There was a long vanished England
Of well-spoken presenters
Of the BBC Home Service,
Light Service, and Children’s Favourites,
Of coppers and tanners, and ten bob notes;
And jolly shopkeepers, and window cleaners.
I remember my cherished Wolf Cub pack,
How I loved those Wednesday evenings,
The games, the pomp and seriousness of the camps,
The different coloured scarves, sweaters and hair
During the mass meetings,
The solemnity of my enrolment,
Being helped up a tree by an older boy,
Baloo, or Kim, or someone,
To win my Athletics badge,
Winning my first star, my two year badge,
And my swimming badge
With its frog symbol, the kindness of the older boys.
"There Was a Long Vanished England" was created out of two previously versified pieces, the first verse being based on the beginnings of some kind of short story almost certainly drafted in the early 2000s, the second from another unfinished story, this one sketched out - or so I remember - when I was in my early 20s.