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RBW Online ISSUE 224

Date: 17th February 2012

Words Exercises Assignments Fiction Projects Events Workshops Thoughts Your Pages Poetry News Items

What others say about RBW Workers’ Playtime oral history project: “We all really enjoyed the talk, and enjoyed reading the books, and passing them on to friends. Oral history is such a valuable source of evidence. It’s the everyday events which need to be recorded, even more than the big deal events, which are well recorded anyway. We wish you all well with your project, and thank you for visiting us.” Carers Association Southern Staffordshire


Thoughts & Quotes ... Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in. ~ Abraham Lincoln ~ America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~ President Abraham Lincoln Patriotism is in political life what faith is in religion. ~ Lord Acton 'Nationality', in The Home & Foreign Review (1862) A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Dwight D. Eisenhower, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953 Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Samuel Johnson, April 7, 1775, in conversation with a numerous company. Firsthand report by James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson Vol. 2, (1791). Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy. George Bernard Shaw, reported in Norman Thomas et al., eds., The World Tomorrow (1934), p. 401. You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it. Malcolm X Why is it the Mongols of this world always tell us they're defending us against the Mongols? Edward Whittemore, Nile Shadows (1983) Aristocracy and exclusiveness tend to final overthrow, in language as in politics. W. D. Whitney, Language and the Study of Language: Twelve Lectures on the Principles of Linguistic Science (1868) Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive. Attributed to William F. Buckley, Jr. by Jonathon Green, The Cynics' Lexicon: A Dictionary of Amoral Advice (1984) , Political institutions are a superstructure resting on an economic foundation. Nikolai Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism (1913), p. 5. An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought. Attributed to Simon Cameron by Allen Johnson, Chronicles of America Series, Yale University Press, 1918. POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. ~ Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary POLITICS, n. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. ~ Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton, letter to Mandell Creighton, April 1887. Reprinted in John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, Essays on Freedom and Power, 1949, Boston:The Beacon Press, p. 364 A thief is more moral than a congressman; when a thief steals your money, he doesn't demand you thank him. ~ Walter Williams In Switzerland, 500 years of democracy and peace. And what does it produce? The cuckoo clock. ~ Graham Greene, The Third Man Socialism needs democracy like the human body needs oxygen. ~ Leon Trotsky Democracy is more dangerous than fire. Fire can't vote itself immune to water. ~ Michael Z. Williamson Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates. Gore Vidal, "Gods and Greens" (1989), in A View from the Diner's Club (1991) Because democracy is not a spectator sport. ~ US presidential election slogan, Democrats (2004) Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. H. L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949) The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda against democracy. Alex Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 1997, University of Illinois Press, ch. 2 The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it. ~ Edward Dowling, Editor and Priest, Chicago Daily News (28 July 1941) Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Winston Churchill, The Official Report, House of Commons (5th Series), 11 November 1947, vol. 444, cc. 206–07. Votes count, but resources decide ~ Stein Rokkan Issue 224 Page 2

Source material: Wikiquote


disco ball n A mirrored sphere designed to slowly rotate while suspended from the ceiling. jubilantly adv With jubilation or triumph.. hogan n A one-room Navajo dwelling or ceremonial lodge. piecemeal adv Piece by piece; in small amounts, stages, or degrees. Into pieces or parts..

Wikipedia image

with bated breath adv (idiomatic) Eagerly; with great anticipation. ursine adj Of, or relating to, bears. Having the appearance or characteristics of a bear. piping hot adj (idiomatic) Very hot; origins of adjective may relate to Chaucer‟s Canterbury Tales nebulously adv (idiomatic) Vaguely, without clear purpose or specific intention. In a manner like that of a cloud or haze. As if viewed through a cloud or haze.

LIFE OBSERVATIONS There’s a difference between ‘cleaning-out’ and moving things around Hoarding is more difficult to control as people get older and have more memories to hold on to. Customer service is a thing of the past. There’s something really comforting about using honey to flavour lemon tea. This has all happened before ... when there are 16 applicants for every vacancy flipping burgers it can only mean the slippery slope towards a global depression is gaining in incline. History shows that all things pass eventually ... it is ‘how’ they passed previously which is the most worrying aspect. A world economy run on the vagaries of ‘market forces’ is a joke. Friendly blackbirds picked out all the nuts from the bird feeder. There are signs of spring coming. It’s difficult to leave Grandkids when they want to love you. Does aging mean you get older, smaller and dustier?

