A medieval town changed forever

Basingstoke: What was it like?

What was it like when they took the heart out of the town
and built a structure on stilts with modern banks and shops?
When they sidelined a market place in favour of a place of Festival?
Did people protest or acquiesce, or cheer?  Did anyone cry?

What was it like when they built a shopping mall
and persuaded the river to travel for a while underground?
When a maze of car parking replaced the clear waters of the Loddon?
Did people protest or acquiesce, or cheer?  Did anyone cry?

What was it like when they filled in the canal,
dismantled the wharf, and replaced a waterway with a linkway?
When they put a bus terminus where the canal had begun?
Did people protest or acquiesce, or cheer?  Did anyone cry?

What was it like when they made people sell their houses
and watch their homes become part of a demolition site?
When an area of historical and social space disappeared without trace?
Did people protest or acquiesce, or cheer?  Did anyone cry?

What was it like when they knocked down a church
where people had worshipped and prayed for decades?
When a parish church was left without its Methodist sister?
Did people protest or acquiesce, or cheer?  Did anyone cry?

What is like now for the people who live and work and stay
in an expanded and thriving ex-small market town?
Do they glimpse the canal, or hear the flow of the river, or see the old church?
Do people protest or acquiesce, or cheer?  Does anyone cry?

Jacqui A. Horton
2010