Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Jack In The Green - one of Hastings' cultural highlights.

In defence of Hastings as a City of Culture nominee and in response to Tory MP David Amess who called us a ‘dump’.


By John Knowles

Oh Southend-on-Sea that pearl in the oyster

Of the murky Thames Estuary

How can we compete with your sunlit beach

Your pier so long, ours sadly out of reach

You have Phil Jupitus on Never Mind The Buzzcocks

And we only have a Jo Brand and her loathing of real cocks.


No I’m not Hastings born and bread

When it comes to ‘being local’ I’d rather be dead

So I’m no flag waver

No Hastings Life-saver

But I’ll tell you this much and it’s true

I’d rather be here than with you!

Oh I am sure Southend has many delights

Perhaps you have less on street fights

Perhaps you live in balmy tranquility

Or your populous love their daily sobriety

But we have something you can’t sell or buy

We have, pin your ears back, for this is no lie:

Pagan parties that run through the night

Later gathering in orgiastic delight

Up at dawn, fires ablazing

Jack in the Green, it’s amazing

We have bonfire parties that light up the town

Effigy burnt figures which often cause a frown

Processions of torch wielding nutters

Who let off their fireworks in streets and gutters

We have art galleries by the score

Some are private and some are open door

We have theatres count them two

(Though less said the better between me and you)

We have arts festivals that bring in the dosh

And foodie festivals for people to nosh

We have more free music than we can handle

And yes even a bit of Bach and… er yes Handel.

We have old relics and yes some old farts

Sure on Fridays and Saturdays the streets are full of tarts.

And yes we have street drinkers and druggies who make a mess

But guess what, we’re even loved by the Daily Express!

But sadly our politicians are just as jingoistic

Still slapping on culture, like a tart’s slipped lipstick

Frankly I think we should all stop being so proud to be ‘us’

After all what’s in a location, hey, what’s all the fuss

Same bones, same marrow, same sinews, same blood

I bet even in Southend you can find some good.


Just for Justin Rhyme:

But let’s be honest (and I know it is a pity)

You’d rather be in Brighton (which is actually a city)

It has so much more culture and so much more to do

And you will never ever, ever step in a poo!

(And that line Justin Rhyme was just for you)



Posted 11:14 Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 In: Poetry

Also in: Poetry

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

  • Subscribe to HOT