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By Josie Whitehead

Welcome to York

Enclosed within a Roman wall,
Extending to suburban sprawl, 
     A city lies in northern parts,
     With history beating in its heart.

Human beings bring their skill.
They give new life but also kill.
     Throughout this city Roman feet
     Have hammered on its cobbled streets.


When Roman soldiers left our shores
Then, had we said goodbye to war?
     Oh no, the Anglo Saxons came -
     Invading forces, just the same.

Christians made their presence felt
And, in York’s wooden church, they knelt.
     Here today stands proud and tall,
     A Minster within city walls.

Then Vikings came with guile and stealth.
They murdered, pillaged, seeking wealth.
    They looted churches, killed the priests,
    And gradually their power increased.

They came to York and settled down
And left their mark upon this town.
     Today we’d say their lives were tough
     But times for them were hard and rough.

But come with me to modern York
And, on her cobbled streets, let’s walk.
     First look at people that you meet,
     Who saunter round York's busy streets.

They’re new invaders from afar
Who’ve come by air, by train or car.
      To York they’re not a mystery,
       But disciples of her history.

They absorb the new, soak up the old,
As round each corner they behold
     Large shopping centres, alleys small,
     Impressive Minster, market stalls.

The Jorvik Centre shows Viking life -
Of times in York where man and wife,
  Brought skills of metalworking here,
    As the name of Coppergate makes clear.

And what of metalwork today?
Has that completely gone away?
     It thrives today.  Oh come, let’s go,
     There’s something special I must show.

The National Railway Museum’s elation
Comes from a special restoration.
      So follow me, let’s
go inside
Where they can show you with much pride . . .


*The Flying Scotsman in full glory,
And here’s a little of her story:
     This monster, gleaming and streamlined,
      Shows the achievement of mankind.

She’s magnificent, she’s domineering –
The pride of British engineering.
  She moved one hundred miles an hour
     To prove to all her strength and power.

York’s famous Minster gazes down
Upon this ancient county town,
      Whilst York, with history and charm,
       Embraces all with open arms.

Copyright on all my poems 


*  Published in 2018 by CGP Books for schools.  I hope you like this poem also.  The verses about The Flying Scotsman were omitted because the poem was too long for their pages, but you have them here.



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