The Village of Dilton Marsh & the White Horse

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Ode to Dilton Marsh – a Collection of Poems circa 1994

Home 9 Village Life & Memories 9 Ode to Dilton Marsh – a Collection of Poems circa 1994
Poems by the Villagers of Dilton Marsh

by Mrs Teresa M. Curtis, 4 Silver Street, Dilton Marsh

They say, this time the Halt will stay;
It must be used – eight trains each way
Will get you to
The shopping malls,
To meet your pals,
Or even to your holiday

If it gets used we may one day
Get shelters for the rainy days;
And then the trains will take you to
All the places and people who
Will find that Dilton’s on the map
And here to stay,

The sun goes down upon the tracks;
There’s one last train to get you back
To your own folk
From the “Big Smoke”
To Dilton Marsh’s chimney stacks.

♥ ♥ ♥


by Mrs Phyllis Baker, 129 High Street, Dilton Marsh.

The villagers of Dilton Marsh
Thought British Rail was being harsh,
As unsafe platforms and deterioration,
They would have to close the Station.

We need our trains to survive,
And keep our heritage alive.
Villagers, councillors Cannon and Irving
Said “The Station’s worth preserving”.

Up in arms the villagers rose
“No way will we let it close”
So after much thought and deliberation
BR propose to restore the Station.

For trains give people lots of pleasure:
They can go anywhere at their leisure
By ‘Sprinter’, ‘Intercity’, to any destination,
From Dilton Marsh all over the nation.

♥ ♥ ♥


Rosemary Smith, 14 Dutts, Dilton Marsh

Oh Dilton Halt, dear Ditton Halt,
How can we Betjeman’s verses fault?
For now, as then it stands serene –
Integral part of the village scene,
And those who on the platform wait
Can to his feelings still relate.

Who stands there, waiting for a train,
In sun, in cloud, in pouring rain,
Can see the hills and Westbury Horse
And belching chimney (though of course)
That came much later than his lyric
And might have changed his panegyric!

Driving along the village street,
The bridge strides over, compact, neat,
But come from Leigh. the track stand high,
And silhouetted ‘gainst the sky
Infrequently the trains go by.

What pride to stand and wait and know
That from this platform we can go
Northwards, Southwards, further yet
Journeying through the railway net,
And so are linked through this small station
With furthest parts of this wide nation.

♥ ♥ ♥


Mrs N.M. Hutton, 10 Dutts, Dilton Marsh

Our village station, known as the Halt,
Was closing down, or so we thought.
Dilton Marsh and Westbury Leigh
Would sadly miss this commodity.

It may be old and in need of repair
But to lose it just wouldn’t be fair
A trip to Trowbridge, Salisbury or Bath
We didn’t want it to be a thing of the past
Like so many things of today
We didn’t want it to end that way

And then came the news that gave us hope
Money would be spent to give the station scope
So it’s wonderful news that the Halt will remain
Where we can travel on our local trains

♥ ♥ ♥


Mrs H. Seviour, 14 Breach, Dilton Marsh

Dilton Marsh people were quite distraught
When word went around “They’re closing the Halt”!
It’s not very big, and not very grand
But Dilton Marsh Halt is always at hand.

You can go up to Salisbury, or go down to Bath,
Or go a bit further just for a laugh.
Not everyone drives, or owns a car.
On Shanks’s pony you don’t get far.

So many thanks to all concerned
Who persuaded British Rail to do a U turn
For Dilton Marsh without “The Halt”
Would be like a nut without a bolt.

♥ ♥ ♥


H. Small, 18 Clay Close, Dilton Marsh

1994 is a very good year
Dilton Halt remains here
Our motto is clear
Let the train take the strain
Use it again and again
So rejoice with a cheer
Our conquest sincere

♥ ♥ ♥


Mrs Kay Hyde nee Hicketts
in collaboration with her brother K Hicketts

The year was 1949,
And on the old Great Western Line,
From Dilton Marsh to Trowbridge Town,
8.22 is coming down.

Every morning rain or shine,
With satchels swinging, hers and mine,
From Old Top Marsh and Petticoat Lane,
We didn’t want to miss that train.

Our only route to Trowbridge High
Was Castle Class and how we’d try
To reach the platform, all of wood,
Where detonated train now stood.

That was the signal, one, two, three,
Loud bangs we heard as we did flee
Down to the bottom of the slope,
Then up the batters more in hope.

And there it stood all smoke and brass,
The driver smiling as we gasped
For breath and slumped into a seat,
Yes, every day we did this; neat.

So please, our station must remain,
It’s part of village life, that’s plain.
Our Halt we can but laud and praise,
Unique, remembered, childhood days.

