Fenland Poetry and Verse - and More

Poems and verse by Neil Ford about bygone days in the Fens, particularly Wicken Fen, plus some modern lyrics.

Wicken Fen



Feeling Troubled


Love, Life & Having Fun

Miscellaneous - Non-Verse

NOTES - Wicken Fen

You might notice that I have a keen interest in Wicken Fen, and particularly the work and livelihoods of the fenmen and their families who lived in Lode Lane, Wicken.

Apparently, going back in time, the bottom of Lode Lane, nearer to the National Trust visitor centre, was seen as a seperate community to Wicken village. On old Ordnance Survey maps there were up to 12 or 14 cottages, like the Trust's Fen Cottage, along there.

Terms Used

- Haling - as in hauling. Hauling the lighters. Making your donkey or pony a Haling Donkey or a Haling Pony.
- Lighters - open boats used for carrying and transporting.
- Old Reuben - a haling donkey mentioned in Tony Day's book about turf cutting and fen life.
- Lord Nelson - the name of the pub by the, long gone, chain ferry at Upware - now the Five Miles From Anywhere - No Hurry.
- Turberies - turf or peat block cutting fields.
- The saddle - the gap between turf pits where the freshly cut turves were lined out and later quartered.
- Barrowing - moving drier turves to be stacked or loaded on lighters.
- Cock Up - the wooden bridge at the junction of Reach Lode and Wicken Lode.
- City Wharf - The Quayside area in Bridge Street, Cambridge dating back to at least 1575. Nearby is a sedge barn.

Neil Ford
Ely, Cambridgeshire

Actively supporting:

Neil Ford, Management Development Trainer and Coach - Prince's Trust         Neil Ford, Management Development Trainer and Coach - East Anglia's Children's Hospices        Neil Ford, Management Development Trainer and Coach - NSPCC Full Stop Campaign