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, 30th November - 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

AUTUMN (2015)

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,
In spring you will see,
A forest floor that’s ready more,
A show that is for free.

by Johnny Crook (2015)

Previous 'Poems of the Month'

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)


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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Participating Groups

Local Amenities

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Useful Links

Community Events

  • St John's Wingates Christmas Fayre
    Sat 18 Nov (11-3)
    Early Bird Christmas Fair; entertainment from Travellin' Strings. Raffle, Tombola, Stalls, Face-painting, Prize draw, Children's Games… Refreshments. Free entry.
  • Barking Berry's Christmas Dog Show
    Lands Farm, Daisy Hill (BL5 2DU)
    Sat 25 Nov (11-3)
    Scarlett's fundraising (now >£32k) for animal charities continues with indoor pre-Christmas event. Stalls - festive goods for dogs/owners, info; Santa Paws visits! £1 entry/tin of dog food (kids free).
  • 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. Updated programme.
    More...
  • Wingates Band - Concert & News
    Our local brass band, now ranked 20th in the world, did a well-supported 'Best of British' concert at St. Bart's (Sat 21 Oct), and return to Westhoughton in November. Struggling financially and taking stock, band is grateful for recent support; including a WCN Fundraiser. More info and Supporters Club details here
  • George Formby Society
    Wed 29 Nov (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 30 Nov (from 2pm)
    Bolton Library (for NPD)
    Get poetic - budding Wordsworth or Pam Ayres? - monthly mtg of creative writing group. Newcomers welcome. Contribute or just listen. Free.
  • Community Police
    Informal, confidential drop-ins held by Pcsos, chance to discuss local issues, seek advice on security & crime prevention.
    Info.
    WH Market: Thurs
    John Holt Centre: Tues
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