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Transcribed and presented by Karon & Greville Watson, September 2014
The Poems of Grace Warboys
Grace wrote many poems and on a variety of subjects.
The following give an insight into the things in life that were particularly important to her, and also everyday things that took her interest or were perhaps topical.
Although they were written in no particular order, I've grouped them under three main headings:

About Grace
Grace's Views on Life
Rushden Park

plus two other important headings for which there are only one or two poems:

The Heritage Chapel and
Park Road Methodist Church

Sandra and John

(Untitled) - Writing a Poem

I would like to write a poem,
But I don’t know what to say.
You have to think of rhyming words
And that could take all day!

If I did have a brainwave
And write a little verse
I might be really famous –
But that can be a curse!

So perhaps I’ll leave it just for now,
I don’t feel very clever.
I shall never be a poet,
Not today, next year, or ever!!

"About Me"

I wasn’t feeling very well,
It really was a shame;
I couldn’t manage any more,
I didn’t feel the same.

So off to Kettering Hospital
For seven days or more,
Then off from there to Isebrook
For therapy galore!

The physios were very kind,
It must have been a strain;
They tried their best to help me walk,
But alas it was in vain,
And I’ve had to face the brutal fact
That I’ll never walk again.

"My Other Half"

I’ve had my teeth a long time,
It must be 50 years, or more!
They have chewed a lot of dinners
And chocolate bars galore!

They go in soak in Steradent
Each and every night,
But the bottom set came a cropper
And broke in half one night!

I wondered what would happen
With only the upper set;
Would I have to live on chicken soup,
Or jelly, not quite set?

But then they found the answer,
Some magical glue or cement;
And Chris has been able to fix them,
They are now one hundred per cent!!

"150 Cromwell Road"

I’ve had to sell my home, you know,
To pay for all my care.
It’s very hard to have to part,
We were so happy there!

Dad bought it many years ago
When I was just a tot;
The only home I’ve ever known,
So that does mean a lot.

It’s being modernised, of course,
To bring it up to date;
A damp-proof course, new wiring,
It must be in a state!

There’s lots of banging going on,
And scraping too, I guess!
The bathroom’s going up the stairs –
Just imagine all the mess!!

I’d like to see some photos
What all the work is done;
And I hope the folk who live there
Will be happy – every one!!!

"Random Thoughts"

I wanted to write a poem
But didn’t know what to say.
So many things it could be about
I was spoiled for choice, so to say.

Of course there is always the weather,
Enough there to fill up a book!
But no-one would want to read that,
Or even be bothered to look!

The MPs are back on the job now
After the summer recess;
We didn’t even notice that they were gone
So that's why we’re all in a mess!

We read a lot about diets,
We mustn’t eat too much and get fat;
Then they show all these cookery programmes
So who’s supposed to eat all of that?

I’ve found a few subjects to ponder,
At least it has filled up my page,
So perhaps I’ll stop and go for a nap –
You need one when you are my age!!

(Untitled) - A Sleepless Night

Have you ever had a sleepless night?
Oh! Isn't it a pain?
It seems as though the morning light
Will never come again!

You try to think of something
To while away the time,
Some say counting sheep is good,
I've got up to ninety nine!

You toss and turn and grumble,
And close your eyes up tight;
You feel too hot and then too cold,
Oh what a dreary night!!

I've counted all the sheep now,
They've all gone back to sleep;
I'm trying to keep awake now,
That should send me off to sleep!

(Untitled) -
The Gift of a Peace Lily

Many thanks to you all for the beautiful plant!
I have never owned a Peace Lily before.
But no doubt with lots of tender loving care
It will thrive for a long time I’m sure!

Marian said your first service was fine!
It was certainly a very good start,
The beginning of quite a new chapter,
And one which is dear to your heart!

The road may seem a bit rocky at times,
But if you go forth in faith and in hope,
The good Lord will be there at your side,
Never fear, He will help you to cope!!!

"Park Road Methodist Choir"

I found two lovely old photographs
Of Park Road Methodist choir;
We used to sing our anthems
And choruses from “The Messiah”.

We practised every Friday night
The hymns and anthems too!
And sang at the Sunday services,
Upstairs, where we had a good view!

John Cooke was the man with the baton
Trying to keep us in line;
Mr Hazeldine worked hard on the organ,
I thought his playing was fine!

One Sunday they broadcast our service –
Yes! We were live on the air!
It was such a long time ago now
But it was a thrill to be there.

The church held a bazaar each December
With nice stalls all round the hall;
The teas they served were delicious
And a good time was had by us all!

