I sometimes walk down by the side of the river,
Which meanders through the town where I was born,
It is a river with a very proud history,
But nowadays it looks forgotten and forlorn.
The river originates in the grounds of the Newstead Abbey,
At the lake where the poet Lord Byron often went,
From there it flows through several villages and townships,
Until it finally empties itself into the River Trent.
The river is part of our great heritage,
In past days it has served our township well,
In its journey it must have seen so many changes,
If it could speak it would have so much to tell.
It provided the power to drive several mills,
In which many local people were employed,
But all this has now been confined to history,
And most of the mills have been destroyed.
At most times the river flows by unnoticed,
But sometimes it puts on a bit of a show,
At times when the snow falls have been heavy,
The melting snows have caused it to overflow.
Some of the nearby land has been flooded,
Streets and houses in some places have been submerged,
The water on the Main Street was too deep to traverse,
That’s when the rowing boats suddenly emerged.
The serious flooding took place in the winter of ’47,
The engineers from the Council were instructed
That any further flooding should be prevented,
So the flood prevention scheme was constructed.
The river was also a place of entertainment,
Where children would fish or paddle for an hour or two,
Children are rarely seen down there today,
Perhaps they have got more interesting things to do.
The River Leen still flows through the town centre,
But few people seem to know that it is there,
Maybe it’s because they are too busy to remember,
Or, perhaps it’s because they don’t really care.
As I walk down by the riverside,
Many things of interest catch my eye,
But my mind goes back to contemplate its history,
As I watch the waters of the river flowing by.