City Voices were delighted to be invited to participate at Middleport Pottery on Saturday September 12th, as part of the local 'Heritage Weekend'. The weather that day was a game of two halves, with torrential rain during the morning threatening to keep the crowds away. Well, it did not! A "Poetry Cafe" held at the event was attended by favourable crowds despite the weather, and were rewarded by sunshine in the afternoon. Visitors were most interested in what City Voices were doing, and only too pleased to hear poems written and performed by Anita Oxford, Paul Williamson and Derek Payne. City Voices poets were suitably dressed for the occasion and proceedings were overseen by Chairman Alan Barnett (above) who took the part of the factory inspector. A whole coach load of visitors arrived from a trip to Etruria Industrial Museum, many of whom it seemed were once singers, writers and poets in their own right, and were very interested in what our writers group had to offer. City Voices and Middleport pottery hope that there will be many more opportunities like this to entertain the general public. A good day out was had by all, as you will see from our photographs and samples of the poetry.
Our founder Paul Williamson as the driver of the horse and cart that at one time was the method of delivery for the potteryware. The canals and later the railways took over - with much less breakages!
£5 to spend at a jumble sale
I’ve got five pounds to spend,
I won it on the lottery.
Should I save it or invest it?
I could buy a piece of pottery.
I think I’ll go to Middleport,
there will be bargains there, I’m sure;
cups and plates, pictures too,
fancy goods and much, much more.
I’ll get my coat and hat
and take a walk down town.
The factory shop is where I’ll head,
Oh dear, it’s pouring down!
It’s far too wet for me to go,
I’ll stay at home instead.
I’ll put more coal upon the fire,
and make a cuppa before bed.
©Anita Oxford October 2012
Fifty seven miners who died in a pit disaster over seven decades ago will again be commemorated at a special service.
The memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Church in Burslem on the first Sunday of January 2016.
The miners died following a massive explosion 800 yards (731 metres) underground early on January 1, 1942.
Fifty-five men and boys were killed immediately, with two more dying of their injuries in hospital. Friends and relatives of the victims have gathered each year to remember their loved ones.
In addition to this years' service, Father Brian Williams has kindly given permission for a play to be performed in the church, as part of the service. The play, which was written by City Voices member and founder Paul Williamson, tells the story of the disaster and the terrible
night-long vigil held by the women of Sneyd as they waited for news. The play will be acted by members of City Voices, and rehearsals have been under way for some time, with input from Father Brian.
Paul was born and bred in the Potteries - it is in his blood. He has in the past written and produced plays, biographies, and a folk drama of poems, prose and songs.
Paul's play "The Heroes of Sneyd" is a piece of work written from the heart. After the Memorial Day the play will be performed at other, local venues. I am sure it will find an appreciative audience. City Voices salute Paul for all the hard work he has put in to writing and producing the scripts. Paul will no doubt say that it was a labour of love, and that he is honoured to pay tribute to the men and boys who died supporting the war effort by working down the pit on New Years day.
This month's page (July) is in keeping with the "silly season" and is random! I have asked CV members for poems on any subject, just for fun! So far I have posted five poems, all very different.
I am absolutely thrilled to say that two of my poems have been chosen to appear in this anthology, published by Offa’s Press. I have to admit that I sent them right on the deadline and not expect to hear anything! The launch of the anthology will be at 7pm on Wednesday the 21st October at Hanley (City Central) Library. More details nearer the time, or go to the Offa’s Press website www.offaspress.co.uk/
NB - Offa's Press recently ran an event called City Voices - please note that Offa's Press have no connection with City Voices Creative Writers Group - the two are completely independent.