In last months Voice for Arran, Alice Maxwell reported on the Arran Drama Festival which was held on ArranSound radio in February. One of the pieces performed was String Road Romance, written by Elizabeth Ross. Elizabeth has kindly agreed for it to be printed here in the Voice. Elizabeth is a talented humorous poet and local to Arran. The piece describes a love affair between two youngsters, who rely on the 322 bus travelling over the String for their secret rendezvous. When the North Ayrshire Council closes the road, their relationship takes a turn for the worst.
String Road Works
Young Jamie Easton met Mary Anne West at a ceilidh in Brodick Hall.
He was sixteen, she a bit less, two ripe fruit ready to fall
In love for the first time. Oh what bliss, such a love had never been known.
It was pure, it was chaste, two hearts made to race with a beat so perfectly in tune.
Jamie was local, his Dad had a shop full of things for the tourists to browse.
Mary was here for two months of the year at her Ma and Pa’s holiday house
In Blackwaterfoot. Her Pa was a Lord, for services to the crown.
That made Ma a Lady, and rather a snob with a predeliction to frown
On any young man who would look at her daughter, his breeding just had to be right.
Her gaze was so stern, the young people all thought her a witch, flying broomsticks at night.
But Mary had wheedling ways with her Ma and managed to minimize fuss
By inventing an errand at Duchess Court Shops and catching the 322 bus.
The lovers thus met every day at the pier, holding hands in the lovely new shelter.
Their love grew and grew and emotions free flew down a golden dream-oiled helter skelter.
Little could part them, not Ma nor his Dad, the 322 was the link
‘Til the day NAC acquired one point three million pounds, quite a lot you would think.
The String was no road for the timber loads which soon would thunder its length.
It had to be free from all traffic you see, so the workers could improve its strength.
They open the gate from seven to eight and again in the evening an hour.
The queue forms at Glenloig but the timing is vague and the driver’s expressions so sour.
There is no 322 to take you through you must go by Whiting Bay.
But make no mistake, just bring a flask and some cake for the journey takes most of the day.
The errand at Duchess Court Shops wouldn’t do, with Ma now smelling a rat.
She soon found Mary some cleaning to do in her cash earning holiday flat.
Mary near died, but Jamie just sighed and looked to the east for a girl.
With the island divided, he wisely decided to give Brodick lasses a whirl.
So the end of this tale is that when the roads fail, the council must do what it must.
And if love’s young dream comes apart at the seam. Well who said that life is just?