Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thornaby 'Pavilion Poets' 1968


Thornaby Pavillion
Founded / Ended -Founded about 1968 (not sure when it finished but it didn't last as long as some of the the early groups and wasn't in evidence after 1980 when  arrived on Teesside.

Thornaby Pavillion was another early group in the Cleveland (UK) area and Norah Hill has recently sent me details of this group which also featured John Miles Longden - who was the subject of the previous post on the Purple Onion and around the same time - late 1960's

Founding Members - John Miles Longden, Ray Tester, Norah Hill and Vincent Mulholland

Meeting Place Thornaby Pavilion (which was new then).

Main Activities - According to Norah Hill, "We had readings on Sunday afternoons, producing astonishingly large audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Participants read their own or others' work. However, virtually none came to the week-day evening groups. Mr Phelps was manager of the then new pavilion and a very active supporter. I ran a shoppers' childrens' Creative Writing group group every Saturday afternoon. We had a children's' poetry competition which had 300 entrants. Billingham Forum was the  venue for the prize giving ceremony. The Sunday afternoon readings were very popular - possibly could be revived. We even had the technicians adjusting lighting to create atmospheres appropriate for each poem!

Publications The group did produce some anthologies of which Peter Stockill has some formerly  belonging to John Miles Longden. I hope to be able to put them on here as PDF files if I can borrow them from Peter.

John Miles Longden was also frequenting the Purple Onion in Middlesbrough at this time as describe inCastalians, New Poetry Scene, Teesside Writers Workshop and Write Around. John was published in Outlet also.
another post and went on to be involved in many other groups such as the

Vincent Mullholland was also involved with Poetry 20+ and was published later in Outlet. He also joined Yarm Writers group and participated in joint reading between the Phoenix Poetry group and Poetry 20+ in the early 1990's.

Norah Hill by Dermot Blackburn

Norah Hill became a Creative Writing tutor for Leeds University adult education and a well published writer published both locally and nationally and in particular did a lot of Creative writing teaching with Special Needs and latterly was a regular reader at the Writers' Cafe at the ARC.

Thanks to Norah Hill for supplying details.

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