Island Roads became Island odes when the highways PFI company entered into a poetic exchange with a retired teacher.
Octogenarian Sylvia Sharp, of Freshwater who jokingly calls herself the ‘Poet Looreate’ wrote in verse to Island Roads to offer her thanks for a highway repair job well done.
Her poem brought a smile to staff at Island Roads’ Daish Way HQ and by way of response, a letter – also in rhyme – was sent back to Mrs Sharp, a former head of Yarmouth School.
Steve Ambrose, Island Roads business manager and author of the poetic reply said: “This is the first time we have received a compliment in verse and we were all really grateful to Mrs Sharp for taking the trouble to correspond in such a creative way.
“The least we could do was to respond in kind although Mrs Sharp’s composition was obviously far more accomplished. I just hope she enjoyed the little exchange as much as we did.”
Mrs Sharp said she has been particularly pleased Island Roads has undertaken a swift repair as she required access to attend a hospital appointment.
And she added that the poetry exchange has given her extra pleasure given the current lockdown.
Mrs Sharp’s initial poem
3 fellows in yellow come with their lorry
I should have rejoiced instead I was sorry
for that very day I’d a hospital date
and these fellows in yellow were blocking my gate!
I’m an octogenarian – can’t walk very far
so my daughter would take me in her little car
so how could she possibly get to my gate?
The hole needed mending but I mustn’t be late.
These fellows in yellow set to work with a will
Our hole in the road they determined to fill
The work soon complete, the surface made flat
The people of Copse Lane are grateful for that.
The road opened in time – my transport is here
To our Island Road Team, we all raise a cheer!
Island Roads response
All of us working at Daish Way
Would really like me to say
Thanks for taking up your time
To craft us such a welcome rhyme
Our staff were thrilled to hear you say
We’d fixed the pothole down your way
Thanks again for your poetic applause
Our best regards to you and yours
Mrs Sharp’s reply
My abilities are limited
Now I’m eighty-five
So I try to do the things I can
To prove I’m still alive!
If they make others smile
That’s an extra boost for me
So lets go forth and spread the mirth
As you have done for me
I’m glad that composing words that rhyme
Can give us so much pleasure
Cos now that lockdown has set in
We have much more leisure