Hertfordshire Guards Crest Image

A Song for Beds, Herts and Bucks

Watford Folk Club's songwriting competion entries of 2012


The Hertfordshire Guards

By Ray Owen

Ray Owen

To the other songs

Way to Go

The plans for the HS2 High speed railway 2012

The Banks of the Beane

The drying up of the River Beane over the last 50 years

The Great Ouse and the Colne

The story of the White family over 3 generations

The Hatter Girls

The Luton Hatting Industry 1610-1965

The Hertfordshire Guards

The third Battle of Ypres, (Passchendaele) July 1917

Chartists Ballot 1846

The Chartists Ballot of 1846


The last Highwayman hanged in England 1761-1802

Begone! The Witch of Walkern

The trial of Jane Wenham 1712

The Headless Horseman

The headless horseman of Pirton

Destined to lie with the King

The story of William Dormer of Wing

St Alban

St Alban - Martyred 22 June 209, c.251 or 304 ?

Other Links

Old Time Tim

To Tim Brooks' Home Page

     On the banks of The Beane
     George and I we go walking
     The crystal clear water
     It makes our hearts sing
     Where the swallows swoop low
     George runs to and fro
     Scaring pheasant and partridge away
     Kingfishers and otters at play

                       But it's a dream for the river is gone
                       From Old Hall to Cromer
                       We can't hear its song
                       And at Walkern the mill
                       It stands very still
                       As it grieves for the old River Beane.

      On the banks of The Beane George and I we go walking,
      Bright sun on the water,insects on the wing.
      As I cast my line out
      To a basking brown trout,
      A heron looks on in disdain,...
      As I hopefully cast out again.

                        But it's a dream for the river is gone
                        From Walkern to Aston we can't hear its song
                        And at White Hall we cry for they're pumping it dry
                        Yes, they're draining the old River Beane.

      On the banks of The Beane George and I we go walking
      Past broken old willows collapsed in despair
      No swallows swoop low
      As George runs to and fro
      No pheasant or partridge to scare
      For the wild life it just isn't there

                        But we still dream though the river is gone
                        From White Hall to Watton we can't hear its song
                        Then at Hertford we see where it joins with The Lee
                        All that's left of the old River Beane.

      And the best we can tell
      OFWAT say go to hell
      Because it's cheap you can weep for your dream
      Say farewell to the old River Beane


Words and melody copyright © 2012 Blue Harbour

About Blue Harbour

Jim Coombes and Phil Hewett play together as 'Blue Harbour'. After a walk along the dried up river bed Jim suggested they write a song about it. 'The Banks of the Beane' is the result.

'The Banks of The Beane' is being used on a film which is currently being made about the river Beane by The University of Hertfordshire. The will be a link to it from this site when it is completed.

About this Song

'The Banks of The Beane' is a protest song.

The Beane is a chalk river the course of which passes close to where Phil lives, and he acts as a volunteer warden for a stretch where he regularly walks his dog. However, this stretch, together with most of the upper Beane is now dry because too much water is pumped from the natural underground reservoir which feeds it. The water is supplied to Stevenage and the surrounding area. There are alternatives, but The Beane is the cheapest source.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is campaigning to have The Beane, and other rivers like it, restored. They say that chalk rivers like The Beane are small in number and provide a habitat which is so unique that they are of international importance. They liken their destruction to the destruction of the rain forest, yet OFWAT have so far blocked any plans to reduce water usage.