Hidden Treasure

When Teynham was the centre of the fruit industry, every road, every lane, byway, and track was bordered by an orchard. In the Autumn the legacy from this was a vast layer of leaves. Leaves were everywhere, roadmen swept them from the verges, gardeners collected them for their allotments and farmers had a free supply of organic fertiliser. To us boys however they covered hidden treasure! I will explain.

So on a Saturday we would make our way up by the hop garden opposite the school, across the orchards to Sandown Cottages then over the road to Limekiln orchard {now arable land}.

Just inside this orchard near the footpath stood a Russet apple tree, in the grass and under the leaves “windfalls and drops” lay maturing {our hidden treasure!}. I can taste the nutty flavour of these crisp apples till this day, one bite and the juice ran down your chin! Further along near Newlands Farm where the footpath joined the lane to Lewson Street, stood a tall walnut tree and once again the leaves hid our treasure!

So armed with our free supply of fruit and nuts we crossed the lane to watch our local heroes in action! At this time Teynham Football Club lost their home ground at New Gardens, because of the orchards and they were hard pressed to find a meadow big enough and flat enough for another pitch. Fortunately they were offered Newlands near Lewson Street. One of the finest grounds in this area.

Autumn Leaves

Frost creeps stealthily beneath the trees
Gazing upwards, beseeches the leaves
“Come, come join me here on the ground”
So leaves fall softly and lay all around.

Then under the guise of a gentle breeze
Wind arrives to torment the leaves
Who, at first with involuntary flutter
Start to dance along the gutter.

Off to the rattle of letter boxes
By upturned dustbins that frighten foxes
Through open gates onto garden and path
Is there no end to this blustery wrath?

In the side street with nary a glance
Leaves run in circles as though in a trance
And those on the highroad that answered the call
Are left in a heap at the foot of a wall!

Encouraged by this Wind grows bolder
All the while gusts get stronger
Blowing the leaves high into the air
They start a journey to they know not where.

Then after playing exceedingly rough
Wind decides enough is enough
So it holds its breath, steals quietly away
And leaves are left on the ground where they lay.


Teynham Parish Council Website