In 1990.

In 1990, Banga-boys gather on the street corner;

Spring Bank West.

Pauline’s Gift Store, which was in itself an accidental pun,

Sits closed for dinner time.

And everybody round here thinks them sandwich bars,

And coffee-based café’s can STAY in the big city, thanks.

This is the sort of place where the Kurdish families

Will take over the chip shop, not start another kebab place,

And the motorway’s designed for the traffic of the 1950’s;

Speeds of up to 70,

Smash in a container on the backseat,

And a 2 minute 15 second break in the engine procession.


In 1990, a flock of gulls flies over

the dentists practice.

A new kitchen is installed at 112 Newland Park.

It’s hard to point at what’s changed in this landscape,

When you’re part of it.

It’s sometimes easier to note what hasn’t changed in this city.

A football crowd in 1990 is just as annoying

As in 2015.

And Beryl has still got that old typewriter

In the attic.

By now, we’ve even forgotten

Why we put our loved ones in the ground.


In 1990, a coach which left at 8am arrives 25 minutes late

For the bingo hall on the edge of Whitby.

Grannies, with


Gossip in a way mundane, but pleasing,

Slightly monotonous, but moral,

And they buy each other cups of tea, saying “I’ll get it next time, alright chuck?”,

Merely to make a fuss; just to break up the afternoon.

Across the street walked a guy, now forty,

On a lost weekend. One camping trip

Amongst many that year, with

Paul, Adrian and Jenny. He considered how the elderly over there

Would know nothing of the drugs

He would soon be taking.


And when it was time,

He came home to the maisonette,

And perched on a seat by the window.

Lighting up a cigarette,

He added to the 55 years of tobacco grime

That has gathered from smoke floating up to the top of the ceiling.


The crowd were making their way back.


March 2015


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