ASSIGNMENT: School memories(400 words) Random Words: unanimous, untimely, playful, book, down, stirrup, dream, Josephine, empire(150 words) Issue 224 Page 3

Don’t forget the cryptic clues ... 20 words. (please enclose answer)


POETRY AT THE FILM THEATRE College Rd, Stoke, ST4 2EF Wednesday, 4th April, 2012, 7pm - 10pm Jo Bell, Peter Branson and John Lindley, with Roger Elkin, W. Terry Fox, Gill McEvoy, Andrew Rudd, „Trentvale Poet‟, Phil Williams, John Williams & Joy Winkler plus „open mic.‟ and music from „Parish Lantern‟ and „Roaring Owls‟ Drinks available from 7pm and during the interval. Tickets: £4.00 For ticket info, contact: p_branson@sky.com or 01270 883410 or just send a cheque, (pay „Poetry at the Film Theatre‟), to: „Poetry at the Film Theatre‟, c/o Peter Branson, „Ash House‟, 226 Sandbach Rd, Rode Heath, Nr Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 3SB (Your reserved tickets will be available at the box office from 7pm.) All ticket proceeds to Cystic Fibrosis

Random words CMH “Goodbye, see you soon!” Angela called as she waved from her doorstep at the departing figures. “Like heckers I will.” she said, Soto voce, as the mists swallowed her visitors. “The next time will be at the end of the universe. Your universe if I‟ve anything to do with it.” She was turning around when another figure loomed out of the mists. “Hi Angel!” he called. “They‟ve gone, then. Good! I really don‟t trust them. I mean a hedonistic Dalek? Oh well, I suppose it‟s one more to add to your collection of odd-balls. Now, you must promise me that you‟ll restrict your activities to lady-like things. Thing like collecting the heads of your enemies and drinking their blood while they‟re still alive.” “Spoil sport! You always want to stop me doing thing I like. Mind you, I don‟t like those Daleks anyway. The blood tastes funny. Probably because it‟s green.” “You could be right there dear. Web time then. It‟ll soon be broad daylight and I feel sleepy.”

Steph‟s FREE poetry e-chapbook is now published on www.issuu.com/risingbrookwriters and on RBW main site

http://www.risingbrookwriters.org.uk/DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=52 The chapbook is illustrated by some of her original artwork. She is a member of Stafford Art Group and has exhibited some pieces locally.

CLIVE‟s three free e-books NOW PUBLISHED on RBW and issuu http://www.risingbrookwriters.org.uk/DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=52 http://issuu.com/risingbrookwriters Issue 224 Page 4


