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, 26th 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

IS THERE A PLACE

Your Town Crier is out in full bloom,
Is There A Place
Is there a place in the sky,
Where secrets go to hide,
Is there a place in hell,
Where evil constantly dwells,
Is there a place in your heart,
Where romance be given a start,
I want a place in my mind,
Where sweet dreams I constantly find.

by Johnny Crook (2015)

Download

Previous 'Poems of the Month'

70 Years N.H.S. by Johnny Crook (2018) | A Patient Reader by Johnny Crook (2018) | Can We by Johnny Crook 2015) | Why Am I Here by Ann Robinson (2015) | Autumn by Johnny Crook (2015) | Halloween by Johnny Crook (2015) | My Only Wish by Johnny Crook (2016) | My Time As A Town Crier by Johnny Crook (2016) | 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)


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

Music

Useful Links

Community Events

  • Yarn Bombing Weekend
    Sat/Sun 14/15 July
    Town Centre / Other Locations
    Crafters and knitters decorating Market Street and Ditchfield Gardens with colourful yarn displays. Events at Market inc. performance by Travellin' Strings. Also John Holt Centre & Daisy Hill station
  • Washacre Summer Fair
    Sat 14 July (11:30-4:30)
    John Holt Centre (BL5 2NR)
    Popular annual summer fair and fundraiser organised by Friends of Washacre. Games and activities for children, stalls and entertainment.
  • Pre-season Friendly
    Sat 14 July (3:00pm) *CALLED OFF*
    New Sirs (BL5 2EB)
    First pre-season game for Daisy Hill FC (The Cutters). Friendly v Charnock Richard. £3 adults / £2 concession. Support your local team. .
  • Festival of Ageing
    2 to 15 July
    Free taster events for the over-50s across Gtr Manchester, with events in Westhoughton organised by Senior Solutions. Health, leisure, new interests, learning, volunteering. Info Page.
  • Community Police
    Informal, confidential drop-ins held by Pcsos, chance to discuss local issues, seek advice on security & crime prevention.
    John Holt: Tues 17, 31 July (9:30-11:00am)
    WH Market: Thurs 12 July (12-1pm)
    Information about
  • Barking Berry's Fun Dog Show
    6th Fund Dog Show took place on Central Park (16/6) with its mix of competition, stalls, attractions. Very good turn out… £2,030 raised, with £550 each going to chosen animal charities - Care For The Paw, Dogs Trust Merseyside, Harley's Heroes and Rochdale Dog Rescue.
    info
  • 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. 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. Updated programme.
    More...
  • George Formby Society
    Wed 25 July (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 26 July (from 2pm)
    Get poetic - budding Wordsworth or Pam Ayres? - monthly mtg of creative writing group. Newcomers welcome. Contribute or just listen. Free.
  • St. James DH 'Open Doors'
    Sat, 28 July (10am-12pm)
    Chance to visit church last Saturday of month for coffee, chat, contemplation. Learn about community facility plans and concert series. Book stall.
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