Mr Tom Green (April 1998)
A Mr. Tom Green wrote the poem that follows in 1898. Mr. Geoff Broadwater gave it to me whilst I was talking to him about his 'Times Remembered'. I have since discovered that several copies exist in the village but I believe that for many of our readers this will be the first time that they will have seen it.
Tom Green was the grandfather of Mr. Bob Cooper who works for Mr. Malcolm Cock. Bob's mother, Susan Green is Tom's daughter.
The following extract is taken from 'Feltwell Some Notes and Remarks' by ARVD.
A poem with the above title was written and sold in the parish by a certain Tom Green. It is dated 1895, was printed at Swaffham, and contains 152 lines. Though not of a high order, the poem is of interest as it tells us about Feltwell 50 years ago, the Places of Worship, Halls, Clubs, Public Houses and the many trades carried on, even taxidermy; in fact, according to Tom Green, most trades and professions were represented except that of a lawyer. Another poem on Feltwell was written by Abraham Ward, a hawker, who was known as the Southery Poet, but no copy of it is obtainable; few people in Feltwell can now remember him.
F eltwell Up-To-Date
Six miles from Brandon, Wilton two
From Methwold, scarcely three,
There is a village, Feltwell by name
Of Norfolk villages it stands
One of the largest ones
In acres, wealth, and likewise too
Noted for its sturdy sons.
This village is not like some ones
That on the main lie straight
But if you walk it round about
It forms the figure eight.
As you enter by the eastern end
There is a large oak tree
And in the west part of the town
An elm one you will see.
We are better off than some places
For Churches we have two
St. Mary's is the largest
And most commodiest too.
The other one St. Nicholas
Nearly eight hundred years old,
Is not used for public worship now
Only to rest the weary and old.
The Wesleyans a Chapel have
And cordial welcome give.
Besides a Chapel in High street
Owned by the Primitives.
To educate our rising race
Is a thing we don't neglect,
Just look at our large handsome schools
Situated in the Beck.
Of halls likewise we've more than one
South Hall in Bell Street,
And up Lodge Rd, within a park
East Hall your gaze will meet,
And further up upon the right
Close-by a row of trees
An open gate with carriage drive
Leads to the Rectory.
Of Public Houses you will find
A variety sure to please.
"The Crown" the "Oak," likewise the "Bell"
The "Cock" and the "Elm Tree"
And there's the "Chequers" on the hill
The "Butcher's Arms" as well,
The "West End" and the "Plough,
More on the fen I'd tell.
Should you tea or coffee want
Or light refreshment such
A coffee Tavern you will find
Just opposite the Church.
Of Farms there's plenty in the town
In size both great and small,
And I think if I should count
There's thirty of them all.
Of Bakers in the place there's two
One has a large mill.
The other a Confectioner
Close to the "Cock" doth dwell.
And then we turn our thoughts again
Where do the Butchers live?
Why if you wish to be supplied
They will satisfaction give.
You will find there's one in the "Oak" St.
One in the Beck you'll see
Again in Cock St. there's two shops
And one near the Elm Tree.
The anvils heard on the Cross Hill
And in the Beck again,
Another Blacksmiths music too
Is heard in the Long Lane.
And after harvest you will hear
The music many a morn
Of our two local farmers engines
Threshing out the corn
Our cricket clubs in many a match
Has won the praise of all.
A team we also have who are
The masters of football.
St. Crispin has some worthy sons
Who in this village dwell,
And if you wish some new boots made
I'm sure they'll serve you well.
In Oak St., Bell St., Cock St., too
You will hear them working with good-will
But stay, there is another one
He lives up on the Hill.
Now you should see the Grocer's shops
We have them in every street,
And in the windows if you look
A variety you'll meet.
Their Spring, Summer and Harvest
Have gained them great renown,
And people from all parts flock in
To see our little town.
We have other Trades and Industries
More than I have space to tell,
Bricklayers, Painters, Carpenters,
And Plumbers, yes as well.
To supply the Ladies wants
Is done with the best of grace,
For we have many dressmakers
Residing in the place.
The two societies are here
The Oddfellows at the Chequers meet
The Foresters at the Oak Tree.
Should you the latest news require
We have two agents here,
And one of them sells medicines
Should any one feel queer.
We also have a carrier
Who in sunshine and in rain,
And snow & frost is always off
To meet the morning train.
In winter time when cold sets in
And snow covers all the earth,
What should we do without our fen
With our loads of turf.
The poor would miss it
And I think while jotting with my pen
We all have many reasons
To bless our Feltwell Fen.
We have other merchants living here
Who deal in coal and turf,
Two wheelwrights and a brazier
A barber up to his work
A taxidermist too as well
To make the trades complete.
And in July again we have
Our flower show and fete.
We have a Doctor living here
Should anyone feel ill,
Also a post office as well
It stands upon the Hill.
We have a basket maker
A marine store dealer if you please,
And on the Wilton road there is
A Guardian of the peace.
We have a bank on Monday
Next door to the Oak Tree;
And on November the Twentieth
We have our annual spree.
There's every trade within our town
And strange too I declare
We're short of one profession
There's no lawyer living here,
I'll now draw this to a close
And when you these lines have seen
Success and Happiness to All
Is the wish of yours TOM GREEN.
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