The life and times of a Wannabe Film Extra. No 2 Sometime in the 1980s (CMH) “We've been asked to provide some soldiers for a film company. Are you interested?” That was the question put to us during a training session. Yes I was interested. As a group we'd never done any film work so it threatened to be interesting. The obvious question was asked. “What do they want us to do?” The answer of, “I don't know what they want, I don't think that they know either, but they're paying a hundred quid each for the day, bring your own grub and every last bit of kit you can lay hands on”, that settled the question. I was in! Sunday morning, about a month later, at 0800 and the lads, washed, shaved and shining brightly, were in full Roman Soldiers kit at the Lunt Fort, Baginton, near Coventry. A squad – sorry about the modern term – of twenty odd fully equipped Roman Soldiers was on site waiting for the film company people to turn up. This wasn't a problem as most of us had been there since Saturday morning and we filled in the time with a little more drill practice. We didn't really need it but, as we'd asked some of our Welsh colleagues along to make up the numbers, making sure we all 'sang from the same hymn sheet' was all to the good. Particularly as we'd all been in 'good voice' the night before and some of us were suffering from the 'too much bent elbow' syndrome. The time wended its way to 0850 and up came a strange car; somehow it failed to negotiate the entrance at the first go, nearly made it at the second and finally, at the third attempt, just made it through. [The gap was a foot each side but it is a bit of a sharp turn.] There followed three station wagons and an old bus. The station wagons, obviously benefiting from the first vehicles attempts, made it the first time. The bus, which was less than a quarter of an inch narrower than the width of the gate, made it with some difficulty and a decided lack of paint in some spots. From the first vehicle descended three Americans, the director, the producer and the location secretary, a nice young woman who also doubled (trebled?) as, amongst other things, the Bookkeeper and 'Continuity' secretary. The second and third contained the, all English, camera and sound people, all eight of them, and camera's and sound kit. The last, and most important, one carried the catering ladies. Their kit was on the bus. The bus was unloaded in record time, all the caterers had to do was point out were things went and then stand back. It was fairly obvious that they were shocked at the help they got, obviously it wasn't normal location practice. Stuff that. Any soldier, even pretend ones, knows that sleep and grub are two of the most important things going. By 0915 the boilers were on, the lunch was being prepared, and we were ready to roll. The film people weren't though, they were still looking at camera angles and lines of shot. This is when it hit home to me that detailed reconnaissance was not a strong point in the film world. We didn't, quite, go, 'Tut, tut, tut', but we thought it; extremely loudly. “What can you do?” Now that was, we thought, a ridiculous question for a film company producer to ask our Centurion. He should KNOW what he wants, not ask daft questions like that! “What do you want,” the Centurion replied? “You tell us what you want and we'll see if we can work out a way to do it.” That obviously stumped both the director and the producer. He carried on, “Just to give you some ideas I'll get the lads to run through the drill manual, shall I?” We marched around doing all the usual show stuff and the stuff we normally didn't do in a show. The fancy drill movements, moving from single file to four ranks on the march and back again, opening into a single line abreast on the move, dropping javelins to go into the testudo [tortoise] formation on the move – all of which look easy but are fiendishly difficult on uneven ground – defensive formations, marching at 45 degrees, swapping from 45 degree left to 45 degree right (which is a real pig to do), everything he could think of, or make up on the spot. The Latin commands flowed like water and we got 98% of them right first time. We fumbled a couple right and only once was the command “Uit Fuistis!” [As you were!] given. Now that the film folks knew what we could do without thinking hard they started working out their shooting script [it was, we thought, a bit late to do that. It's an office job not a spur of the moment location thing! The young lady who was the bookkeeper/secretary/etc was kept busy.] Lunch time rolled around so we all shed our 30lb steel carapaces and sat in the shade or lay in the sunshine talking, eating, drinking and generally being sociable. The director came over and took a seat on the steps by me, I was too idle to get a chair, and, quite naturally, we talked. We talked about things Roman, how they had changed the world and I put forward the thesis that the Roman world had had as much impact on the civilisation of the USA as it had on the UK. After


some chat he came around to see my view point. Then it was back to work, the £100 had to be earned. By this time the camera people had had all the marching and fighting they wanted, 'in the can' as they said, this was in the pre-digital camera era, so now they wanted a 'Nero' to strut his stuff. That threw us, nobody had mentioned before that, as a part of the film, the Emperor Nero was to be portrayed. Okay we KNEW what he was like. Absolutely, 100%, spot on. Even in his younger days he'd been a short, fat, balding git who fancied himself as a 'pop-singer' and who sashayed about in fancy clothes, and there was nobody like that about. Not the clothes thing, that we could fix; it was the short, fat, bald bit that had us foxed. Fortunately, they didn't want a singer who could play a lyre as well; there was only one in the country at the time, but, even if he'd been there, he didn't fit the short, fat, bald bit either. Short? With a minimum height of 5 foot 8 inches that ruled out all the legionary types. It left in the auxiliary soldiers though, all six of us, although at 6' 1” it ruled me out as well. Fat? Sorry, nobody here boss. Seriously chunky? Well, there was a possibility there, but add it to the short and that rules out practically everybody. Bald? Well, a bit thin on top's a possibility. Add in the short or the fat and you're out of luck again. Sorry boss, can't do that one either. Eventually, after much discussion between the technical people, 'Nero' was chosen. Short? - Yes (?) Sort of, but he'd have to bend a bit. Fat? - No way! I've seen more fat on a match. Bald? - Not really. Not unless you say a full head of dark curly hair is bald anyway. Fancy Clothes? - We fixed that one. Okay so they weren't the best, 100% accurate, fancyclothes but, with a bit of cheating, they bulked him up a bit and they did the job. The scene called for a foggy day; a misty day in spring, somewhere in the French/Italian countryside, at the start of a campaign. Hmm? Here it was, late May, in the middle of the UK, tree's in full leaf and quite warm. Not bad but, well, not quite there either. But there again 1 out of 4 seemed to be acceptable because 'Nero' had to appear out of the fog inspecting his troops, and they had a 'fog machine'. A line of men was arranged to disappear into the fog, you could tell where they were by the coughing, the old type of fog machine had that effect, and 'Lo and Behold' out of the mists of time came 'Nero'. Several times. Walk slower! 'Don't smile!' The difficult one that. Less bounce! Do it again. Then the camera crew decided that they couldn't do it that way anyway and they needed to put the camera on a 'dolly'. Off the roof racks came what we had thought were a set of ladders. [Maybe they were moonlighting as window cleaners?] These turned out to be a sort of ultra light-weight railway track with peculiar 'truck' to carry the camera. Yes! That worked okay. A two minute shot that had taken the best part of two hours to get. More fog, more marching about in it. In the end they were happy and we got paid. Some of the lads saw the finished film later and worked out that it had taken a day to get about six minutes of screen time, a cost, just for us, of over £40 a second. More film work? You bet! Good money, good grub, light work, can't be all that bad. The next one was bad, but that's yet another story.

