City Voices Creative Writers recently had another trip to Middleport Pottery (http://www.princes-regeneration.org/middleport-pottery/visit-us) and another opportunity to work with Beanstalk charity, and local schoolchildren. The rather terrifying lady with the handbag is Mrs Mould (aka Teresa Fox-Wells) who is reading from a Sherlock Holmes story, with the young students joining in a "read around". This followed on from a tour of the pottery and finished with a poetry workshop about the day's events. The weather was wintry outside, and even colder inside the bottle oven which is wonderful for atmospherics but not so good if you're a brass monkey. The kids did not seem to notice the cold which just shows how old some of us are getting.
Anita Oxford, myself and Paul Williamson ran a poetry workshop with local school children and their teachers. We strived for authentic period dress as pottery workers in Victorian times (well apart from my Doc Martens) Each of us read one of our pottery-related poems and helped the children write their own pieces based on key words they had noted that day on the pottery tour. There was good engagement and a few surprises when the working conditions and pay of the old time potters were explained to the young students who all produced some very good poetry.
Even in it's unfinished state, the beauty of the ware produced at Middleport shines through. It looked even more beautiful as finished cups and saucers, filled with hot tea and coffee. Very welcome in the cafe with hot buttered crumpets. A simple pleasure at the end of a chilly but rewarding day.