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Jack Hargreaves step-son, Simon has been following the tuesday swim for a little while now, an interesting chap with his own blog here… http://democracystreet.blogspot.com/

Simon has passed this on to me, un-published piece of work written by Jack just a few months before his death in 1994. The piece reflects well on where the tuesday swim sits here in London now and in the past, thanks Simon.

‘Did they think about the skylarks when they built Mayfair
on the grazings that ran down to the Shepherd’s Market?

Did they worry about the snipe when they drained the marshes
behind St.James’s Palace to build Belgravia?

Where did the kite go when they dug the London sewers?

Do the piles they drove down through the beaver’s dam hold
firm the supermarket in Newbury High Street?

Who cooked the big trout that lay under the village bridge
at Wandsworth? Who feasted on the last salmon that was
netted at Tower Hamlets?

Now they come to put central heating in the ploughman’s hovel.

They claim the sun that used to bake the hay. And breathe
the breeze in which the pointing dog caught a hundred scents.

They walk out in trainers and T-shirts that say “Save the
Rain Forest”.

“Stand back!” they say. “We have a right to walk where we please!”

But we look where they trod before and shudder for what
follows in their footsteps.

I said I must write a warning. But I was angry and – as the
Japanese say – to be angry is only to make yourself ridiculous.

So we will live out our days in the cracks between the
concrete. And then they will pour cement on top of us.’


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