Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Wipe Clean Convenience

It was the Heritage Open Day weekend now just (as we'd say in South Wales).

You know, when interesting or historic buildings that are not regularly open to the public are available to view. I always get around some building or other. It's become part of my 'year'.

This year, though, I was invited to take part in an activity at one of them, an event at CoRE (Centre of Refurbishment Excellence) a magnificently refurbished set of buildings down in Longton. It's an impressive place, with conference facilities, workshop and exhibition space and all dedicated to urban regeneration and the skills and issues involved with that. More power to its elbow, I say.

I was there to take part in a poetry reading ably compered by local poet, Alan Barrett.

There were people from writers' groups across The Potteries and very varied and entertaining it was too. I particularly liked the contribution by a West Indian lady on how she'd wondered where the 'rice' was in the region's staple pie - was it in the flour used to make the pastry? Finally she clocked it, they were Wright's Pies.

Which leads me to my politically incorrect Potteries joke.
'What do you call three Wrights Pies, one on top of the other, in Bentilee?'
'A wedding cake.'

As we were in a centre of excellence for refurbishment and the built-environment, I read the following poem. As my compatriot Rob Brydon would say, 'It's a bit of fun ...':

Wipe Clean Convenience

Our street’s been PVC-ed.
At number 33 the conservatory
gleams very white indeed,
now it’s freshly PVC-ed.

Our street’s been PVC-ed.
‘Beverley’ and ‘Waverley’,
‘The Willows’ and ‘The Mead’
all smile so bright in plastic white
now they’ve been PVC-ed.

There’s still hard-wood down at ‘Windward’,
soffits resin-stained by trees,
sash windows down ‘The Crescent’
where they’ve not replaced their eaves.
Wooden sills and lintels there
are rotting by degrees,
while ‘Dunroamin’ and ‘Glenorglin’
no maintenance they need,
now their fascia boards and drainpipes
have all been PVC-ed.

With your moulded set of dentures
a welcome smile is guaranteed,
no warping doors, Polyfilla chores
once you’ve been PVC-ed.

Who wants leaded lights and stained glass?
from home improvement bills we’re freed,
thanks to door-to-door deliverance,
the fitter’s ready expertise.
Let’s carry a torch for the plastic porch,
it’s anonymity we need.
No pain, no stain, no smears from rain

now we’ve all been PVC-ed.

I must admit, we've had it done too ...

Poetic licence conceals a shamed-face.

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