Kate Beamish

Rookie (1940 / Exeter, Devon)

The Village Hall - Poem by Kate Beamish

Built solidly of stone or bricks,
no pebble-dash or fancy tricks.
Constructed to perform a duty,
not meant to be a thing of beauty.

The roof’s not made of pretty thatch,
the door has sturdy metal latch,
no knocker gleams, no knob of brass.
The windows don’t have coloured glass.

Plain paint inside on walls and ceiling,
outside the paint is always peeling.
No carpet is there on the floor,
nor roses climbing round the door.

A basically furnished kitchen.
One toilet for both men and women.
Wooden seats which fold and stack,
stored in a small room at the back.

Window catches are quite rusty,
air inside smells damp and musty
as if the building is too old.
Even in summer it feels cold.

The lights have only bulbs – no shades.
Curtains without frills or braids
hang at the windows – never lace.
Loud-ticking clock has ugly face.

If this description’s accurate,
this place is in a dreadful state.
Extremely drab, rundown and dull
and yet, its life is over-full!

Throughout the year its use is endless,
it’s never left alone and friendless.
Used in turn by everyone,
full of laughter, noise and fun.

On three mornings out of five
the Playgroup brings this place alive.
Sand and water, games and toys,
for the pre-school girls and boys.

OAPs drink tea, play whist.
Keep-fit classes writhe and twist.
Evenings are filled with many clubs,
Brownies, Guides, Boy Scouts and Cubs.

Women’s Institute, Youth Club,
of knitting circle it’s the hub.
Art and craft, flower arranging.
Here the scene is always changing.

Drama, film shows, ballet lessons,
the Church choir’s practice sessions.
Harvest suppers, hand-bell ringing,
Christmas parties, carol singing.

Public meetings, polling station,
The mobile library’s location.
This place is used and loved by all,
our old and shabby village hall.

Comments about The Village Hall by Kate Beamish

  • Patrick Ladbrooke (6/26/2007 1:56:00 AM)

    This a really great poem and it sums up the village halls I have known. The life and soul of the village when the people are there, a transformation from loving neglect to vibrancy.

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  • Ernestine Northover (6/22/2007 4:21:00 PM)

    Hooray! Another wonderful write. You are just my style, love this one lots.
    Love Ernestine XXX
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  • (6/18/2007 4:28:00 PM)

    I can identify with this completely. A great read, Kate. Our village halls are not just bricks and mortar - they're PEOPLE places.

    Love, Fran xx
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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 15, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 12, 2011

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