Cyclist turns to poetry to thank the strangers who came to his aid after accident (From The Advertiser Series)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Alan Thompson, from West Auckland, uses poetry to thank Butterknowle Samaritans
Updated 3:49pm Wednesday 26th March 2014 in By Helen Russell, Reporter (Wear Valley)
A CYCLIST has turned poet to express his gratitude to the unknown good Samaritans who helped him following an accident.
Pensioner Alan Thompson, from West Auckland, was cycling through Butterknowle on July 7 last year when he began to feel unwell.
He dismounted from his bike and was looking for somewhere to sit and rest until he felt better, when he lost his balance and fell over - landing face-first on the road, in the path of oncoming traffic.
Two men came to his aid and called for emergency services, while a woman from a nearby bungalow brought out an exercise mat for him to lie on, before another person brought a chair out for him.
The group kept Mr Thompson talking while waiting for medical help to arrive.
He was treated at the scene by a paramedic for minor injuries, including grazes to his nose and chin, but declined a precautionary visit to the hospital as he felt well enough to go home.
Meanwhile, a passing builder stopped and offered to take Mr Thompson and his bike back to his West Auckland home.
Mr Thompson, who quickly recovered, has now written a poem entitled Butterknowle the Road to Damascus Sunday 7th July 2013, which he has submitted for display in Butterknowle Village Hall - as a tribute to those who came to his aid.
In it, Mr Thompson expresses his praise for the strangers and says he blesses them every night for their kindness and compassion.
“This is just a way of saying thank you to them," he said.
“I dropped a copy of the poem into the village hall because maybe it will be passed on to the people who helped me.
“It is just a bit of a tribute to them.”
The poem is available to view on the Butterknowle Village Hall Facebook page.
Butterknowle the Road to Damascus Sunday 7th July 2013
My faith in human nature of late,
Has faded to say the least,
With muggings, molestings and murders in spate,
Goodness seems almost deceased.
Then one day while cycling through Butterknowle,
Or was it the road to Damascus?
Although to think of myself as St Paul
Would be far too much to ask us.
So that was me a-pedalling along,
Thoughtless, happy and free,
When all of a sudden out of the blue,
A weakness came over me.
I managed to get off my bike to look
For somewhere to rest I suppose.
But I lost all control and so I fell,
Full length on my nose on the road.
I lay there exposed to the traffic,
I couldn't get onto my feet,
"There's no-one about", I said to myself,
"Now this is really neat".
I knew that I was in danger,
I felt it would only take time,
Then I heard the voice of a stranger,
And I sensed that all would be fine.
The shape of a man bent over me,
And spoke to another nearby,
Who then appeared in my vision,
From the corner of my eye.
In short they sent for an ambulance,
And helped me across to some grass,
A lady emerged from a bungalow,
And brought a pilates mat.
Someone then brought me a chair,
On which I sat like a star,
And there they stood and talked to me,
'Till a medic came in a car.
He checked me thoroughly over,
And I appeared fine,
He said he'd take me to hospital,
An offer I said I'd decline.
Then the second man I glimpsed from the road,
Said he'd store my bike for me,
And two was the number of his abode,
By beautiful copper beech tree.
A magpie there was like a spirit guide,
Who brought those angels to me,
For I've always thought there's more to life,
Than you or I can see.
And then a builder's van pulled up,
With a man I'd briefly known,
And said he'd take both my bike and me,
Back to my Spring Gardens home.
I believe in guardian angels,
One for each who ought,
To hover invisibly over us,
And guide every action and thought.
But those Butterknowle ones so human and real,
Commit their lives to do right,
So I gratefully praise them every day,
And bless them every night.
When I was a child I was confirmed,
To Jesus I would innocently pray,
But I grew up and started to read,
Then Darwinian sciences had their say.
My knowledge of evolution,
Eroded my childhood trust,
And I began to wonder,
If God was really a must.
For years I stood undecided,
Upon the dark crossroads of doubt,
Until those marvellous Butterknowle folk,
Lit the way and sorted me out.
I'm sure the Almighty set it all up.
'Cos after my fall I could tell,
I was in the hands of the Master,
And everything worked out so well.