Bob knew

This morning at Real Toads Margaret offers us an Artistic Interpretation prompt titled ‘small town inspiration’

I have chosen this image from Peggy Viera as my foundation for a Haibun.


Peggy Viera Link (1923-2004) Wash Day, 2009, Oil


Bertha had been born in that house, built to accommodate the mill workers, and had lived there since 1927. She had worked in the mill as did everyone on the street at that time and now she was happy in her dotage, with grandchildren to watch over as they played on the delph, the open patch of land which was used by the community whose houses surrounded it on three sides. When the developers moved in the 1980’s the community objected. Fiercely. A long battle through the courts commenced. In the end Bertha’s photographs of the washing lines back in the day won the case. Common land. Proof of historical use. You can’t build here. It would be some more years before the builders, who held onto the land regardless, went into liquidation and the community whip-round paid for it’s purchase. The Delph is now a village green and protected for generations to come. Thanks to Bertha’s washing lines.


blowing in the wind

washing lines in the spring time

the answer my friend


Allotments (AAP01226)

The Delph Today

Some years later new developers returned only this time for the Mill Pond land which lay behind the houses of Windsor Road.

They met with the same resistance and with the same fate.

Wanna play ‘where’s the scribbler?’

15 thoughts on “Bob knew

  1. kim881 says:

    That’s a great story, Paul! I love to hear about folk holding on to common land and so pleased that Bertha’s photographs of the washing lines back in the day won the case.
    Love the cheeky reference to Dylan!

  2. hypercryptical says:

    A lovely story Paul and better for the truth of it. It is brilliant that Bertha’s proof of washing lines thus common use, won the day. If only there were more Bertha’s’…
    Anna :o]

  3. sanaarizvi says:

    Such a heart-stirring and profound story, Paul 🙂 It does me good to know that Bertha managed to save the day with her intellect ❤️

  4. Sherry Marr says:

    I am thankful for such pockets of history that are saved and not paved over. I enjoyed the poem, and the photo and note at the end very much! Love the story you found in the painting.

  5. Jim says:

    Nice story, Paul. Dylan might like Viera’s wash blowing, seriousness stuck in the middle with his jokers and clowns.

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