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Poets’ Corner – more for our collection!

We have been really lucky this time – three (yes, 3!) poems for the price of one!

One of our members, Lyn Davies, is in touch with two lovely ladies from New Zealand who enjoy creative writing and take it in turns to set a topic each month.  Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 has been a “hot topic” recently.  Enjoy these humorous verses from Lyn!


It’s different


In the garden, no weeds.

In the house, no dust.

In the garage, no rubbish.

On the railings, no rust.

In the sky, no planes.

On the street, no feet.

Far less traffic,

People can’t meet.

But the air is pure.

Nature can thrive.

I’ve learnt new crafts.

Guess I’ll survive



The Big Shut Down


A one-eyed Teddy Bear,

High on a toy shop shelf,

Sat with his two companions,

A fairy and an elf.

The owner was clairvoyant

And in his tea-leaves saw,

A virus fast approaching

Closing every store.

The Big Shut Down Sale was planned.

They did it pretty quick

Before the town got wind of things

And made them worried sick.

Festooned with balloons and banners

The door flung open wide.

Shoppers with over-filled purses

Bargain-hunted inside.

Puzzles, books and Barbies,

Techno games galore

Flew from the shelves of the toy shop

Soon to be no more.

Christmas and birthday presents

Rang through the tills all day.

The three companions tried their best

But no-one looked their way.

When shoppers and staff departed

No-one gave a care

For a sad little fairy and an elf

And a one-eyed Teddy Bear.


……and finally……like many people I suspect, we had a huge clear out of unwanted items which lead to this one…


The Man Drawer


In the man drawer

He hides everything…

Batteries, dead

Books, unread

Instructions, torn

Cufflinks, unworn

Pencils, broken

Out of date token

Glasses, deceased

Photographs, creased

Scissors for nails

Adverts for sales

Coins in a jar

From countries afar

Mobile charger

One small, one larger

All defunked

Load of junk

But it might be useful

One day.

LYN DAVIES (Newhaven)

Thank you so much Lyn – these poems certainly made me smile and giggle a little to myself – and how true is the “Man Drawer”!!!



Meridian Mature Citizens Forum Newsletter – Autumn 2020

Good morning all – we have pleasure in publishing the latest Meridian Mature Citizens Forum Autumn 2020 Newsletter, which includes a short article on Pension Credit.  Since 1 August 2020, the free TV licence that those over 75 years of age have previously enjoyed, is no longer automatically free any more as I’m sure many of you are discovering already.  Please take the time to read the newsletter attached AND the short pamphlet from Independent Age which explains Pension Credit and its benefits.

Of course, you can also contact the Citizens Advice Bureau if you have any queries regarding the Pension Credit.  Sadly the Newhaven branch of CAB is closed to visitors, but you can phone them on 01273 007557 or 03444111444 – or you can email them at

We hope that you enjoy the newsletter, and that you find the Pension Credit booklet helpful.  Do remember to let us know if you have any success with Pension Credit!  The links to both the newsletter and the Pension Credit leaflet are below (in the underlined titles after my phone numbers!)  Alternatively if you want a hard copy of the Pension Credit booklet, please call Independent Age on 0800 319 6789 or visit


Best wishes

Christine Bowman

Membership Secretary

Meridian Mature Citizens Forum


Phone:  01273 583213/07866 301908


Meridian Newsletter – Autumn 2020


Ageing Well Festival – Poem No 4

Good morning all – please find another of our member’s poem – just to remind you that the Christmas Season will soon be upon us (hopefully with some better news about the Coronavirus pandemic!)




Cinderella isn’t a fella

As all you good people must know

Her ugly sisters are a couple of Misters

But when dressed for the ball it don’t show

They were rotten to Cinders

Said “get on and clean them winders

To the ball you are not going to go”

Footman Buttons did luv ‘er

Just like a bruvver

Said “Cinders you’ll go to the ball”

And while they were dreaming

An old lady was scheming

To be a fairy and come through the wall

From rags, pumpkin and mice

With her wand in a trice

Changed to carriage and all brand new clothes

She said “now then deary, although I’m a fairy

At midnight the magic all goes”

She met her Prince Charming

But ain’t this alarming

He fell for that woman that night

But the Prince in his splendour

Is the opposite gender

Cor, isn’t she in for a fright!