In the evening there was always a concert
And one year was such a surprise!
On the stage was the choir in Victorian dress –
The audience couldn’t believe their eyes!!

All this happened a long time ago
But a few of us remain;
So thank the Lord for the memories –
I wish we could live it again!!

"Our Blessings"

We take it all for granted,
We are a selfish lot!
The world and all its wonders,
Let’s look at what we’ve got.

The magic of the moon and stars,
The sun and showers too;
The clouds of every shape and size,
And the sky of azure blue.

Our loved ones, friends and family,
Our homes and neighbours too,
The simple things we all enjoy,
I’ve only named a few.

The cold and ice in winter,
The flowers in the spring,
The lovely summer breezes,
The birds – and how they sing!

I know there’s lots to worry us,
The news is far from bright.
There’s VAT and Council Tax,
I could go on all night!

But try to keep on smiling
And do your very best.
If someone else returns your smile
You will have passed your test!!

"Our Bodies"

Have you thought about our bodies
And just how wonderful they are?
Try to have a little think
Your mind will travel far!

We have feet and legs to walk with,
Our hands and arms to use,
For doing all those many jobs
And to cuddle who we choose!

Our nose to smell all sorts of things,
Our eyes to see the sights,
Our ears to hear all kinds of sounds
And our teeth to chew and bite.

We also have freewill, you know,
For choices that we make;
We can diet, smoke, or exercise,
Read books – or keep a snake!

Our brains are so miraculous,
Each one a work of art!
A scientist couldn’t build one –
However would they start!

If boffins built our bodies
I wonder how they’d look?
Each one much bigger than a house,
And not even able to cook!  (Or read a book)!


There are lots of puzzle books about
To occupy your brain;
Crosswords, Sudoku, word search and link words,
You need never be bored again.

You can see all sorts on the telly:
Pointless, Eggheads, The Chase.
If you’re lucky you might win a fortune,
But I don’t think that’s always the case!!

The answers are there in the puzzle books
So you can cheat and have a quick peek!
But you won’t find the answers in some magazines –
You have to buy the one for next week!!

"Telly Cooks"

I never watch cooks on the telly
Showing how good they can be.
I wonder who tackles all their washing up –
Not the cooks, they’re too posh, believe me!!

"Our Weather"

The weather never suits us
It doesn’t matter what!
We grumble when it’s cold
And we do not like it hot!

The rain is just a nuisance;
The wind is far too rough;
The snow can go to Switzerland
Because here we’ve had enough!

Those who make the brollies
And anoraks and boots
They must like bad weather,
They’re the ones it suits!

But for those who make the swimwear
And all the summer stuff,
They’re the ones who like it hot,
They can’t get enough!

So the weather cannot please us all
No matter how it tries.
We shall have to grin and bear it –
And that is no surprise!!

"The Weather"

Oh what has gone wrong with the weather,
That’s what we all want to know;
Will somebody please tell the weathermen
That we all had enough of the snow!

Then someone decided not so long ago
That we were in for a drought!
Then shortly after the rain came in torrents
And nearly washed everyone out!

I shall never get to wear my bikini
Or eat an ice cream by the sea,
For it looks like the summer has vanished,
Gone for ever, Oh dearie me!

We don’t really need all these weathermen,
So throw out their forecasts and charts
And perhaps the weather will quickly improve
And gladden our cold little hearts!!

"Weather Again!"

We enjoyed the summer weather
As mostly it was quite good;
Except for the days when it got very hot –
Much hotter than it should!

The autumn has been lovely too,
The weather was a treat;
Nice and warm and sunny,
Very hard to beat!

But now the days are shorter,
The nights are drawing in,
It’s getting rather chilly
And the rain has come back in.

No doubt there’ll be some snow to come,
Looks good on a Christmas card,
And it hides the weeds in the garden,
But it makes our travelling hard!

Just put it on the rooftops
And keep it off the floor;
Or send it up to Switzerland,
The skiers could do with more!

It’s raining again at the moment,
The birds are unable to fly!
So, come on, just send us some sunshine –
Or at least, for goodness sake, try!!!


I don’t watch very much telly,
It’s not really my cup of tea.
There’s too many murders and cookery programmes
And none of them ever please me!

I’m very fond of ‘Dad’s Army’,
To me it’s always a treat.
It may be very old fashioned
That’s why it’s right up my street!

I do like watching the quizzes
And ‘Flog It!’ is there on my list;
And of course the ‘Antiques Road Show’ –
That’s another that’s never missed!

As for the soaps – Oh dear! Oh dear!
Where do they find the plots?
Too many arguments and rows
And all in prime-time slots!

