Archive for December, 2009

Jack with mother and Ena to his right, aunt and Lucy to his leftJack as a young lad is pictured here on holiday with his mother and sister Ena on the left, and his Aunty Bet (his mother’s sister Elizabeth) with his sister Lucy on the right.

Jack was quite a lad as a youngster!  The small poem below, about an incident related to me by my mother (Ena) when they both attended the local school, comes from my own collection of children’s verse called “Barking At Nothing” which is due to be published in spring 2010 and which will be sold in aid of a children’s charity. (More about this nearer the time.)


We’ve got no soap at our house.
That was what he said,
But she didn’t get to find that out
Before being called to see the head.

You see, the boy arrived at school
Having stopped on the way to play,
And when they saw his dirty hands
What was a lad to say?

Of course we’ve soap at our house.
His sister told the head,
Landing him in double the trouble.
Oh great, thanks sis, he said.

by Libby (Elizabeth) Leaper


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Old Bridge over the River BollinI am grateful to my cousin David for sending me this copy of an old postcard which is dated around 1917.  It is entitled “Carrs Bridge” and we believe it to be the old bridge over the River Bollin which was replaced by the one built by Jack and his team. (See Blog Post dated November 8th 2009.) 

I am still searching for a picture of the bridge that Jack built to share with you.

For those of you who may be interested the name “Carrs” is believed to be derived from the Norse “Kjarr” which means “meadow recovered from Bog”. I am indebted to The Friends of The Carrs website at www.friendsofthecarrs.org.uk for this information.

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Here is another of Jack’s little gems. It is undated as it has never been submitted for publication before.

Enemy Within

I welcome the velvet touch of darkness,
When reality’s hard edges soften
In the calm imagery of the night.

I welcome the honest face of the dawn
When daylight expands truth across the sky,
Banishing night’s cradle of illusion.

But I fear the lonely wintry dusk
Masking truth in misty subversive doubt,
And the night cannot reach my outstretched hands.
Then I am alone with my greatest foe,
The enemy within.

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One of the gems amongst Jack’s poems, this short poem was accepted by The National Poetry Foundation in 1988 to be included in the publication of a collection of his work.  As I said in my last post, this unfortunately never came to fruition.


The Random Wall

I watch a workman build a wall
With stone strewn by a quarry blast.
To me they seemed so ill disposed,
Last remnant of some holocaust.
Yet each strewn orphan’s craggy face
Was found a careful resting place,
The large, the small, the gross misshapes,
And none to claim a pride of place,
The strength of one the strength of all.
A worthwhile task, a good stone wall.

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