Go North East is helping spread the word about an exciting festival which is inspiring a whole new generation to give writing poetry a go.
Hundreds of budding young writers from County Durham schools have been learning about one-time ‘Pitman Poet’ Tommy Armstrong and learning how to pen poetic verse and songs, thanks to the Northern Writes festival.
North East residents are enjoying reading some of the poetry too, thanks to Go North East which has covered one of its double deck buses in extracts of the works of the children and Tommy Armstrong himself.
Year five pupils from South Stanley Junior School were proud to see some of their self-penned verses on the bus, which runs regularly through their hometown.
The kids have been working with folk artists, poets and musicians to bring their imaginations to life.
The Northern Writes festival has been organised by Stanley-based arts group The Forge and the Tommy Armstrong Society.
Tommy Armstrong was a Stanley miner who wrote powerful verses about the region's strikes and pit disasters as well as everyday local life.
Head of commercial and retail at Go North East, Stephen King, said: “When Northern Writes got in touch about this we jumped at the chance to get involved. It’s a brilliant way to encourage young people to write and be creative and we're always keen to support the communities we serve.”
Tony Harrington, executive director of The Forge, said: “One of the aims of the project is to encourage new talent and to give children and young people the opportunity to create and share their own poetry and songs.”
South Stanley Junior School and pupils will be appearing at a free Northern Writes “Tommy Armstrong” musical celebration at Stanley Civic Theatre on Saturday 18 February. Also appearing will be musicians Kiddar’s Luck, Bill Elliott, Jude Murphy, actor Peter “Bobby Thompson” Peverley, the award-winning Reg Vardy Band and folk legend, Rachel Unthank.
To book tickets, please call 01207 299 110.
Read the full story which appears on Chronicle Live and see a video of some of the Stanley school children who got involved - click here, Poems by young writers are reaching a big North East audience - by bus
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