Now, ‘Songs of Praise’ on Sundays,
That surely is a gem!
To hear the wonderful old hymns
And sing along with them.

What would they do without repeats?
We get them all the time.
I suppose they hope that we’ll forget
And watch them one more time!

Have you seen the posh BBC News Room?
It’s like something from ‘Dr Who’!
They just need to fit in a Tardis
And Matt Smith could come along too!

There’s several things that make me mad
But the one that annoys me most
Is the way the camera jumps about
And goes from pillar to post!

So I’m not a telly addict,
No doubt they do their best,
Thank goodness for the off switch
And give it all a rest!!

"The March of Progress"

How life has changed since I was young,
All those years ago!
The world was very different then,
Believe me, I should know!

All this new technology,
I just can’t take it in.
Laptops, iPods, Tweets and Google,
How did it all begin?

It’s easy now to keep in touch,
No need to write a letter!
Just use the new inventions,
No stamps to buy!  That’s better!

We soon shan’t need to read or write
Or use our brains at all;
Just press some little buttons –
The machines will do it all!!

"Christmas 2013 (Part I)"

You must know it’s nearly Christmas,
It happens every year!
There’s lots of fuss and panic
When the day is drawing near.

Of course there’s all the shopping –
Isn’t everything a price?
Even the stamps are fifty pence
And they’re not even nice!

I’ve been writing all my Christmas cards,
Oh! What a chore, my dear;
I keep a list of all the folk
But it gets shorter every year.

What about the Post Codes?
Be careful what you do
Or your cards might be delivered
To somewhere like Timbuctoo!

We grumble about Christmas,
It causes such a fuss;
But without it winter would be very dull
So I suppose it’s good for us!!

"Christmas 2013 (Part II)"

What a wonderful story
Of our Saviour’s birth,
With such a humble beginning
He came down to earth!

The shepherds were told by the angels
And came with haste to the stall;
They fell on their knees to adore Him,
The one who is Saviour of all.

The wise men then came with their treasures,
From the east they had journeyed far;
They too had come to adore Him
Led on their way by the star.

May we all welcome Jesus this Christmas
And thank Him for all He has done;
Let us all try to follow His teaching
And do what He would have done!!

"After Christmas 2013"

Christmas time is over,
What a lot of fuss!
Ever since October
They’ve been bombarding us!

Stock your fridge and freezer up,
Don’t forget the tree,
Write you list of Christmas cards –
I wish the stamps were free!

Think of all the presents,
The ones you'd like to get.
You might be lucky this year –
You never have been yet!

Queue up at the checkout
With trollies piled up high;
Everyone’s in front of you,
It makes you wonder why?

The presents cost a fortune
They don’t look worth the price,
But wrap them all up fancy,
They should look rather nice!

Ah well! At last its over,
The worry and the strain;
It will soon be next October,

"The New Prince"

What lovely news!  A royal birth!
A baby boy, heir to the throne.
We send him all our love today
For he’ll be king when he is grown.

I wonder if they have found a name?
There are lots that it could be!
How about Albert, Henry, John or James?
I guess George!  (We’ll see!)

He has a vast array of relatives,
But Diana is not here.
She would have loved her grandson
And held him very dear.

"Olympic Dreams"

Just imagine being an athlete
With rippling muscles galore!
Performing for thousands of people
And hoping to get a good score.

There are so many sports you can go for
It must be a hard choice to make;
There’s running and hurdling and long jump –
And pole vaulting’s no piece of cake!

What about the velodrome?
That’s wonderful to see!
All those speeding cyclists
Too fast for you or me!

I’ll never be an athlete,
Never represent my land.
You see, I’m over ninety,
And I can’t even stand!


Have you noticed all the flies?
Such a lot this year!
We don’t know where they come from,
But we don’t want them here!

They try to settle on your food
And buzz around your face.
I haven’t swatted any yet,
They beat me in the chase!

The same with those big spiders,
What good are they to us?
All they do is frighten folk
And cause a lot of fuss!

Then there are ants and fleas and wasps,
How come they prosper and thrive?
Nobody likes them, but they carry on
And perhaps live to a hundred and five!!

"February 2014"

It’s February already,
As I’m quite sure we all know!
So far we’re very lucky
We haven’t had the snow!

But don’t get too complacent
We still have far to go!
This time we’ve had the rain instead –
Too much of it, I know!

I remember well one Easter,
Many years ago,
There were blizzards on Easter Monday!
And lots and lots of snow!!