Soon midnight was chiming

(And is this still rhyming)

As she ran her shoe fell on the stairs

The Prince picked up her slipper

Said “I’ll marry this stripper”

So both sisters said it was theirs

With hairy legs showing

They just got one toe in

Then Buttons appeared on the scene

Siad “Cinders must try it

You cannot deny it”

It fitted and now she’s his queen

Boom boom!


Written and submitted by one of our members, Jill Fry – thank you Jill!

Ageing Well Festival – Poem No 3!


It was past midnight, the guests were asleep,

Silently they moved, the fridge door gave a squeak.


Silently they hungered, in both pleasure and pain

Eyes looked longingly, hands reached out in vain.


Thoughts turned to times when food was real

A taste in your mouth that you could feel.


The old hotel was quiet but all the walls knew

All of the guests and who passed through.


Names in reception, brollies in the hall

Just one member of staff on call.


Cheese in the fridge, mature not old

Tea leaves in the pot, the future foretold.


Who was it who opened the fridge door at night

Who was it who hungered with eyes alight.


Milk in the fridge fresh from the store

Bacon and hams and pastries and more.


These midnight walkers could not touch

Sad at heart they knew too much.


The old hotel settled down for the night

Reliving the cries, the suffering and plight.


The fridge door closed, they shuffled away

Back to darkness on another new day.


The hotel guests had started to wake

To a hotel breakfast fit to partake.


Silently they drifted into the night

As the old hotel turned its face to the light.


The day was beginning the hotel relaxed

Tonight again it would remember its past.


Guests on the staircase, taxi to the station

The hotel looked splendid with its fresh decoration


No longer the workhouse where lost souls cried

No permanent residents who starved and died.


Carol Starkey 


Many thanks Carol- certainly kept me in suspense……


Poets’ Corner – another poem!


September was a gentle month.  The crab-apples needed picking.
Coral, berry-bright, they brimmed my early basin.
The neat knife chopped, cut down through hard little hearts;
Stirred, simmered, stewed for hours till soft.
(Tomorrow is the funeral of my father.)
All night in the quiet larder bloody-water drops collected
Till morning-prudent hands wrung the last from the muslin.
The markings on the jug said just enough, no more.
(Today is the funeral of my father.)
Scales swung.  Bleached crystals grated in the pan, dissolved to pink.
Juice bubbled, seethed and reached its setting point.
(Today was the funeral of my father.)
September is a gentle month.  The crab-apples need picking.
A single jar, one small tree’s harvest, glimmers on the highest shelf
Pale sunset-red between the ranks of marmalade and chutney.
Uneaten.  Uneatable.
Written in 1991 on the death of the author’s father – by Meridian Mature Citizens Forum member:
Jan Newbury 
Thank you Jan for the seasonable and reflective poem

Poets’ Corner – the 1st Poem!

Here is the first poem to kick start the event!



I know I should like gardening but I find it quite a pain.

No sooner have you finished then it’s time to start again.

The weeds just seem to flourish, they survive no matter what.

Dandelions just everywhere, from the borders to your pots.

Hostas are just slug food and should be named as such,

a smorgasbord for gastropods, they love them far too much!

Then we have the Latin names all Double-Dutch to me,

a daffodil’s a daffodil, of that, you must agree.

You never seem to benefit from the labours of your work.

If and when you take time out your garden goes berserk!

Once again you’re wading through bindweed by the mile,

proliferating as you watch, blooming with such style.

You tried to grow some vegetables, it seemed a good idea,

finest banquet for all pests, they come from far and near.

Caterpillars scoff the leaves and snails devour the rest,

they seem to go for everything with speed and great finesse.

All the fine green cabbage was supper for the lot,

now everything’s in disarray within your veggie plot.

The only thing still standing are the weeds and big fat slugs,

they’ve gone and eaten everything, it’s a victory to the bugs.

Gardening’s really not for me, I’ve thrown in the proverbial towel

Instead I’m holding a chilled white wine and ditched the spade and trowel.

I’ll leave the horticultural dream and digging all those weeds

I sit relaxing in my chair as the gardening bug recedes.

Author – Anon

Submitted by Christine M Bowman – Membership Secretary Meridian Mature Citizens Forum

Ageing Well Festival 2020 – Poets’ Corner

Hi everyone – thought I’d start the ball rolling with a few poems!  Just a bit of background first though…….

