Tuesday, May 22, 2012



Founded - 1972 - going on until the 1990's

BBC Cleveland - Mike Hollingworth etc.
Founding Members - Mike Hollingworth (BBC Housecall Radio Presenter), Greta Thompson (also of Darlington Writers Circle), Fred Brunt, Fred and Lillian Poad and others.

Meeting Place -St Mark's Church Hall, Brookfield Middlesbrough for 6 months, later Norton Centre, Norton Green, Stockton on Tees.

Description and main activities - A number of individuals who were writing poem etc for BBC Radio Cleveland (at that time known as Radio Teesside and based in Linthorpe Rd, Cleveland Centre (opposite Boots approx back then), decided to get together to form the group and call it after the Radio programme which used their poems - hence the name 'Housecall' after the programme. They met on the first Wednesday of the month (except August) at 2.15pm to read whatever poems etc members had written on titles chosen the previous month. Suitable ones were considered for Broadcasting in the weekly programme. It should be mentioned thought that poems earmarked for broadcast weren't only from this group also poems that had been sent in separately. All individuals were welcome to send in material

Finance - Each member paid 50p as they attended meetings- this was for a cup of tea and payment or use of the church hall.

Publications - Apart from publication of poems on the Housecall programme, one publication was issued via the BBC with items from members and others - this was at an early stage and is the only one actually produced with the group in mind.

Additionally in 1982 when Ann Wainwright started the Poetic Licence magazine in the area, Mike
Hollingworth was a great supporter of the magazine, advertising the magazine on air, setting a competition theme and offering prizes of a record token each month for the competition judged by John Saunders of Leeds University Adult Education Centre at Harrow Rd, Middlesbrough. The winning poem was read out on air. The radio programme was the source of more contributions to Poetic Licence.

Later Housecall Presenter  Bill Hunter supported Outlet in a similar way - not via a competition but often
read a poem or two from Outlet and advertise the magazine. The Housecall group also invited editor Trev Teasdel to do a talk to the group about Outlet magazine at their meeting in Norton c 1988.

Notable Members - Greta Thompson and Les Parsons of Darlington Writers Circle published a number of books and in more recent times many members published their own books or had poem in a variety of local publications.

Bill Hunter took over from Mike Hollingworth. No payment was made for the poems.

Thanks to Bill Hunter for supplying this material back in 1995.

Letter from Bill Hunter when i was with Teesside Writers Workshop 1985

Ann Wainwright at the Dovecot Arts Centre 1982 (Brian Stubley photo)

Bill Hunter and Radio Cleveland team 

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