured stones
For christenings, weddings , funerals.
And winding round it all the river.
Strong fears of bumpy lumpy stones winding, finding rocky water…

And so to St. Laurence’s Church….

Lions in the church!
In a window there is a coat of arms,
Within the shield three lions sit and grin
All three almost identical,
With their golden hair,
And pearl white teeth,
Those lions grin there still looking towards…

The Wood King, with his mighty crown,
With his brown beard floating around.
His eyebrows are as dark as ivy,
But his eyes are as bright as the sun,
And his nose as sharp as his crown.
His mouth looks proud as he glances towards…

The Mermaid.
In her right hand she held a comb
And in her left she held a mirror.
She sat admiring herself
And the evil fish just laughed.
You are ugly said the fish.
You are ugly said another.
I’m not listening, you are always wrong.
We are never wrong.
Of course you are, now go away
But where can wooden fish swim to…

The shops!

Ludlow Period House Shop everything specially made.
Ludlow Period House Shop quality of the highest grade.
Ludlow Period House Shop goods for every trade.
Aniseed balls
Round and purple
White then like a pearl
Hot like the sun
It smells of spice
A little seed like a beetle
Tastes of oranges
Lies at its heart.

Cats and dogs and things like frogs,
Teddies and pigs and things in wigs,
Beano and Dandy and things that are handy,
Plates and mugs and funny shaped jugs,
Fielders and batters and other things that matter,
Pictures and art and things that are smart,
Broaches and rings and dragons with wings,
Boxes and clocks and teapots with socks!
All this in Artemis.

Elderflower Wine
A man stopped to tell us
About his two big bags
Of elderflowers
He gave us a recipe
For elderflower wine
Two big bags of elderflowers
Boiling water
Lemon juice
And four days of patience!

In Rickards
Ten inch Victorian casement stays,
Screw and ball casters lying in trays,
Some Tilley spares and brass cabin hooks,
Springs of all types just have a look,
Brackets and hinges and chains of all sizes,
Faded old labels their name advertises,
Dairy and brooder thermometer drawers,
All to be found at old Rickards Stores.

Rain around Ludlow
Here comes the rain, the old enemy,
Stalking us across the fields,
Hurrying us up cobbled lanes,
Slashing at our feet,
Soaking our paper,
Dripping down our necks,
Flooding our…
The sun is coming out.
The roads and our knees are all steaming
And the river is fuelled for its run to the sea.

Flies around the water’s edge, hovering over grass and hedge,
Fly away to a secret shelter as the rain tumbles down helter skelter.

Ducks feeding on Dinham Weir
How do you do that?
Holding your own on that
Impossible slimy, silvery, slippery, watery slide
Unconcerned as the water breaks over you
Soaks you
Simply wanting one thing…
Your lunch!

The Dead Fish
It lies there still.
On its back?
It’s on its side.
The mud is starting to recover it,
What was of the water is reclaimed by the earth.

Back to the Broad Gate
Red Honda, Grey Mini
Blue Ford, blue Ford,
Ford, Ford, furious Ford
Grey Renault, white Ford
White Ford Transit
Seven small children.

While up at the castle…

Bleached panels of time washed oak
Cracked, dented, split and broke
Broad floor boards of zebra striped elm
Dusty remainders of some great lord’s realm.

A sudden bird flutters in through an eyeless window.
Panicked wing beats echo round deserted chambers.
Who is there?
Who is there?
Just five children and a bird.

Lead astray and out of town.
Slipping, sliding along a mud lined track,
Pounded by the rain upon our backs
Which rings in our ears like cannon shots.
We stumble,
Deeper, further into the great forest dimness.
Silence invades us as the rain fades.
Moss and soft needles swallow up our footsteps
As we retreat from the downpour
And advance into the dry mustiness
Of the forest’s shrivelled heart.

Ludlow has its good points but also its bad.
Upon the church wall a monument to the man who wrote
“A Shropshire Lad”.
Down the street are the shops which are still
Lovely places to give us a thrill.
Over and under the hills, the atmosphere is bliss
Where in the world can we find a place like this?

A collaborative work by pupils from Greatworth School, Northamptonshire