It’s Christmas 2006, and Ye Olde Kings Head, Horsham’s only town centre hotel, has been closed for two years. (Regrettably, the apostrophe has been missing for even longer.) When a small group of strangely dressed characters slipped this note, addressed to the Editor of the local newspaper, into my hand, I felt obliged to pass it on.
We three kings of Orien Tar,
Bearing gifts, have come from afar;
And with no GPS we were following a star
When it stopped at Hop Oast! We abandoned the car,
Having spotted a bus which said “Free Park and Ride
To Horsham and back”. So we scrambled inside
Feeling sure ’twas the place we had sought far and wide;
But we got to the Carfax, and broke down and cried.
We had hoped we’d find shepherds who’d got there before us,
Who’d tell of bright beings in angelic chorus;
But sadly it seems that the wrong star was o’er us,
And now we are stuck, for there’s nothing here for us.
Our travels have led us through thick and through thin;
Now, hungry and weary, our heads in a spin,
We questioned a local who said, with a grin,
“Don’t try the Kings Head, there’s no room at that inn”.
So we’re leaving this town, but we felt we must write:
Your shops and your streets are attractive and bright;
But where can three Kings lay their Heads overnight,
If not at the Kings Head? Sir, that is our plight.