"Easter 2014"

The dark days of winter are over
And spring is well on its way;
We can see all the new life returning –
Something wonderful happening each day!

The season of Lent makes us ponder
And remember our dear Saviour’s plight;
Those forty long days in the wilderness,
The Tempter’s all put to flight!

Then came denial, betrayal and death,
On that cross on a hill, lifted high,
No wonder He felt so forsaken,
Had His Father left him to die?

But lo!  On that first Easter morning
The women were first to adore;
The Lord had arisen, He is alive for all time,
And will live in our hearts evermore!!

"Snooker Finals 2014"

I was watching some of the snooker,
And saw the large audience there.
It must be a very popular game –
I can see why they like being there.

There was only one name I had heard of,
O’Sullivan, one of the best.
His face is a sight – black as thunder!
Is he trying to frighten the rest?

I really don’t understand snooker,
It’s a bit of a mystery to me;
They spend all that time potting the balls
Which then get put back by the referee!

There must be some money at stake there,
But a smile would not come amiss,
Then the lady referee might reward them
And give them both a BIG KISS!!

"In Praise of those
Craftsmen of Yore"

There are wonderful cathedrals and churches
Dotted all over our land;
Each one an absolute masterpiece,
All built by human hand.

Do you wonder how they built them
All those years ago?
No modern transport to help them,
Progress must have been slow.

Those wonderful pillars and ceilings,
The patterns of tiles on the floor,
The bell towers and those massive organs,
The stained glass and carvings galore!

We should all stand in amazement and wonder,
In praise of those craftsmen of yore,
And give thanks to the Lord, our Creator
With love in our hearts evermore!

"Olden Days"

If you are getting on a bit
And not so young, like me;
You may remember Rushden
And how it used to be.

All the little corner shops
On nearly every street;
All the great big factories
Making shoes for all our feet!

We all went to the pictures,
It was a weekly treat;
Either first or second house,
About a bob a seat!

We had never seen a telephone,
We hardly saw a car!
No such thing as ready meals,
We hadn’t got that far!

The grocers all had errand boys
Delivering goods by bike;
The baker came with horse and cart
With bread and cakes we liked!

We went to bed by candlelight –
However did we cope?
No modern gadgets, none at all,
But we didn’t give up hope.

Light the copper fire on Mondays,
Hope the weather’s fine.
Boil it up and mangle it,
Hang it on the line.

No such things as freezers
Or fridges to be had.
No mobile phones or tellys
Or computers – Oh how sad!

No Fairy Liquid or nylons,
No hoovers or plastic bags,
No battery clocks or showers,
No anoraks or celebrity mags!

How times have changed since we were young,
The world’s a different place.
I’m glad that life is easier now
For all the human race!!

"A London Weekend"

Sandra and John went to London!
That must have been quite a treat,
Spending the weekend seeing the sights
And having some nice things to eat!

They had a wonderful tour of St Pauls
With a guide who was all in the know;
How did they erect a building like that
All those long years ago?

When crossing Tower Bridge a ship came along,
Too tall, with no room to spare;
So they were lucky to see what happens then
When the arms rise up in the air!

London is such a wonderful place
With buildings and history too;
Let’s try to keep it close to our hearts
For the next thousand years or two!!

(Untitled) - I'm Living here
at Rushden Park

I’m very ancient now, you know,
And also very stiff!
I couldn’t be much stiffer
If I’d fallen off a cliff!

I’m living here at Rushden Park,
The staff are very kind;
They know I need a lot of help
But they don’t seem to mind.

I like to do some reading
And write a bit of verse;
My mind is still quite active –
I hope it won’t get worse!

I’m very fond of puzzles
And the quizzes on TV;
I don’t know many answers,
But that doesn’t bother me!

I try to keep quite cheerful
And wear a little smile,
And say “thank you” to the lovely staff
As they go the extra mile!!

"Rushden Park (Part I)"

There’s a lot to say about Rushden Park
So where shall I begin?
I’ve been here since November
So I’m really settled in!

There has to be a massive staff
Providing all the care
For 24 hours every day –
There’s not much time to spare.

Just think how many jobs there are
Of every shape and size;
There’s nurses, carers, kitchen staff,
And everything else besides!

Don’t forget the cleaners
Keeping dirt at bay;
They always do it with a smile –
We see them every day!

Then of course the office staff
Keeping all the books;
The ladies in the laundry
And the all-important cooks!

The folk who do the gardens
Keeping them nice and neat,
And the ones who do the maintenance
Making sure it all works a treat!

I haven’t forgotten the volunteers,
We must always cherish them
For helping out in every way –
And each one is a gem!!

