POETRY IN MOTION: Mystery writer urges Fenland to shop local this Christmas through verse

A MYSTERY poet has put calls for the people of March to shop local this Christmas into verse.

In an anonymous message to The Cambs Times, the writer said that “with businesses under increasing pressure and shops disappearing at an alarming rate” they were determined to encourage people to spend their Christmas cash in Fenland.

The poem, written in the style of worst-poet William McGonagall, celebrates a host of March’s stores in rhyming couplets.

“You’ll find the townsfolk kind, not bullies,” it reads. “But sadly not a trace of Woollies.

“While loss could never bring euphoria, We’d lots of other brill emporia - With Johnson’s for our pans and Walkers’ books and chocs, And West End DIY with its comprehensive stocks.

“And then the bruvvers came to fry for, Bringing fish and chips to die for.”

The five-verse poem laments the closure of some of March’s well-known stores, saying: “But despite uplift for Maureen’s bust, Our Westgate too would bite the dust – And notwithstanding readers’ rage, Walkers reached the final page.”

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In a mention to all of Fenland’s market towns, the poem concludes: “And after you’ve proven that you’re not a meanie, Reward your goodselves with a Julie’s panini.

“Can’t find what you want? Still get off your mattress. Remember there’s Whittlesey, Wisbech and Chatteris.”

The original rallying call to shoppers comes after March Chamber of Commerce launched the “Shop Local First” campaign, which helps to advertise the town’s small businesses as purse strings tighten.

At the centre of the initiative is a new website - www.shopsinmarch.co.uk - which lists the products and services available in March and is described as the “doorway to a virtual shopping mall”.

To help launch the campaign the Chamber has organised a competition to win �100 in shopping vouchers.

Five participating stores have put up a picture of a treasure chest with a number on it. Entrants should link all five numbers to the corresponding shops on the entry form and hand it in to one of the stores.

Entry forms can be filled in online at www.shopsinmarch.co.uk or they can be obtained, along with more details of the scheme, from Nigel Coley, President of March Chamber of Commerce, on 01354 653393.