Ode to bus station’s ‘beauty’

Bus Station Bard: Rebecca Ward-Dooley
Bus Station Bard: Rebecca Ward-Dooley
Share this article
Have your say

An epitaph to Preston’s under-threat bus station has been penned by a poet touched by its ‘brutal beauty’.

Rebecca Ward-Dooley, 33, of Stanley Grove, Penwortham, wrote the ode after hearing news that it could soon be demolished because Preston Council cannot afford the £23 million refurbishment costs.

Landmark: Preston Bus Station

Landmark: Preston Bus Station

The six stanza poem, which compares the Brutalist structure to a woman with ‘ample curves’, has been included as part of an art scheme, called Left In Preston.

The idea is to anonymously leave artwork in public places for other people to enjoy. Mrs Ward-Dooley left her poem in Brucciani’s cafe in Fishergate.

The mum-of-two, who also writes poetry for blogs said: “When I was younger I thought the bus station was a sinister place. I used to run through it because I found it frightening late at night.

“But as I’ve grown up, I’ve started to think of it differently.

“Perhaps looking at it as a building, maybe it’s not fit for purpose, but as a piece of architecture, it’s great.

“It’s vast and unique and very curvaceous, which is why I’ve given it a female form in the poem.

“We don’t have a lot of very unique buildings in Preston, it’s all we have left in terms of landmarks.

“It would be terribly sad if it goes and Preston is made into another grey, uniform, northern town.”

Mrs Ward-Dooley, who works for the charity Parkinsons UK, said she found writing the poem therapeutic, while on a Christmas break in Northumberland.

She has used allusions to love, weddings and fashion to give the impression of the building as a wronged woman whose life and legacy is in danger.

The poem:

Brutal beauty,

Your ample curves reach up to the sky and flirt with the clouds.

Why were you placed here, where no-one would ever love you?

Where your brutal heart would be hollowed out and filled with decay, grease and pee.

Brutal beauty,

Countless engines run from inside you,

Flooding the city with a heart beat; with life.

But they made your own heart a ticking bomb.

Brutal beauty,

You have seen everything through your concrete veil.

But through the rise and fall and broken promises,

You have always remained faithful.

Brutal beauty,

Your dress is the wrong colour,

Your shape is unfashionable,

You are old.

You do not fit this town anymore.

Brutal beauty!

Now they whisper behind your back and make plans to destroy you.

They will tear you apart, drag your entrails out and grind up your bones.

The engines that once coarsed through your veins will flatten your grave.

You will no longer be spoken of.

Farewell, brutal beauty.