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Thank you, Mark

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Parish Council Accounts 2018/19


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22 May 2019

A “people’s poet”

We rediscover Stanhoe poet Nathan Fenn.

Pale blue book cover of "Country Lover Country Life"

Does anyone in Stanhoe remember the poems of Nathan Fenn or have a copy of his book Country Lover Country Life? If so, would like to make contact.

David lives in Cambridgeshire and believes Mr Fenn may have been his wife’s great-uncle. Looking through his late mother-in-law’s papers he has found what seems to be an original typed manuscript of the book, which was published by Firs Publishing.

David is also curious to find copies of the one-time village newsletter The Stanhoe Intelligencer, to which Mr Fenn contributed. He already has issues 3, 14 and 15, the latter containing the poem Good Morning.

Rosemary Brown notes: “Nathan Fenn and his wife lived in Grange Farm Cottages, the bungalows in Docking Road next to the pottery. He worked for Mr Symington and picked up all the flints that Anabel had and which once were in The Duck/Crown. He was a keen gardener and grew wonderful fuchsias, the descendants of which are in the bed under my kitchen window. And he also wrote poems, but unlike the flints they were not talked about a lot.”

Nathan’s son Ernie married Gill (née Tidd) who used to live at Brierville on the Bircham Road.

We do have a copy of one of Nathan’s poems in the Stanhoe Archive collection because it was published in a local newspaper. The text is below and you can see the original clipping here. To judge from the style, Mr Fenn was definitely a people’s poet.

Four-star Stanhoe

This is the best-kept village
Of under 400 people,
Where gardeners have tillage
But the church alas no steeple.

I live in this best-kept village
And boy! Do I feel good?
For all the houses have windows,
And the trees are mostly wood.

The cottages have chimneys
To let out all the smoke,
The smoke you see, through them can flee
So’s cottage-folk don’t choke.

The pond is full of water,
So that the ducks can float,
And there’s a water bailiff
Who never goes by boat.

The game warden lives quite nearby,
Nearby in case of need,
Should oggophipps or bulliphants
Break from the wild hogweed.

The air is fresh in Stanhoe,
Renewed by wind and breeze,
And that is why one rarely
Sees men’s naked knees.

The people of this village
Differ from each other,
And when you meet them walking
You can tell one from another.

And in this best-kept village
Of under four hundred folks,
Fruits grow on the apple trees,
And acorns on the oaks.

So come and visit Stanhoe,
Or even come to stay,
For this is where the penny dropped
Before it rolled away.

Nathan Fenn

Posted by: Charles
Posted on: 22 May 2019