Every town has empty shops, Baldock is no different. Yesterday I happened to notice that a shop occupied in my youth by a grumpy jeweler was empty as was the former travel agents next door. It is worth remembering the jeweler as he used to be irritated by window-shoppers and used to shout in a guttural Eastern-European accent: “If you vant a vatch, vuy a vatch, if you don’t vant a vatch, get avay from my vindow!” On remembering this I realised that if I didn’t document the saying it would vanish along with his memory and probably his shop or even his very existence in the town…
Despite being summer here in Baldock
A chill wind blows around the town
Empty hopes and empty dreams
There are empty shops around
Tattered posters announce the circus
That months ago left the recreation field
The ruts the departing vehicles left there
Along with the turf long since healed
Gone the tinkle of the door-bell
Heralding a shopper come to buy
Long since gone the ring-buying couple
Or holiday-maker ready to fly
What will happen to all these shops?
Now we buy so much online
Will they just become more dwellings?
Their previous incarnations lost to time.
If you take a look more closely
Living space above the shop floor
So perhaps we’re talking reversion
As it all returns to a home once more!
© Baldock Bard 2012
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