Walkley History

News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.

Walkley Remembered Poetry Workshop

Walkley Community Centre ~ Saturday 12th October 2013

Around the Appleyard Room were photos and maps, prints of campaign leaflets and posters, excerpts from oral histories. We gathered there from as far as the next county, as near as the next street, to brew poetry from this material.

Barbara and Hugh look at Walkley's map of relatives

Barbara and Hugh look at Walkley’s map of relatives

After exploring the history, getting its drift, making mental and written notes, we settled round the table for exercises and discussion. We read poetry by Ted Hughes, Miroslav Holub, Tony Harrison and others; and through the morning found ways of reimagining lives lived in Walkley of several decades ago, as well in our own childhoods.

The group consisted of historians, poets and Walkley residents with first hand experience of the clearances. During lunchtime everyone worked on a piece of writing from the morning.

Writing up their initial drafts (clockwise): Nell, Julie, Tony, Chris, Andrew and Lynn

Writing up their initial drafts (clockwise): Nell, Julie, Tony, Chris, Andrew and Lynn

Even when it was about other places, the writing was keenly focused by the Walkley stories – Sarah’s deft and conscientious editing of “Memories of a Close-Knit Community” made it a particularly fertile section of the displayed material.

In the afternoon first drafts were passed around for the group to offer response and advice. From Nell we heard of a leaf that tastes of vinegar, from Tony of balaclavas and Radio Luxemburg; a teatime ritual was closely observed by Chris, and from Andrew: Saturn’s rings from our back yard. Barbara took us to the wash house, the Picture Palace and the slipper baths, Hugh showed us the big gear lined up on Daniel Hill, and Julie told of rubble buried deep.  Lynn’s poem emerged and fledged on the day, you can read it here with others posted in the meantime.  We look forward to more poetry arriving.

Andrew, Lynn, Hugh and Fay pass poetry around the table

Andrew, Lynn, Hugh and Fay pass poetry around the table

For information on future writing and drama events, please enquire by using the website’s contact form

Thanks to Angelina for photographs of the workshop.

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Otley Street 1970s  Alan Philpotts

Otley Street 1970s Alan Philpotts

This workshop is designed to find the poetry stored in our responses to the history that surrounds us. Browse the findings of Walkley History Project’s focus on slum clearance and its resistance in the 1970s – study maps and photographs, dip into memories and campaign literature – then enjoy inventive writing exercises, followed by an afternoon of workshopping first drafts, led by local poet Fay Musselwhite.

Saturday 12th October               
10am – 4pm
The Appleyard Room, Walkley Community Centre, 7a Fir Street, Walkley

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DAY’S ORDER OF PROGRESS

MORNING

·   Coffee or tea – looking at maps, photos, campaign literature, and selected passages from oral histories

·   Introductions

·   Poetry: reading and writing – discussion and exercises

·   Coffee or tea – another chance to explore the history

·   Poetry: reading and writing – discussion and exercises

LUNCH

·   Bring it, buy it on South Road, or your Gerties order will soon arrive

·   Write up something from the morning into an initial draft for the afternoon session

AFTERNOON

·   Share your work – each draft receives constructive comment from the group

Burgoyne Road 1981

Burgoyne Road 1981

Suitable for all levels of fluency

You will need to bring paper and pens

NO LUNCH will be provided but we can take your order from Gerties Café lunch menu, and fetch it by lunchtime for you

Free – but must be booked. Please use the booking form below

Later you may like to contribute your poetry to the Walkley History Project

Ruskin Park's lost streets reappear after 40 years

Ruskin Park’s lost streets reappear after 40 years

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About Bill Bevan

Bill Bevan is an archaeologist, writer, photographer and heritage interpreter.

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2013 by in Events, News.
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