Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Maude Warwick - WEA Tutor Organiser North Yorkshire

I'd like to record a tribute on these pages to Maude Warwick - WEA (Workers Educational Association) Tutor Organiser for North Yorkshire whose help and support between 1986 and 1991 in helping me develop and run so many WEA Creative Writing courses in the Cleveland UK area was invaluable and deeply underpinned the work and achievement of Outlet Magazine and all that came from it for local writers in the area. Although I've only just found out via this notice in WEA News (as found on line), Maude's passing was around the end of 2008. In addition the contents of WEA obituary Maude was a friend of E.P. Thompson - author of The Making of the Working Class. I worked with Maude in the Middlesbrough branch of the WEA from 1986 to 1991 and her support and encouragement enabled me to  build an infrastructure for local writers in the area out of the classes which included Outlet Magazine, many informal writers groups that emerged from my Creative Writing classes and and enabled us to launch the annual Write Around festival. With Maude's support I was able to teach Creative Writing classes in Middlesbrough, Guisborough, Stokesley,   

Redcar, Saltburn and Yarm - some with special needs. Outlet was launched out of my first class in Middlesbrough 1986 and many of the students contributed to Outlet and some of the courses successfully recruited from contributors to Outlet and so many writers groups formed as follow ons to formal classes - including Redcar Writers, Phoenix Poetry Group, Bramblethorns Writers, PLOY (Yarm Writers), Saltburn Writers Group, Guisborough Writers Group, Stokesley Writers Group. Andy Croft taught literature classes for the branch in the early period as well as creative writing courses in Hemlington and Stokesley. Andy Croft later built on the WEA creative writing course development in 1990 when he organised an even wider package of free Creative Writing courses for Leeds University Adult Education in Middlesbrough.

Maude's valuable contribution to Cleveland's writing scene is not acknowledge widely it seems so hopefully this will go some way to redressing that. Below is the obituary from the WEA News December 2008.

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