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The Parkgate Poet on Swapping Seafood for Cycles

Author: Barrie Youde Published: 2nd October 2020 11:14

Having closed its doors as the last fresh seafood purveyor in Parkgate some two years ago,  Platts Cottage is about to re-open as a cycle shop.  The Parkgate Poet, Barrie Youde, pens an ode to seafood days gone by.

The Parkgate Fishmonger

The last Fishmonger mungs no longer, having shut the shop.
The trade in shrimps and potted mace has met the final drop.
The ebb and flow of tide has run its course; and brought the silt
And cancelled out the reason, almost, why this place was built.

For shrimping? No, of course it wasn't. Things were grander, then,
If more sedate and slower, in the politics of when,
The Dublin trade from London and vice-versa passed this way
And left us with the detritus we still enjoy today.

All on one side? Of course it was. The port was on the beach,
Within the tidal estuary, the sea in easy reach:
And so it served in days of yore, with comfort little known,
To do its bit in public service by the sea, alone.

Comforts here were sparse. The George Hotel. Assembly Rooms,
For waiting sea-borne travellers throughout the winter glooms;
And summers at the pleasant times, the frolics of sea-bathing,
With donkey-rides along the sands and other forms of plaything.

And what about the residents who lived amongst it all?
And kept the whole place going, at the sound of wild-goose call?
They lived and did their bit, whatever good that bit might be,
Within their bit of Paradise whilst staring out to sea.

The Butcher and the Grocer and the Chemist and the Barber,
All traded for a living at this rather pleasant harbour ;
And all in living memory and not all that far gone;
And idle is it now to sit and reminisce upon.

Vanished, now the Fishmonger, his boats, his nets, his creels
And in his place there is today a trade in cycle wheels,
As cyclists descend to view the buildings which still stand
And learn about the days of old, when life here was more grand.

1st October 2020


Wheel Worx is due to open at the end of October. Photo by Julie Mealor.

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