Westhoughton Community Network

group for and run by community groups in Westhoughton

Westhoughton Poetry Group

About Us

The group was set up by retired police officer, John Crook. John was suffering from Tinnitus and was struggling with a way to cope with it; creativity, and in John's case, writing and poetry was one way of dealing with it. John's first poem 'Tinnitus' (below).

A few years ago, John went looking for a local poetry group at Westhoughton Library, to be told there wasn't one! Inspiring him to set one up himself. The library staff have been very helpful, making available space on the upper floor, and having given the fledgeling group a regular slot of 2pm on the last Thursday of the month; posters were put up to try to attract some like-minded people, who had a love of poetry and some free time…

At the moment the group is relatively small with a core few who attend each meeting. People come to read or hear existing poetry (Wordworth, Auden, Yates, Frost…); some of the group are published poets in their own right and will attend and read out their latest compositions.

During the 1½ hour session, there is discussion of favourite poets and poems, and any outings and cultural experiences in between the meetings. No pretensions, just the joy of the written word - the use of language, the rhythm, the imagery, the prose…

Some members have never written any poetry and just want to hear some poetry read out loud. Like music, a poem can be performed and can produce an emotional reaction. Some meetings are themed, and the group can choose - sometimes these themes will set in motion the creative process and new works will be the result.

After a brief hiatus in 2016, with an alternative group being set up and meeting at Bolton Central Library (Le Mans Crescent) the first Monday in the month (from 2pm) in the main central area, Westhoughton Poetry Group returned to Westhoughton Library early in 2017, meeting afternoons on the last Thursday of the month.

Next meet-up - Thursday, 29th November - 2:00pm to 3:30pm.

Community

As the group develops and word spreads, opportunities arise for involvement in community activities. In 2015, as part of National Poetry Day, five local schools had presentations, after which, pupils were given an opportunity to write a poem about the day. A great success - some 300 poems were submitted to Westhoughton Poetry Group for judging. A further event, organised by the Schools' Liaison Officer, was put on with entertainment and the presentation of certificates to the competition winners. Great to see creativity encouraged! Johnny is a regular guest reciting his verse at Senior Solutions social events and OAP Residents' Homes.

With a first book of published poetry in the offing, you can now listen to Johnny online as he hosts 'Johnny C's Poetry Corner' on Howfen Radio Wednesdays 2-3pm.

Poem of the Month

AUTUMN

The autumn leaves,
Do salute the trees,
And bid a fond farewell,
As do the weakest branches and twigs,
As kindling
On forest floor they now dwell,
The golden colour brief lingering,
A treat for all to see,
Fear not for your meanderings,
For in spring you will see,
A forest floor that’s ready more,
A show that is for free.

by Johnny Crook (2015)

Download

Previous 'Poems of the Month'

You My Like To You May Like (2018) | The Fire On Winter Hill (Part 2) | Is There A Place (2018) | 70 Years N.H.S. (2018) | A Patient Reader (2018) | Can We 2015) | Why Am I Here by Ann Robinson (2015) | Autumn (2015) | Halloween (2015) | My Only Wish (2016) | My Time As A Town Crier (2016) | A Book Of War Poems (2017) | If Poetry Be The Food of Love (2017) | The Starling (2015) | Happy New Year (2016) | Christmas Day (2015) | And As The Poet (2016) | Robin (2015) | Tinnitus (2008)

Poems written by Johnny Crook (The Howfen Bard) unless stated.


Town Crier

Westhoughton Town Crier, Johnny Crook Westhoughton Poetry Group leader, Johnny Crook, took on duties of Town Crier during the summer of 2016, and now adds a touch of colour, tradition, and street poetry and verse to local events including Westhoughton Yarn Bombing Festivals, School Fayres, community group special events and AGMS. In full regalia with his trusty scroll for his verse, the Town Crier has become a popular addition to the Westhoughton scene. He has even been asked to attend and open other events, such as at the East Lancashire Railway.

For information about the services of the Town Crier for community events get in touch, he is only too happy to help out, and can if required come up with a special poem for any occasion.

Getting in Touch

All are welcome to join the group - whether a poet or someone who just enjoys hearing poetry. We are a friendly group; it is always nice to see new faces.

The main contact is Johnny Crook - email | phone - 07867 747765.

Facebook: Westhoughton Poetry Group on Facebook Westhoughton Poetry Group | Twitter: John Crook - Westhoughton Poetry Group on Twitter @john4ann

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Participating Groups

Local Amenities

Photos & Videos

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Useful Links

Community Events

  • History Group Exhibition
    Now open! (Runs until year end)
    Westhoughton Library
    Coinciding with #Armistice100, new, fascinating and immersive exhibition: 'Westhoughton in the Wake of World War One' profiles post-war years - those lost, those returning, rebuilding after war years.
  • St. James DH 'Open Doors' and Concert
    Sat 24 Nov (10am-12pm)
    Chance to visit church last Saturday of month for coffee, chat, contemplation. Learn about community plans.
    Fri 30 Nov (7:30pm) - latest in St. James (Daisy Hill) Concert Series with a virtuoso Cello Duo performance. Tkts £8 (U16 free) inc refreshments. Pay on door.
  • Casino Evening
    Sat 24 Nov (7:00pm)
    Daisy Hill FC (New Sirs) (BL5 2EH)
    Join supporters, ex-players and friends of Daisy Hill FC for fundraising Casino Evening as Las Vegas comes to Westhoughton. Champagne reception. Bar, refreshments. Tkts £15.
  • Community Police
    Informal, confidential drop-ins held by Pcsos, chance to discuss local issues, seek advice on security & crime prevention.
    John Holt: Tues 20 Nov (9:30-11:00am)
    WH Market: Thurs 29 Nov (12-1pm)
    New regular evening session at Hub starting soon . Information about
  • Friends of Westhoughton Station
    Meeting Sundays from 10am, volunteer group undertake clean-up and ambient improvement work at Westhoughton Station benefiting local commuters. Excellent progress. Donation boxes at local shops.
    More...
    . Finalists 'Community Rail Awards' 2015. Town Council 'Certificate of Achievement'. Recent clean-up
  • George Formby Society
    Wed 28 Nov (from 7:30pm)
    Mercury Bolton, Manchester Road (BL5 3JP)
    Back from appearance at Royal Albert Hall before Queen. Fans of George Formby and the ukulele gather to talk, play and be entertained. Last Wed every month.
  • Westhoughton Poetry Group
    Thurs 29 Nov (from 2pm)
    Westhoughton Library
    Get poetic - budding Wordsworth or Pam Ayres? - monthly mtg of creative writing group. Newcomers welcome. Contribute or just listen. Free.
  • Hope Community Centre
    Central Drive
    Programme. Group activities and events; available for hire for community groups - also parties. 'Grub tub' available for Foodbank donations - 9:30am to 3pm on Mondays.
  • WOW! Women of Westhoughton
    Thursdays from 7:30pm
    Hope Centre (Central Drive) BL5 3DS
    Est. 2013, women's group for shared interests, talks, outings & social networking. Updated programme.
    More...
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