I could go on for ever,
There’s much more to say, I’ve no doubt!
I hope I’ve thought of everyone –
Or Teresa might turn me out!!

"Rushden Park (Part II)"

I had to come into a home
Because I couldn’t walk;
I can’t do much at all these days,
Thank goodness I can talk!

They brought me up to Rushden Park
And put me in a flat.
A very nice one it is too
We all agree with that!

The staff arevery kind to me
And help in every way,
I really shouldn’t want their job –
I hope they get good pay!

My room is on the ground floor
And I get a lovely view
Of people going back and forth,
And clouds and bird life too!

The food is very good as well,
There is plenty on your plate;
The cups of tea are tasty
And the afters are just great!

I didn’t want to leave my home,
It was very hard to do,
Having lived there nearly ninety years,
But what more could I do?

Thank goodness there are homes like this
For us poor ancient folk,
So please accept my heartfelt thanks
For this care work is no joke!

"About the Staff"

The girls and boys are busy
Looking after all us folk.
I don’t know how they manage
For their job is no joke.

Serving breakfast, mixing porridge,
Making cups of tea,
Doing showers, bed pans and bed baths –
All for you and me!

Answering buzzers, keeping records,
Running up and down,
Changing sheets and tackling duvets,
Trying not to frown!

We hadn’t ought to grumble
But greet them with a smile,
And help to make them realise
That their job is worth while!!


The nurses keep bringing my tablets
And they always give me a smile;
Thank goodness I’ve finished with Fortisip
Because that went on for a while!

They come very early on Tuesdays
7 a.m. is about right;
Then I must drink plenty of water,
Not lie down, sit upright!

I suppose all these medicines help me
As I always feel happy and bright;
But it’s a wonder I don’t start to rattle
And wake you all up in the night!!

"For the Cooks"

Who would want to be a cook?
Certainly not me!
Chopping, grating, dicing, straining;
Not my cup of tea!

Don’t forget to light the oven,
Make it nice and hot!
You’ve lots of hungry mouths to feed
Who like it on the dot!

Try to think of something tasty,
Oh! How hard is that?
From chicken pie to faggots
And much more after that!

How about the afters:
What shall we do today?
We know they’re fond of trifle
And jelly, that’s OK!

We hope they all enjoy our food,
We always do our best.
If everyone leaves an empty plate
We know we’ve passed the test!

Untitled -
Wednesday Morning Service

Here we are on Wednesday morning
Gathered all around
Waiting for our weekly service,
You can hardly hear a sound!

Some of us can walk along
To our chapel in the Park,
But most are in our wheelchairs
For some can barely walk.

We have our lovely hymn books now
So we can have a real good sing,
And with Hilda or Gwen on the organ
We can make the rafters ring!!

Kindly people come each week
To lead our service here;
They all bring words of wisdom
To comfort and to cheer!

We take communion once a month
To partake of bread and wine,
And join as one with the world wide church
In fellowship divine.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone
Who make these hours unique
Because for most of us they are

"Laundry Girls"

The ladies who work in the laundry
Always look happy and bright.
I hope they have plenty of washing machines
Or else we should be in a plight!

Just think how many jumpers
And dresses and trousers and skirts.
They must need plenty of Ariel –
There’s also the bedclothes and shirts!

My mum used to have a big mangle
With a handle that we used to turn;
It’s a good job you ladies don’t have to do that
Or your muscles wouldn’t half burn!

Thank goodness for modern inventions,
They certainly help us a lot.
If we had to go back to the old days
We should find it wasn’t so hot!

I haven’t mentioned the ironing –
You ladies must have it in piles!
It certainly wasn’t my favourite job,
Now you do it, so I’m all smiles!

So thankyou for all of your efforts,
You should all have a medal (or two);
So perhaps when the Queen has a few hours to spare
She will come down and decorate you!!

"A Special Word"

I was thinking of a lovely word
That we don’t use much today,
But it has a special meeting,
Just hear what I have to say.

I live here in a nursing home
Dependent on lots of care;
It’s hard when you’ve always been active,
I wish I could do my share!

I can see lots of folk from my window
Going back and forth, to and fro;
Some are the staff changing their shift,
But a lot are visitors too.

There are some I see every day
Come summer, winter or spring;
Visiting their loved ones every day,
It must be a difficult thing.

Perhaps some residents are unaware
Their minds are just a blur,
But still their loved ones come each day
It must be hard to bear.

That lovely word I’m thinking of
Which applies to all these folk,
And that word is DEVOTION –
We don’t often hear it spoke!!

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