♥ ♥ ♥


Dave Roberts, 17 The Circle, Dilton Marsh

A ghost train may arrive!!
Stop! Look, Listen!
‘Lest People of the Marsh
Put foot down e’er so harsh
We will ne’er hear another piston!
Famous persons have arrived
So why should Dilton be deprived

One on both rails

♥ ♥ ♥


Mrs J. Martin, 52b Petticoat Lane, Dilton Marsh

Dilton Marsh is our village
A pretty little place
It has its comings and goings
All at a different pace.

The trotting of a pony
Going down the lane
Our favourite sound we love to hear
Is the nearing of a train.

The community of Dilton Marsh
Is its own little nation
And might I add
Proud of its Station.

The Halt is the place
To await a train
And saved by the villagers
It’s our claim to fame!

♥ ♥ ♥


D.K. Kerr, 15 Shepherds Mead, Dilton Marsh

Betieman’s Halt? There’s more to us than that
See, all around the downs, the woods, the fields
Echo with memories of richer pasts
Than passing mention by a poet yields

This England’s very old, and does not need
A railway as a verse to give it stay
From here, men saw the fires of Bratton Camp
When all that stood in the Invader’s way

Was a young king, and the men of western shires
Summoned in stealth the host marched from the plains
And spilled brave blood upon the White Horse Hill
A thousand winters washed away the stains

The Black Death had us by the throat and yet
Those very years saw Westbury Church arise
Old Dilton’s bells have long hung mute but still
Her steeple quietly points us to the skies

Here, sturdy weavers came to find new homes
Here, Wiltshire Chartists fought to win new rights
These are the spirits that we should invoke
Not the pale ghosts of literary knights

The Great Wars came and went: the names are carved
In stone and in our hearts. They did not die
To keep this village in a dreamless sleep
Death is a question: Life is the reply

No, Betjeman, we’ve better things to do
Than sit and wait for steam trains to come back
Billowing clouds of Neo-Gothic charm
Rolling with fine panache – down the wrong track

We, our children, and our children’s children
Deep-rooted in the past, but undismayed
By Change, shall proudly step from this small halt
And claim our place in the wide world’s parade

♥ ♥ ♥


Nigel Paine, 15 St. Mary’s Lane, Dilton Marsh

Mr William Dean from Shepherds Mead
Strode up the High Street at cracking speed
Cursing all the way to the station
“That damned drink-driving legislation!”

Over and over the scene he went
Wishing they’d been more lenient.
Bath isn’t really very far
It seems so, though, without the car.

“One for the road”, his partner said:
Now William goes by rail instead.

I Julie; Kev from Trowbridge thinks
The world of Dilton Beauty, Julie Spinks.
When he was just a boy at school he
Dreamt he might go out with Julie.

At last he asked. Now, at the station,
Juggling terror and elation.
Kev awaits the Network Sprinter
Which will turn to Spring his Winter;

In Kevin’s soul there lurks a sonnet.
The train pulls in, and YES! she’s on it.

Mrs Ada Jones of Silver Street,
Not all that steady on her feet,
Is Trowbridge-bound for a three-piece suite.
“Knees are very good”, but not her feet.

She thinks of when she took the train to shop
With Rose; They’d have a bite of lunch, then pop
Into the cinema, (they said “the flicks”),
A cup of tea, and home by six.

Alas, those days are sadly at an end
The flicks are gone, and so is Rose, her friend.

The Carters of Stormore, Pat and Pete,
Are going to Southsea for a treat.
The weather’s fine, the kids are bored,
Oil is leaking from their old Ford

“Where’s the train, Dad?” “It’s coming soon.
We’ll all be on the beach by noon”.
And there we see them skimming stones,
Collecting shells and cuttlefish bones,

Splashing, shouting, lying in the sun,
Eating egg sandwiches; having fun.

If the station were to close
These people would be some of those
Affected. I believe we’d all be poor
If the trains should call no more.

♥ ♥ ♥


Sarah Levy, Age 8½ years, 9 Friars Close, Dilton Marsh

A Halt is when you put out
Your hand to stop the train.
But do not blame them if
They do not stop the actual train.
So you have to claim
The right train
To get out of Dilton Marsh Station.

♥ ♥ ♥


Charlotte Paine, Age 11 years, 15 St. Mary’s Lane, Dilton Marsh

The train shuffles along,
In a funny little way,
It starts up its song,
Which happens every day.
It stops at Dilton Station
And every one knows
It takes you to your destination,
Wherever you want to go

♥ ♥ ♥


Linda Ayres, Age 12 Years, 6 Fairhaven, Dilton Marsh

Dilton Marsh is brilliant as can bePeople like it – people like me

Diton Marsh’s children love their schools,So don’t pull them down and don’t be cruel.

Dilton Marsh’s stations are all aroundThey are even underground.

Dilton Marsh is very smartBut it won’t be if you carry on with your bull dozers

Dilton Marsh was a safe placeBut now it’s a Major case.

♥ ♥ ♥