The Mud and The Stars - cover
The following two poems, The Places In Between and A Shropshire Welcome, were written about the Cardington area by a local writer. The first includes the names of many favourite places in the district and the second tells of the warm welcome we received when when we first came here. Both these poems are from the collection of short stories and poems entitled THE MUD AND THE STARS. Information about its sequel, THE MUD AND THE STARS REVISITED, can be obtained by phoning Anthea Toft on 01694 771383.

The Places In Between

Between Shrewsbury on the Severn and Ludlow on the Teme
There lies some hilly country that's sort of in between;
The Clee hills rising Eastward and Long Mynd to the West
The valleys in between them some think they like the best.
And many secret places lie sheltered by these hills,
Some think Batch valley pretty and some like Cardingmill,
Or broad Corve Dale is lovely on a sunny afternoon
Where flows the sweet Corve river, though some prefer the Cound.
And always round about you the land begins to irise,
For Lawley, Ragleth, Caradoc in every aspect lies
Where sheep and bracken covered you can hear the curlews cry
Surrounded by the heathery hills beneath a Shropshire sky.
The market town of Stretton is busy, bright and clean;
While the hill road up the Burway is the steepest ever seen.
Rushbury and Hope Bowdler, Cardington and Wall
Are pretty little villages that in the Ape Dale fall;
And Diddlebury and Ticklerton and Longville in the Dale,
Where stands a pub the Longville Arms, of many a traveller's tale;
And underneath the Wenlock Edge is Eaton Church so small,
Where snowdrops fill the churchyard beneath the beech tree tall.
And over on the other side is Enchmarsh on the hill,
And the Yell Bank to Chatwall is even better still;
The view to East, the view to West lies open to your gaze
And far beyond the hills of Wales lies Snowdon in the haze;
And high across the Wenlock Edge just visible to the eye
The smoke of powerhouse chimneys, tower-blocks against the sky.
But here the air is fresh and clear upon the windy hill
And sheltered by the layered hedge wild flowers are blooming still;
Pink purslane and primroses and eye-of-Speedwell blue
And meadowsweet and trees of may-'tis peace the whole year through.

The Places In Between - sketch

A Shropshire Welcome

When we arrived in Shropshire we had a welcome grand
They called with cakes and even stayed to give a helping hand
And Michael called who rings the bells and said "Do you like singing?
We're short of chaps to join the choir and give a hand at ringing."
Two boys arrived with mushrooms and a small girl with some jam
A farmer dropped off bales of hay and Olive brought a lamb.
A builder gave two wheelbarrows and other things as well
And someone offered us a pig (It's not true that they smell).
We even had an offer of two donkeys and a sow
But really hadn't any room as now we had a cow;
We called her 'Bonnie Blossom' her calves Valentine and Rose,
She is the grandest creature as everybody knows.
And so we found our home from home and added more as well
Five goats, two dogs, a cat, some ducks, more hens than I can tell.
The barns and sheds were full now of hay and oats and straw
And all to overflowing, more things and then still more.
And then came all the children who had their pets here too
For Jeremy had his budgie and Mark fish red and blue
Maureena had a rabbit and a wooley bear called Roo.
And people still call in with things and bring us their old clothes
For keeping all these children's hard as everybody knows.
For there are six and two make eight and grandma in her flat
And sometimes more call in and stop to help with this and that.
For since we've come to Shropshire we've made so many friends
They've helped us in so many ways in making do and mend.
We almost feel that we'll belong in twenty years or so
We'll be the folk up on the hill to those who live below.

A Shropshire Welcome - sketch