Summer Solstice 2006
In accordance with the encouragement of the BBC I arose early on the 21st June 2006 to snap the dawn of the mid-summer solstice. The vantage point I chose was overlooking the local parish church
of St James, originally St Helen’s. After researching a little history recorded by the historians of Brindle,
the following poem was written.
Above the tower of St James’ arose, the summer solstice sun,
Exposing the ancient Brindle parish, as ever it has done,
Though still and calm the land now lies, it hides dramas of yore,
Of Viking raiders and priests concealed, fleeing before the law.
More than a thousand years ago through valley and to the sea,
A chest for war trudged on its way in stealth and secrecy,
Silver raised for swords in Eire, to fight some losing cause,
But danger lurked in tree and dell, as journey had to pause.
The ambush took its bloody toll but one alone remained,
To hide the chest beneath the earth until support was gained,
But alas his wounds were deep and life ebbed from his heart,
And Viking treasure lost became, its myth and legend start.
Many scoffed at the story old of treasure buried deep,
But one wet spring in 1840, as workers went home to sleep,
A sodden mass, above the tide, caught their watchful eyes,
With mud removed and chest revealed they soon gazed at their prize.
A thousand ounces of silver bars, seven thousand Saxon coin,
These honest men the bailiff told, no thought their find purloin,
Treasure trove gave them a trifle, but most went to the Queen,
And in the British museum lies, where all can there be seen.
Since 1190 St James has stood and of many changes can tell,
Of papal rule and reformation new school, tower and bell,
When king for a bride, God’s kingdom claimed, throughout this favoured land,
Allegiance to St Peter’s throne was mercilessly banned.
Throughout this ancient parish, many, in secret kept the faith,
Like Father Edmund Arrowsmith, unmoved in life or death.
Pursued by officers of the king, in Brindle his flight was ended,
In Lancaster castle he died a martyr, his faith to the last defended.
But not in vain, his life he gave, for the faith within his heart,
For monks of Benedict returned, new church and school to start,
St Joseph’s arose amid the trees and restored the Roman way,
And now both Anglican and Roman in peace together now pray.