Fenland Poetry and Verse - and More

Life for those working Wicken Fen in times gone by.

Wicken Fenmen

by Neil Ford

We’re up and away. The dawn is a-breaking
There’s work to be done on the lodes and the mere
In the field and fen meadows there’s scything to do
We’ve got a family to feed and need cash for our beer

We clean up the lighters all ready for loading
They’re linked up together with the pony to haul
We load up with sedge as high as they’ll take it
Poling out to the Cam and the Cambridge town wharf

Out on the water there’s wildfowl a-plenty
With Wigeon and duck and maybe a hare
We punt out so quietly to see what’s to have there
Hoping to bag a bird for the stove or the squire

There’s turf to be cut and the beckets are busy
We’re stacking the saddle and trimming the moor
When we’ve quartered and stacked, the boys do the barrowing
And we haul some back home for the hearth and the store

There’s eels a-plenty in the lodes and the drains
We set hives by the bank and have a gleave close at hand
They’re in demand in the city and they’ll readily take them
So we tank them as fresh for the carriers next stand

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