Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Poetry Put into Focus

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Poetry Put into Focus

Article excerpt

Byline: By Tony Henderson

PICTURES from the past have inspired pupils to try their hand at poetry.

Youngsters at primary and secondary schools in East Durham have penned a series of poems based on photographs from Easington Council's People Past and Present Archive.

The poems were written during sessions with professional poet Andy Croft, who has also been working with the Easington Writers' Group on the project. Members of the group will be joined by some of the schoolchildren for a special reading of their work at St Bede's Comprehensive School, Peterlee, today at 7pm.

Colin Robson, arts officer at Easington Council, said: "Using poetry to explore the past is an engaging and powerful way for children and young people to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of their local history.

"The verses written by members of the writers' group, meanwhile, offer a different perspective on the events, people and places captured in the archive."

Pupils from St Joseph's Primary, Murton, penned Though History is a Mystery after discovering a photograph of the King of Uganda visiting their village in 1912, while a picture taken on Blackhall Beach in 1938 provided the inspiration for Washed up Whale by youngsters from Our Lady of the Rosary Primary, Peterlee.

Isn't She Pretty was written by children from St Mary Magdalene Primary, Seaham, and is based on an early 20th Century picture of a small boy wearing a smock.

Picture postcards of Horden in the 1920s and 1930s caught the imagination of pupils at Dene Community School, and children at Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary, Horden, and St Bede's Comprehensive, were inspired by a set of old school photographs.

Members of the writers' group drew on their own memories of the Easington pit disaster of 1951 to pen Listen, after viewing a photograph of crowds gathering in the colliery village to hear the fate of those caught in the tragedy.

Anyone who would like to attend the poetry reading at St Bede's school should contact Angela Cuskin on (0191) 586-2291 or 3154.

Isn't She pretty, by St Mary Magdalen Primary, Seaham

Isn't she pretty

Isn't she sweet

Look at her fingers

And her cute little feet


What a nice dress

Such beautiful lace

Gorgeous eyes

Chubby little face


Such rosy cheeks

Stubby little arms

The frills on her dress! …

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