A new poem has been written for Slough as part of John Betjeman's centenary celebrations. Penned by a Slough schoolgirl, the new verse is a positive anthem of praise for life in the Berkshire town in 2006 - in direct contrast to the former poet laureate's rather negative view written back in 1937.
John Betjeman's daughter, Candida Lycett-Green, commissioned the poem through Slough Borough Council. A local schools competition, which took place earlier this year, asked young people living in Slough to provide a reaction to her father's infamous poem 'Slough' and reflect the quality of life in the town today.
11 year old Joanna Okolotowicz, from Montem Primary School in Slough, wrote the winning poem. Also entitled 'Slough', the new verse uses a similar style and form as the original. But, the 2006 version describes the Slough of today with its welcoming multi-cultural community, great education and sports facilities, excellent shopping and transport links.
Horrible bombs don't fall on Slough,
Because it's fit for humans now,
This town's much better, and how,
Old poem die a death!
Sikhs, Muslims and Christians too,
All are welcome and so are you,
All come here to live life anew,
One town, one breath.
A centre of learning you can see,
With a library and university,
A life's training for you and me,
Work hard, get paid.
Ice skating, swimming and fitness places,
Playgrounds, parks and open spaces,
Children laughing, smiling faces,
Getting together, friendships made.
Queensmere, Observatory and High Street,
Cafes, restaurants where you can eat,
See a film at the cinema for a treat
Brand new Tesco open now.
Trains from Reading, London and many more,
Cars and taxis along the M4
Buses drop you at your door,
Climb aboard and come to Slough.