Published: September 12, 2012
Tongue-in-cheek Burnham-On-Sea poem wins Somerset poetry contest

A tongue-in-cheek poem about Burnham-On-Sea has been named as one of the winners of a Somerset poetry contest.

Helen Somers, right, entered her poem into the competition, organised by Somerset Skills and Learning, and was "surprised and delighted" to find she had come third overall.

Her poem, which is published at the bottom of this page, takes a light-hearted look at life in Burnham-On-Sea and lampoons many of the local peculiarities, such as the constant seagull poo and the 'sea that is never quite blue'.

Helen, who lives in Burnham's Oxford Street, told "I was delighted when I heard my poem had won and has been turned into a postcard."

She added: "I have lived in Burnham all my life, as did my parents, and my grandparents are buried here, so I feel experienced to see the funny side of my home town, but I do get very defensive when I hear others putting it down."

Helen belongs to the Writers in Somerset group, which meets fortnightly to help each other develop their work and style. She is currently busy editing a novel which she has just sent off to several publishers in the hope that one will be interested.

"Stories become very much like children – you get very defensive and protective towards them. Even though I am very proud of my story, it is still scary when you introduce it to a publisher as you never know if they will like it or not," she said.

Even if her story doesn't get published, her postcard poem is now available from the Somerset Skills & Learning centre in Princess Street, Burnham, The Princess Theatre and Hurleys Bookshop in The High Street.


Burnham-on-Sea is the place for me, well known for its lighthouse on stilts.

We have over here the land’s shortest pier and a lovely church tower that tilts.

A long sandy beach, within easy reach, and a sea that is never quite blue

Brings grockles galore, to this very shore, and in summer there’s always a queue.

In each shop and each pub, as they purchase their grub, there’s never a car parking space,

But they come for the sun and the West Country fun, so we mustn’t pull a grim face.

I’m blessed 'coz I’m here, all through the year, walking along by the Brue, a left turn I take, and I’m at Apex Lake, feeding the swans as I do.

Follow Bridgwater Bay, it goes a long way, and Hinkley Point you will spy.

They say that we glow, but that is not so, in fact it’s a pretty bad lie.

The summer’s a lark, picnic by the park, and often a rather good fete.

We enjoy our Folkfest, and some of the best bands tend to make it their date.

November nights mean Carnival lights and follow a musical firework display

The town is our own, do you hear me grown? The tourists have all gone away.

Life is never dull, each hungry seagull scatters our litter afar,

But I do not care, for I like them there, even the poo on my car.

I intend to stay, for many a day, Burnham-on-Sea’s my hometown.

On my own eyes, I award it the prize, of the jewel in the Somerset crown.



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