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, 28th March - 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.

Mirth and Verse - a book of poetry by Johnny CrookIn early 2019, marking another stage of his creative journey, Johnny Crook had his very first book of poems published - My Tinnitus Created Mirth and Verse: a collection of poetry that Johnny wrote to distract him from the discomfort brought by his tinnitus. Watch out for news and other publications on Johnny's Author House webpage.

You can also now listen to Johnny online as he hosts 'Johnny C's Poetry Corner', Wednesday afternoons 2-3pm on local community radio station Howfen Radio.

Poem of the Month

IF YOU LEND ME YOUR EARS

If you lend me your ears,
Then all that you hear,
Words sublime,
I've made it my career,
For I will make sure,
You shed no tears,
For my poems will melt,
All of your fears,
Hopefully giving you,
Something to cheer.

by Johnny Crook (2018)

Download

Previous 'Poems of the Month'

Nativity by Ted Morgan (2018) | Autumn (2015) | You May Like To (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

Music

Useful Links

Community Events

  • Art Group Exhibition
    From 7 to 31 Mar
    Westhoughton Library (upstairs) *FREE*
    Public exhibition of artwork from Westhoughton Art Group as local artists show off their work. Range of styles & high quality work. Exhibition runs to end of month. Some artwork available for purchase.
  • Lent & Easter 2019
    6 Mar to 21 Apr
    CoE Churches, Westhoughton Parish
    Beginning Ash Wednesday (6th March), Lent and Easter are busy times for our community Churches. There is a 'Lent Course' at St. John's. Exhibitions at St. Bart's (1st-5th April). Services open to all throughout period. Easter Weekend - 19th/21st April.
  • Great British Spring Clean
    Community Litter Picks…
    Sat 23 Mar (11am) - Eatock Lodge (LNR)
    Sun 30 Mar (2pm) - Daisy Hill (SJC)
    Local Friends' groups organising litter picks to tidy up streets and parks ahead of warmer weather. Chance to do some good. Families welcome! Equipment provided.
  • GMSF v2 Planning Consultation
    8-week consultation (ends 18 Mar) on revised GMSF. Proposed development of housing, industry and infrastructure to 2037.
    Documents (GMCA).
  • Community Police
    Informal, confidential drop-ins held by Pcsos, chance to discuss local issues, seek advice on security & crime prevention.
    WH Market: Thurs 21 Mar (12-1pm)
    John Holt: Tues 26 Mar (9:30-11:00am)
    The HUB: Mon 1 Apr (7-8pm)
    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
  • 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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