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U3A Writing: Caldicot

Kay Burgess pays a tribute in rhyme to the village where she lives.

Caldicot, "where's that?" I incredibly asked,
When told we were then going to move there.
"It's four miles from Chepstow, a lovely old town",
Said a friend with a knowledgeable air.

I got out the map and looked for the place
That I never had heard of before,
And found a small dot that I hardly could see,
It was quite near the Severn's shore.

In June '63 we came here to live,
And found it a village quite small,
But with fields all around and the fresh country air,
Quite idyllic was voiced by us all.

There were shops here, of course, not very large shops,
But for service could one ask for more,
Than provisions and meat, greengrocery too,
Just delivered right up to your door.

One grocer and draper were all in one shop,
But our needs met all well as could be,
Be it buttons or cottons, nylons or wool,
Sugar, bacon, some biscuits or tea.

A quaint little post office, very well kept,
Lloyds bank in a house got cheques right,
The garage sold petrol from only two pumps,
But was busy from morning to night.

Two real family butchers, a bakery where
One could smell the fresh bread from the lane,
And an old fashioned sweet shop with real stable door;
My memories of these still remain.

The Tippling, The Castle, The Cross and White Hart;
There were four cheerful alehouses here.
So it really was only a matter of taste
For the menfolk to go for their beer.

A mention of Caldicot in the Doomsday Book,
A medieval castle as well,
A beautiful church, nine hundred years old,
We were lucky to come here to dwell.

But it's thirty years on, and Caldicot is
No longer a village quite small,
It's a brisk country town, with a mayor of it's own
And amenities catering for all.

The small shops have gone, larger ones take their place.
Supermarkets with all kinds of fare,
And a DIY centre for garden and home
With big towns their prices compare.

Three thriving banks, estate agents too,
With cafes and wines bars as well,
An indoor market with excellent stalls,
A variety of things there to sell.

A new leisure complex that's very well known
For all festive occasions and sport.
Banquets and the castle, the grounds too a park
Where children play games in the moat.

The medical centre is really quite plush,
With treatment rooms all up to date,
And doctors and sisters to see to our needs
Whether it's early or late.

Yes. Caldicot's changed, no doubt for the best,
So progress must now find a way
For homes to be built on the many green fields
For the people that come here to stay.

But my thoughts are still there of those very first years
When I came to this village quite small,
Of the friendships I made and the welcome I had;
Precious memories remain above all.



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