IT was with sadness and a degree of, yes, shame that I read in Alnwick’s own newspaper that the town council had voted against accepting responsibility for the Hotpsur statue in Pottergate.
I appreciate that in these times of austerity and shortage of funds, expenditure must be very carefully watched.
However, on the other hand, there is the fact of the erosion of our sense of place and our knowledge of the history of our land and the country we live in.
I am told that history, as was taught at school in my day, is no longer given the same importance and children are taught hardly anything about the great local heroes of our past, such as men like Hotspur, or the Border Reivers, heroes or villains.
I am sure many more readers of this paper will despair at this latest council dissension, as just another step on the road to a bland and soulless population, who are encouraged to have no pride in their past or the history of their forefathers.
In tribute to our Knight Hotspur
Harry Percy’s back, with his great broad sword held high
To be hailed in Pottergate by the people passing by
Named Hotspur by the Scots from the speed of his gallant charge
His reputation was wide, and his ambitions were large.
His prowess as a knight proven at the Battle o’ Hamildon Hill
By the many enemy he single-handed cut down and killed
To see him in battle was like watching a whirlwind at work
Or in the hunting field, with horse and spear, hound or hawk.
There once was an old jingle, which was observed by every clan
That he should take who has the power, and he should keep who can
And so it was in Hotspur’s time, with sword and lance and shield
Accept a single combat challenge, or put up your sword and yield.
He was Alnwick’s most famous son, valiant, brave and bold
His heroic feats of arms, in ancient song and verse still proudly told
He would be the ultimate role model for the youngsters of today
Never concede to greater odds, never back off and never give way.
His courage justly feted, in Valhalla’s mythical halls
Where Charlemagne and Alexander’s tributes line the walls
As he was first into every fight, his sword stroke quickest and best
Always in the thickest of the fray, where flew the Percy Lion Crest.
Of all the things the town has done to improve its commendation
The placings of his art work must rank with the best in all the nation
Seven hundred years of turmoil ended twixt England, the Scots and France
Yet in the quiet darkness, might still echo ‘A Percy, A Percy, Esperance.’