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News: 11 December 2017


Beloved Buildings Poetry Competition
Founded in 1877 by William Morris, this year marks the 125th Anniversary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). Today it is one of the largest, oldest and most technically expert national pressure groups fighting to save old buildings.
Earlier this year Images of England teamed up with SPAB for a nationwide poetry competition. The Images of England website was used to provide inspiration for the poets. Entrants were asked to write a poem dedicated to their favourite building whether it was a cathedral, cottage or telephone box. Judges Tony Mutton, Roger Lloyd Pack, Jehane Markham, Jonathan Glancey and Kevin McCloud had their work cut out due to the high quality of the entries. The winning entries are reproduced below accompanied by some photographs from the Images of England project.
 
Age 7 � 11 Category
Winner - Sam Green, age 10, Masham, Yorkshire

The Hall at Yeavering
In the wind's eye
Through the hoarfrost

Beowulf's foe ground stone
To skelp his hall:

The hall at Yeavering.
The mason's marl

Made with raw fingers
In the dark silt

Admits the beast
To the sleeping hall.

The eye closes,
The hall is here

In the thaw
Of the Saxon spring.





Saxon wayside cross, North Yorkshire - IoE number: 328053 © Mr John Turner
 
 
Runner-up - Michael Barker, age 9, Weybridge, Surrey

The Beach Hut
Different coloured huts lined up in a row
With the sea and the sand and the beach below.
Peeling paint flakes from the rotting wood
As the wind batters my ancient foundations.

Curtainless windows looking out at the wavescrashing.
Slowly decaying,
Slowly but surely
Slowly decaying me, yes me.

Rusty hinges make my door creak,
Led to by my rickety steps long rotted away.
Fading, crackly paint upon my walls and door.
My cooker has run out of gas.

Suddenly I'm being painted, brightened up,
A chalky, powdery shade of blue.
Damp swimming costumes drip on my verandah.
The kettle whistles on the stove again.





Promenade shelters, Blackpool - IoE number: 183673 © Mr G M Smith ARPS
 
 
Age 12 � 17 Category
Winner - Lyndsay Coo, age 16, York

The Globe
This world is encased in marble
and beyond that, white walls and wood
and beyond that, a city
out there, where time moves.
But here the sun fills us
as voices rise into the blue
past these walls, boundaries of a world,
past the zodiac and trapdoor,
higher still, into the clouds
theatre spills from the thatch
and saturates the air.

Step inside, past the white
into the endless capacity of words.
Time won't be admitted:
everything stops within these walls.
The stage is set, just as is always is
and has been and will be:
endless like the blue clarity of sky
flowing solidly upwards
streaming, like a river,
a great sparkling mass
of sun, and of air, and of poetry.
 
 
Runner-up - Risako Nagamine, age 15, London

She Stands
Spring stops by her
And the pink flow of cherry blossoms
Blushes the white paper screens behind the window.
The crisp thin paper keeps the serenity
Within the space, low and bare.
The shimmering sunlight drizzles down
The layers of clay-tiled roof.
And she starts to doze off
As the spring leaves her in the chirping of sparrows.

Summer scurries into her
Through the open wooden sliding doors.
Black tiles of the roof baked
By the glaring sun in the humid air.
Yet she stays cool surrounded by the clear greens
Exhaling the fresh fragrance through the tatami-floor,
Soothing the hurried steps of Summer
With its refined woven rushes.

Autumn wanders through the gravels and finds her
Who is gazing into the yellow and orange
Of the leaves falling one by one.
She somehow looks old and lonesome.
The setting sun casts a shadow
Against the coarse walls.
Autumn tiptoes down the narrow wooden corridor
Making the faint squeak echo inside her.

Winter descends on her.
The snow flakes upon the eaves
And begins to cover her in white.
But she stands still all alone.
The pillars made of aged Japanese cypress
Burdened by the weight of snow
And she waits until the winter passes by.
 
 
Adult Category
Winner - Tamar Yoseloff

House (Rachel Whiteread)
The concrete fills the spaces between
the walls and what they held�a child's cry,
an argument, dulled. It hardens, cools.

The house is peeled away like a skin:
a fire protrudes from the shell of a room,
the ghost of a fire gone out.

A mausoleum to newspapers and spoons,
deep pile carpets, nights consumed
by the bluish glow of the TV,

perched in a field, a grassed-over street
where once other houses stood,
gathering lives together.
 
 
Runner-up - D.A. Prince, Leicestershire

The Triangular Lodge, Rushton
Wearing its metaphysical conceit
as light as lichen on its layered stone
this sixteenth-century puzzle sits complete.

Three-sided, triple-gabled, on its own
in scrawny trees, its neat geometry
transmutes the passing traffic's sullen moan,

and contemplates the mystery of Three,
teasing through numbers Thomas Tresham's plans
to celebrate a Catholic Trinity.

Trefoiled, three-storeyed, triangles in the spans,
totalling one hundred feet around the base;
a complex figure to acknowledge man's

enduring faith, and Tresham's trust in grace
in 1593 � a cruel time
for those who wouldn't wear the Protestant face.

Symbol and stone: what use? It doesn't rhyme
with modernisms' crisp and secular views.
Its two-tone limestone wears a film of grime,

It offers nothing modern man can use;
its three-walled space inflexible, and tight,
with carved inscriptions, set out to confuse.

And yet: its stubborn angles hold our sight,
its anchored stillness moves us to confront
that something-in-ourselves that clings, despite

the rattling trains and timetables, a hunt
for understanding, permanence and light.
 
 
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