Random words AB

Issue 224 Page 6

Angela had always struggled with a serious hedonistic streak and the resulting serial monogamy. When worn-out Derek, the last bloodless wonder, had finally waved goodbye, and staggered away from Richmond Mews clutching the remains of his Dr Who collection complete with a personalised flashing-and-speaking “Derek the Dalek”, her future had suddenly gained an unexpected promise of upward mobility.


The memories once transcribed are recorded as MP3 tracks and can be found on www.risingbrookwriters.org.uk/DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=75 So far only RBW contributors and Colwich memories have been uploaded but around 50 free MP3 tracks from all the ten groups taking part will be available eventually.

John Shaw Trinity Day Centre (Tuesday Group) I was born in Yorkshire but moved to Stoke-on-Trent in 1933. I went to school there and in 1940 at 17 I joined up. When I was demobbed six years later I married a local girl and came to live in Staffordshire. We didn‟t have a television when I first came out of the Army; we hadn‟t got a house. We lived with my parents and my dad bought a TV set. It had a nine-inch screen and he converted a radiogram to make a cabinet for it. That was quite early on, before the Coronation. I joined the Police after I left the Forces and was on duty in London at the old king‟s funeral in 1952. That was a very solemn affair but the following year I went with representatives from every Force for the Coronation. We were there for two or three days, quartered in Wellington Barracks, and were looked after very well. I was positioned around Oxford Street although they kept moving us about wherever they needed more help keeping the crowds back. From the roadside I could almost touch them in the coaches they were that close. I liked all the television programmes in those days; whatever was on I watched it. If there were two cats having a fight, I‟d watch it. I remember seeing Take Your Pick with Michael Miles. He used to have people from the audience for the Yes-No interlude and they picked a key to open the box to win a good prize or a booby prize. I had met Michael Miles in the Army. He was a very humorous man. I was in the Special Air Service and he was in Intelligence but I saw quite a bit of him at one time. We were both in a small party that went to America in 1942. The Americans had just joined the War and we went for about eighteen months to show them how we operated. The idea was for them to have the same sort of units to blend together with us but they never did. They were good soldiers but they liked to operate en masse. Not like we did: I was in France behind enemy lines for two months on my own. The Americans were very generous and looked after their troops excep-


tionally well. While we were there we had our Army pay and they also paid us for being in their Forces so we got a double dose. I was a sergeantmajor making £10 or so a week which was very good money in the War. It all went in the bank and finished up as bricks and mortar. In England I was based in Yorkshire and in Devon and when I was off duty I‟d go for a drink or to a dance if there was one about. There was also the NAAFI and a cinema if there was somewhere such as a church hall that they could use. Well-known entertainers used to come round to the camps. I remember Doris Day stayed with us and Vera Lynn, who was very friendly and spent a lot of her own money on troops, and I met Bob Hope here and in America. It was quite a happy time — apart from the fact that there was a war on.

Felicity Swift Trinity Day Centre (Tuesday Group) When I was in my teens I lived in Norton in Stoke-on-Trent with my father and younger sister. My father was very strict; lovely but old school. We didn‟t have a mother around so he was very uptight about when I went out and what I went out in. I used to love dancing (I still do) and I would go to the dances at the local community centre with my friend. I‟d leave home in my white ankle socks, trip down to where my friend lived and change into stockings and suspenders to go to the dance, We‟d have a ball then go back to my friend‟s and change into ankle socks before going home. I don‟t know if my father knows to this day. We never went further afield than the community centre, dancing to records. It was the 1960s and discos were coming in. I didn‟t have any particular favourites. I just enjoyed dancing to different music: old-fashioned as well as modern. Even though I didn‟t go far away I still had to be in for a certain time. My father was always worried about me getting home. By the time my sister got older things had changed a little bit and it wasn‟t so bad for her. I was the one who had the rules. Once I had a blind date. He was a lovely lad but he didn‟t get me home on time. He got and earful, I got an earful and I didn‟t see him again.