Prior to Covid-19 lockdown, every 2 weeks, my husband and I regularly drove a group of 7 elderly ladies from their homes to their weekly “Tea Club” in Peacehaven, in the Peacehaven Newhaven & Seaford Lions Club minibus, then picked them up afterwards and returned them back home.  All are living on their own, and their Tea Club is a lifeline to them.

When it became clear that this lockdown was going to be long term, I said to my husband that I could not ignore our “oldies”, so I vowed that every Monday (their normal “Tea Club day”), I would phone them, have a chat, ensure that all was well with them and finish by reading a poem or two to them.  

This idea went down a storm with our “oldies” and when it became clear that we would not be able to hold physical events for the Ageing Well Festival (previously called “Older Peoples’ Day), we were encouraged by East Sussex County Council to come up with “something on line”.

So, with an ever burgeoning portfolio of poems (none of which are originals – I’m not that clever!) I came up with the idea of a “Poets’ Corner” where members can submit their favourite rhymes!

The only thing I would ask of you is that you give a title for your poems, YOUR name, and the name of the author, if different.

Just let your imagination run wild, and your pen flow free, and send your verse (or worse!) to me at this email address:


There must be some budding Edward Lears, Robert Frosts, T S Eliots out there and we look forward to reading your entries – all of which will appear on this website………


Have fun!!


Christine Bowman

Membership Secretary


Ageing Well Festival (Previously Older People’s Day) 2020

As you all have been made aware on 25 June 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided that no physical events (such as coach trips, film shows or afternoon tea dances etc) sadly could not form part of what we all knew as “Older People’s Day” celebrations this year.

Instead, East Sussex County Council have worked extremely hard with others, including the Senior’s Forums, to produce a very full and varied programme of on-line events only this year.  The booklet entitled “Ageing Well in East Sussex” has now been published and can be found at the following link:

(Just click on the underlined words above to see the brochure).

You will be pleased to see that your own Forum has thought up an on-line event, which of course is totally free to enter!  It is called:


The details are in the attached booklet, at page 17 –  under the heading “Let’s Get Creative”  Just submit your poems/limericks etc – comical, reflective, sad – anything.  Just remember to include your name, and the poet’s name (if that is different to yours) and send them by email  to:  Please put the heading “Poets’ Corner” in your email.  This event starts on Tuesday 1 September 2020 and will run through until 31 October 2020.  We look forward to reading pages and pages of your poems!  Just “give it a go”!!  We look forward to hours of reading your contributions!  All poems will be published on the Meridian Mature Citizens Forum’s website.

Christine Bowman

Membership Secretary

Meridian Mature Citizens Forum

Ageing Well Festival (Previously Older People’s Day) 2020

During these most unprecedented times with Covid-19 still around, two things have been decided:

FIRSTLY – Older People’s Day has been re-branded this year and is to be called Ageing Well Festival

Due to the pandemic, and the uncertainties that this has brought into all our lives, Public Health England have advised that, at least for this year, there should be NO physical events due to the risks that this dreadful Coronavirus (Covid-19) presents.

Therefore, any events  should be “on-line” only.  A few ideas:

  • online training sessions to cover a range of different topics – IT, creative writing, art, crafts etc.
  • online fitness and physical health classes
  • wellbeing information and advice sessions
  • support for small businesses
  • befriending service
  • inspirational stories – we would like to hear some inspiring stories of what people did in lock down. Stories that promote older people having a great deal to offer all generations.

If you, or your organisation would like your event featured in the “on-line” brochure (there will be no physical brochure this year, please complete the attached form and return it as instructed.

Hopefully we will return to “normal” next year……  Click the link below for the form.


Keep safe and keep well…….


Christine Bowman
Membership Secretary
Meridian Mature Citizens Forum

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service – Planning for a Safer Future – Consultation

Good morning all – I do hope you are keeping “safe’n’well” and obeying the “Stay At Home” message?

I have been asked to bring to your attention the above consultation, which I hope is self explanatory.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) are asking for your help in their “Planning for a Safer Future”.  You can assist by reading the document which can be found at:

(click on the underlined words above to gain access to the document).

And by completing the “short survey”

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service would be very grateful for your considered responses – thank you.


Christine Bowman

Membership Secretary

Meridian Mature Citizens Forum