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.

Update (4/1/17): After a brief hiatus, 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 is starting again in the new year at Westhoughton Library from January, then the last Thursday in the month… Next meet-up - Thursday, 27th July - 2:00 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!

Poem of the Month

MY TIME AS A 'TOWN CRIER' (2016)

So yes I did with doubting mind,
Don that outfit of grand design,
Clutching bell and rolled up scroll,
Walked the streets and looked so bold,
I rang my bell and read my words,
To one and all,
My fellow Howfeners,
Smiling faces did greet me,
I played my part,
With zest and glee,
The sun did shine,
Most of the time,
So my town crier acting,
Was so sublime.

by Johnny Crook (2016)

Previous 'Poems of the Month'

A Book Of War Poems by Johnny Crook (2017) | If Poetry Be The Food of Love by Johnny Crook (2017) | The Starling by Johnny Crook (2015) | Happy New Year by Johnny Crook (2016) | Christmas Day by Johnny Crook (2015) | And As The Poet by Johnny Crook (2016) | Robin by Johnny Crook (2015) | Tinnitus by Johnny Crook (2008)


Westhoughton Town Crier, Johnny Crook Town Crier

WPG leader, Johnny Crook, took on duties of Town Crier during the summer of 2016 adding a touch of colour, tradition, and street poetry and verse to the June Westhoughton Yarn Bombing Festival. Such was the success that Johnny has been asked to attend other events, even as far away as the East Lancashire Railway. For information about the services of the Town Crier for community events get in touch.

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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Useful Links

Community Events

  • WOW - Body Shop Fundraiser
    Thurs, 20 July (7:30pm)
    Hope Community Centre, Central Drive
    Fundraising evening 'Body Shop at Home' in aid of Target Ovarian Cancer Charity. Pampering bargains, fun and games with ladies from WOW (Women of Westhoughton). £3 - inc refreshments.
  • George Formby Society
    Wed 26 July (from 7:30pm)
    Mercury Bolton, Manchester Road (BL5 3JP)
    Free. Fans of George Formby and the ukulele gather to talk, play and be entertained. Last Wed every month.
  • Westhoughton Poetry Group
    Thurs 27 July (from 2pm)
    Westhoughton Library
    Get poetic - budding Wordsworth or Pam Ayres? - monthly mtg of creative writing group. Newcomers welcome. Contribute or just listen. Free. Info & Contact.
  • Lionsfest 2017
    Sat 12 Aug (11am - 9pm)
    The Den, Cunningham Road (BL5 2AN)
    Westhoughton Rugby League Club all-day community event with attractions, music, stalls, food, bar… a day of family-fun and community at The Den.
  • Friends of Westhoughton Station
    Now meet every Sunday from 10am
    Volunteer group cleaning up and improving Westhoughton Station for local commuters. Excellent progress. All welcome.
    More...
    . Finalists 'Community Rail Awards' 2015. Town Council 'Certificate of Achievement'. Recent clean-up
  • Hope Community Centre
    Central Drive
    Updated 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. new 2017 programme.
    More...
  • Community Police
    Informal, confidential drop-ins held by Pcsos, chance to discuss local issues, seek advice on security & crime prevention.
    Info.
    WH Market: Thurs 10 Aug (12-1pm)
    John Holt Centre: Tues 15 & 29 Aug (9:30-11:30am)
Westhoughton Community Network @wcn_ on Twitter