Margery Turner New Kitchener Centre, Stone I grew up in a family of eight in a two-bedroomed house in Lichfield Road, Stone. We didn‟t have a lot of money but we were happy. When I was about fourteen I‟d go to the pictures on Saturday afternoon for about two pence. The cinema was towards the bottom end of Stone in the High Street. There was an entry and when they told us the doors were open we used to rush forward for the best seats but when you were in there you could move the seats around. Very often there were two films showing: a big one and a small one. In my teens, when the Americans were here, stationed at Yarnfield, I also went dancing at St Joseph‟s Hall up Station Road. I went with the girls I worked with and with my sisters. Quite a few Stone girls married Americans and went to live in America. In those days you‟d have your dresses handed down. I was the youngest but the fattest and they didn‟t fit me so I often had the best. We never wore trousers always dress skirts or dresses. Although I started to work at the Lotus shoe factory when I was 15, we weren‟t that well off for shoes. They had a shop at Lotus but you had to buy them; they didn‟t give anything away. There was no coming in at one or two o‟clock in the morning when we were young. We had to be in early, nine or ten o‟clock. If your mother said you‟d to be in by ten, you had to be in by ten. We were late sometimes but the door would be locked and we had to sit outside until the next morning. I remember once sitting in a corner absolutely frozen but my mother wouldn‟t open the door until morning. We enjoyed life but we had to obey our parents. Mary Mountford New Kitchener Centre, Stone I was born in Norton Bridge just outside Stafford and grew up there with my parents and two older brothers. We had some happy times in the village and used to make our own entertainment. During the War there were quite a few children and the lady at the end of our row of houses had a piano so, when I was about ten, we decided we‟d do some concerts and invite the residents of the village. We all met in the lady‟s house at weekends and after school, and we put on shows twice a year. They were just variety shows with sketches and songs. I sang songs and recited poems, and my brother and a gentleman did a sketch that was hilarious. We would go begging round the village to see what costumes we could get. The village hall was packed each time we did a concert. The audience did enjoy them and we had a lovely time as children doing them. As the children grew older and began to move away from home the concerts fizzled out. I‟d be a teenager when they finally stopped.


Sidney Hill New Kitchener Centre, Stone Before the War I lived in Swynnerton in a black and white house on the edge of the wood. There was a big orchard there with eight acres and my father started a duck farm. We kept Aylesbury ducks and just when the War started there was a terrific trade in ducks and hens so people could raise them in their backyards. In those days I was a motorbike man. My first motorbike was a BSA and somebody had put the accelerator to turn away from you. I didn‟t go very far from home on the bike because I wasn‟t very good at navigating but there‟s a long straight run by the Waterworks and that was the first time I did sixty on a motorbike. My heart was in my mouth when I got to sixty and I slowed down but I got used to going fast. In early wartime I bought an Ariel 250 for £30.10s (£30.50) from Broadway Motors. I paid for it at 6 shillings (30p) a week. It was a lovely bike but I was used to the other accelerator and when I turned it the new motorbike went faster and faster. I realised when it was too late, stood up on the footrests and jumped to the side. The motorbike lay on the ground with the engine rev-rev-revving. I got up and the ground was shaking under my feet until I pulled the plug lead and it died. Eventually I suffered the fate of most motorbike people and ended up with a fractured fibula and tibia and concussion. I sold the bike more or less the day I finished paying for it because I was fed up with it but before the man who bought took it, I ran into a lorry by Grounslow Sanatorium. I didn‟t know I‟d run into anybody until I woke up in hospital. I wasn‟t wearing a crash helmet, just goggles, a storm coat, gloves and overboots. I think if I hadn‟t worn overboots, I would have lost my leg. That didn‟t put me off motorbikes but it kept me from going overseas when I joined the Army. I joined the Royal Artillery and was posted to Brownston near Dartmouth where we were looking after the guns. Every eight days we were allowed 24 hours off from mid-day one day to mid-day the next. It was a very lonely place so we‟d go to the pictures and I remember seeing the comedian Frank Randle. He was a smashing bloke. He was on his horse and someone asked him what he was doing. He said, „I‟m sitting on me ass.‟ We‟d come away doubled up with laughing but I‟ve seen his films in recent years and thought what did I laugh about? We also had a wireless and we‟d go to the dining room, get our tea and get back in time to listen to Tommy Handley in ITMA (It’s That Man Again). We used to love it. There was Mrs Mopp: „Can I do you now, Sir.‟ We used to laugh every time she came on. We were easily pleased.


