Our Gipsy Hill Poems… for Valentines!

Update 14 Feburay 2021

Our Expressions of love for Gipsy HillIntroduction by Dee

I’m fairly new to Gipsy Hill and have been struck by the sense of community and how many people there are working behind the scenes to make things happen.

So, I approached the Friends of Gipsy Hill to reach out and ask the local community what they love about Gipsy Hill for the occasion of Valentine’s Day. We received a lovely selection of words and prose, including a wonderful complete poem, Roots, which we are printing in full. We initially thought that we would weave all of the contributions into one poem, but inspiration landed in a different way and we have several.

Two short poems, Gipsy Hill TV Transmitter and The Gipsy Hill Station Garden feature some of our local landmarks. Both seem to connect people in different ways. In Gipsy Hill TV Transmitter, we imagine the antenna as a dinosaur.  

Fanny, the Gipsy Hill station cat, is part of the landscape in her own right and, unsurprisingly, is dearly loved by locals. She was the inspiration behind two poems. A Summer’s Day in the life of Fanny the Gipsy Hill Station Cat is drawn from observation and from online photos of Fanny. In the other, From Fanny the Gipsy Hill Station Cat, Fanny describes her view of sitting on someone’s lap.  

We Gipsy Hill is a longer celebration of the spirit of community here. Roots also celebrates the spirit of the local community, this time as observed by an old oak tree on Gipsy Hill, over decades of human determination, celebration, heartache and recovery.

We hope you enjoy these poems. If you are inspired to write your own poems about Gipsy Hill, please share them with us!

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Gipsy Hill TV transmitter

A slender neck stretches to the sunrise

Four strong legs tower over old houses

Our metal dinosaur stands still:

Searching with ruby eyes for its old stone cousins

Guarding the green spaces on the other side of the hill.

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The Gipsy Hill Station Garden

Kind hands, strong arms, sturdy boots.

As we plant flowers of friendship

Trains slow and stop, start and speed…

And passing neighbours’ smiles blossom with love

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A summer’s day in the life of Fanny the Gipsy Hill Station Cat

Morning light surrounds my little red house

Time to get up – though I’d rather sleep more

Take a long, lazy stretch before breakfast

Then pad down the platform to my office:

It says: “please touch the cat on the reader” 😊

So the friendly passengers stroke my back

Then disappear along the rumbling rails

Where do they all go?


Back down along the platform to a bench

Sometimes I see someone sitting alone –

A warm lap: another chance to be stroked,

Rest assured I’ll never share a secret…

Perhaps a walk in the garden – who’s there?

Smell some flowers, any strawberries yet?

Take some cool sips from the watering can.

It’s always left full…


Where shall I siesta this afternoon?

Flowerpot or stripe of summer sunshine?

In the evening, a stroll across the street

Just because… But never to Platform 2.

Later, back in my red house I curl up

Might pop out at night to stare at the moon.

Sleep till tomorrow.

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From Fanny the Gipsy Hill Station Cat

Oooo….              a lap to sit on

Mmm….              let’s snuggle a while

Purr….                 a jumper to paw…

Oops….               a thread on my claw

Ahh….                 removed with a smile

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We Gipsy Hill

Far enough away from the centre – it’s relaxed

Maybe it’s the Gipsy Hilliness in the air…

Impressionist cloudscapes change across the city skyline

And kind hearts make special things happen

Freshgo staff up before dawn, still there after sunset

Coming home to find my neighbour has cooked me dinner

People who notice, care and act to make a difference

The labour of love in the community garden

The joy of the first blossom in spring as we walk to the station

The Gipsy Hill summer fete – remember? It will fill Longmeadow once more.

 Our Christmas tree in Lockdown London – a beacon of hope.

Community spirit, creativity, connection

A place that just gets better and better

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Roots (by Emlu)

Resigned to gusty blows

On ruffled grassy slopes

I watch as, downwind bent,

A man and dog approach

In absolute defiance of wind, and rain and cold


Along a path once tread

By trains of coloured floats

Of travellers a-chanting the memory of warm nights

They headed to the glowing call of distant smoke and light


Here twice I saw red flames

Dance wild against the sky

The cries and cracks were carried 

With waves of heat and ash

Until they settled softly over the blackened mud


Which flowed next to my pathway

For days and days on end

The river told a story that travelled far and wide

Of settlers on the hillside and lovers in the baths 

Who rode up from the city with hope of health and heart


Of broken homes around me

Felled fast by skyborne arms

Of helping hands and warming hugs that saved them from the dark

Of feasts and muddy children that play around my bark



Click here to read:   Our Expressions of love for Gipsy Hill.pdf

6th Feb 2021   Our Gipsy Hill Poem… for Valentines!

What do you love about Gipsy Hill? 

Please share some words about why you love Gipsy Hill, and Friends of Gipsy Hill will weave your words together to create a poem for the local community!

For all the artists, please send us a heart drawing to help us illustrate our poem!

Looking forward to bringing together our shared love for Gipsy Hill!

Please share your replies by noon Friday 12th. Entries can be just a word, or, a few sentences.


Email your poem, words or images to:  OurPoem@gipsyhillfriends.org

And via on: facebook, Instagram, Twitter