Newcastle Civic Centre

Fortiter Defendit Triumphans



Distracted momentarily

the Saturday shoppers gaze

skywards to the carillon’s

copper clad tower.


Tinkling Tyneside melodies

waft on the breeze

whilst heraldic sea horses

look upwards and outwards.


On weekdays

workforce and dignitaries

cross her Rosso marbled portals

and flow through her majestic interior.


Their city is protected

by the River God Tyne.

His muscular bronze presence

is sombre yet exhilarating.


Imagine flames flickering

from nine flambeaux

whose sculptor was inspired

by the Tar Bar’l ceremony at his Allendale home.


In the courtyard

five interlinked swans

prepare to take flight,

welded in hope and harmony.


From the airy colonnade

a President with a twinkle in his eye

shouted ‘Howay the lads’,

proclaiming goodwill and unity.


We joined that jubilant Geordie cavalcade

promoting the force of friendship.



When Heather retired she enrolled on a short creative writing course, Ageing Creatively, run by Newcastle University. At the end of the 10 weeks, several of the participants continued meeting, becoming The Sixth Floor. She enjoys writing about her native Northumberland and recording family memories.