Wyn Lyons New Kitchener Centre, Stone I used to work at the Lotus shoe factory in Stone but after the War when I got married I moved to London. I worked for Gamba‟s who made dancing shoes and all the other shoes for the theatres. They were in Wardour Street near the theatres although they later moved out of central London. I used to meet the actors and dancers who came to have their shoes fitted. They were always quite friendly and we often got free tickets to see the shows. We lived in London W9 and I‟d often go with my husband to the comedy shows in Paddington and to Regent Park Zoo. We lived about ten minutes away from Hyde Park so that was nice. We‟d go on a Sunday afternoon and hear the speakers at Speakers‟ Corner and join the big queues for the boats on the Serpentine. I stayed there for forty-odd years but, coming from Stone, it took me a while to get used to it.

Geoff Stevens dies aged 69 | 2nd February 2012 Tributes have poured in for the West Midlands poet, editor and artist Geoff Stevens who passed away peacefully in West Bromwich on February 2nd after succumbing to cancer. Geoff edited the poetry magazine Purple Patch for twenty five years which he started after a chance encounter at Dudley Writers‟ Group. He was a writer with a prolific output, leaving behind a large body of work including poetry collections: in 2004 his first major collection, The Phrenology of Anaglypta was published, followed by A Keelhauling through Ireland and Islands in the Blood. His last collection Sleeping With You and Other Night-time Adventures came out in November 2011. Geoff‟s other projects included books, pamphlets and audio work spanning over three decades. An obituary can be found at: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2012/02/09/tributes-to-poet-geoff-stevens-following-his-death-at-69/


In workshop last week a discussion ensued regarding our mothers’ co-operative divi number ... as workshop members are all over the age of 50 it was a delight to hear so many faithfully recounting their own mother’s co-op number and in some cases their own original co-op number. This five digit number was memorised at our mothers’ knees and had to be given to the lady on the till so that the amount spent in the cooperative store could be entered in the divi ledger and thus the dividend established for each member. This small amount Toad Lane Museum of money was usually saved up for special events such as Christmas. This system of ownership by the membership is still in operation as is the divi system – although nowadays a membership card is swiped and vouchers issued twice a year. Their are other membership benefits such as discounted shopping days for members. The co-operative movement has a proud heritage. The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in 1844, was an early consumer co-operative, and the first to pay a membership dividend, thus forming the basis for the modern co-operative movement. Although a few other co-operatives preceded them, the Rochdale Pioneers' co-op became the prototype for societies all over Great Britain. The Rochdale Pioneers designed the Rochdale Principles, a set of business principles that are the foundation on which co-ops around the world still operate. The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was a group of 10 weavers and 20 other people formed in 1844. As the Industrial Revolution was forcing even skilled workers into poverty, the weavers decided to open their own premises selling basic food items at affordable prices. After over four months of struggle to raise £1.00 per person for a total of £28.00 of capital, on 21 December 1844, they opened the shop selling butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and candles. Within three months, they expanded to include tea and tobacco, and soon gained a reputation for providing high quality and, important for that time, unadulterated goods. Ten years later, the British co-operative movement had grown to 1,000 cooperatives. Rochdale Pioneers traded until 1991 then merged several times until in 2007 became part of the Manchester-based national, The Co-operative Group. The Pioneers' original premises on Toad Lane was sold in 1867 but was later purchased and opened as a museum in 1931. The museum resurrected the legal name Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society in 1989. (SMS) Further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochdale_Principles

Polish Nobel poet Wislawa Szymborska dies aged 88 | 03-Feb-2012 The Nobel prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska has died in Krakow. She had been suffering from lung cancer. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996, and has been referred to by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski as the country's "guardian spirit". Her first poem was published in 1945. As well as the Nobel Prize, she was awarded the Goethe Prize and the Polish PEN prize. Issue 224 Page 12

Obituary can be found at : http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/02/wislawa-szymborska-dies-88


Can contributors to Ad Lib please arrange to collect their free copy by emailing Steph for postal instructions, or coming to a Monday Library Workshop. Copies are available for friends of the charity for a suggested minimum donation of ÂŁ5.00 each (plus ÂŁ1.20 P&P) Can all contributors please note there will be a celebratory lunch party/launch and poetry event in late July/early August (venue tba). It is hoped contributors to Ad Lib will be able to attend and enjoy the readings.

