FOREWORD FOR 'BY PILGRIM COTTAGE DOOR'





This collection of poems is the second third of a series of pieces based on or near the village of Tatsfield, the most easterly parish in the county of Surrey. The first third, also published by I*D Books (Connah's Quay 2001) was called 'By The Field With The Round Corner', and two two collections taken together with a third and final anthology are meant to constitute an overall series of poems called 'A Tatsfield Tapestry.'

Pilgrim Cottage was the name of a tiny two-room house on Ninehams Road where my mother and myself lived for most of the Second World War. The building was knocked down in the seventies when Barry Watson, who then lived there with his family, built a much larger home on the same plot. By that time the property had changed its name to Treeview, the title that it still enjoys. The first collection of village poems was launched at the WI Hall on Paynesfield Road, Tatsfield, on the 24th October 2001. Barry, incidentally, has very recently published his first booklet of verses entitled 'Fireside Poetry'. We wish him good luck with his efforts.

There is one obscurity in this booklet which I feel deserves some explanation. The name Sithersay (page 9) is taken from a supposed reference to Titsey in the Domesday Book. Also Elsa, in the same poem, is the actor Elsa Lanchester who tells in her autobiography (Elsa Lanchester, Herself), how she once made love in Titsey Woods. 'Time-slip' is the only poem which has already appeared in the first collection, only hear it has a revised middle stanza.

I must thank the following people for their contribution to the final form of this booklet. First, there are Dorothy Burgess, Vic Greenfield and Dorothy Teague who all read the poems and made recommendations, as well as Hussein Al-alak who helped me with the editing. But I must also express thanks yet again to the I*D Writers' Group, especially Maureen Coppack, Alan Seager, Carol and Stuart Taylor, Ruby Roberts, Luigi Pagano, Clive Hopwood and others for their support and useful comments at all times. And further thanks to those friends in the village itself who have continued to help, namely Eileen Pearce, Rosemary and David Brown and Tony Watson.

Many thanks also to Mike Carter and the Manchester Area Resources Centre (MARC) for all the work put into setting up and actually printing this booklet.

The cover design is based on a lino-cut made by my father Sydney Abraham sometime in the 1940's. Originally a Christmas card, it shows a stylised version of Pilgrim Cottage itself, with its tin roof and veranda front. By Pilgrim Cottage Door was printed by the Manchester Area Resource Centre.

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