My Liverpool by Ruth Hamilton

02 October 2013

By Pan Macmillan

The Church of St Luke was destroyed during the Blitz.  Left as it was, it became a garden, a hallowed tribute to all in the city who had perished under bombardment.  Talk of shifting it was heard.  We stopped it.  This is the people's monument, and this is Liverpool.  We take nothing lying down. 
 

St Luke's in My Liverpool

I never knew a thing until I came to Mersey's shore
Unaware of all the pain and grief these people bore.
While London, on the wireless said, 'A Northern town has copped it.'
They never gave the name of where the Luftwaffe had dropped its
Fire bombs and its anger and its imitation hell.
Little did they know, because the Pool took hold so well
Of what was left, of what they saved, of making do and mending.
Although no war in history has had a happy ending . . .
 
St Luke's is there; St Luke's must stay, a monument to those
Who got no medal, won no prize, the folk who simply chose
To leave a light on top of buildings empty and unstable
To dine from metal plates and cups at Sunday's dinner table. 
Crockery and lives were shattered, yet folk knew what really mattered.
 
The army and the air force and the navy played huge parts
In saving us.  But those who stayed and opened up their hearts
Who threw wide doors to welcome in those who had lost their place.
They mattered, listen, powers hard of heart and stern of face -
You leave that church alone or you will answer then to us.
We're Scousers and we're furious - we might just make a FUSS.

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