Issue 224 Page 13

Many thanks and well done to everyone, we hope youâ€&#x;ll agree this is a great collection! Round of applause to John and Steph for putting the book together.


WEBSITE COMMUNICATION: We recently launched a writing competition at the end of November. If you think it may be relevant to any of your members, we would appreciate it if you could bring it to their attention. We’re inviting writers to respond to the statement ‘What I love about Cornwall’ in a submission of between 500-750 words. We’re looking for different interpretations of the county and are looking to: • Include well-constructed aspirational, quality submissions for publication in 'Cornwall Living' magazine. • Offer a prize (holiday to the value of £500) for the best entry • Publish the best entry in our 2013 annual brochure • Publish a collection of writings to celebrate Cornish Traditional Cottages 50th anniversary (we are still discussing this idea) All entries must have been previously unpublished. The deadline for entry is 31st August 2012 and full details are available on the CTC website: www.corncott.com/photo Marketing Coordinator

Cornish Traditional Cottages

UPDATE FROM THE POETRY LIBRARY Latest Competitions: The Poetry Box International Horror, Gothic-Horror & Dark Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 01-Mar-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions/?id=1141 Bare Hands Poetry and Photography Competition | Closing Date: 01-Mar-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions/?id=1142 Larkin and East Riding Poetry Prize, 2012 | Closing Date: 31-Mar-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions/?id=1139 PSSMS Olympics Micropoetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Mar-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions/?id=1144 Poetry-next-the-Sea Competition | Closing Date: 13-Apr-12 http:// www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions/?id=1140

New Magazines: Poetry Matters : the Online Magazine from Tower Poetry http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/magazines/emagazines/?id=636 Latest News: Geoff Stevens dies aged 69 | 14-Feb-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/news/poetryscene/?id=885 Wislawa Szymborska dies aged 88 | 03-Feb-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/news/poetryscene/?id=884 Items added to the Poetry Library in January 2012 | 01-Feb-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/news/library/?id=883

Rising Brook Writers does not endorse any third party competitions.


THE POETRY SLOT

http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile? fk_files=1452643&pageno=9

Abraham Cowley was born in London, the posthumous son of a bookseller. He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1640 he was named Fellow at Trinity but lost this position in 1644 because he was a royalist who had written a play performed for the King's entertainment two years earlier. He went to live at Oxford, a stronghold of the royalists, before fleeing the Civil War to join the group of exiles in Paris, France. He served as secretary to Lord Jermyn, the Queen's chamberlain. He also undertook various diplomatic missions for the Queen, Maria Henrietta, whom he officially served as cipher secretary. He returned to London in 1654, possibly on a mission, and was arrested and briefly imprisoned. Having written his first poem, Pyramus and Thisbe (1628) when he was ten, his Poetical Blossoms (1633) made his talents widely known. An established and popular poet, he produced his collected Poems in 1656, and in the same year he studied medicine at Oxford, receiving a medical doctorate in 1657. The 1660 Restoration of Charles II brought him great personal relief. He celebrated and produced the ode, Upon the Blessed Restoration and Return of His Sacred Majesty Charles the Second. His Fellowship at Cambridge, in 1661, was restored, although he did not receive royal favour. He retired to Chertsey, Surrey, where he worked with the Royal Society of Science which he had helped found. When he died of a cold in August 1667 he was laid to rest next to Chaucer and Spenser at Westminster Abbey. Two years later a monument to him was erected and a six book poetry collection Poemata Latina was later published. "With as much zeal, devotion, piety, He always lived as other saints do die. Still with his soul severe account he kept, Weeping all debts out ere he slept; Then down in peace and innocence he lay, Like the sun's laborious light, Which still in water sets at night, Unsullied with the journey of the day." Issue 224 Page 15


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PATRON Ian McMillan www.ian-mcmillan.co.uk Memberships and funders.

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Issue 224

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Issue 224 RBW Online