Tees Valley Creative Writing Timeline - 1960 - Present

Tees Valley Creative Writing Timeline - 1960 - Present

This is a work in progress so will be developing along the way and will also act as a kind of index of posts on this site via hyperlinks. It will chart the existence of a small number early writers groups from the 60's and 70's to the growth of a dynamic grassroots writing movement in the 1980's through more institutional forms in the 90'sand more and be a guide to the sequencing of the posts on here. Check back on this as it will form gradually as I check dates from my archives and amend.

The 1960's

1962 -
Poetry 20+ formed 23rd May 1962 and ran to 1993 ish. One of the longest standing groups in the area run largely by Mary Williams. Met at various venues in Middlesbrough focusing on poetry manuscript meetings. (click on the hyperlink for more info on this group and an article by Margaret Weir).

Middlesbrough Writers Group 1962 - 1990 Also established about the same time (as far as I know) and run largely by Pamela Christy and Cathy Baldwin. This was a Writing for Publication group with a sizable membership and a well formed programme of activities as detailed on the post if you click the link. The group boasted a number of local authors / tutors including Eleanor Fairburn, Barbara Gamble, Heather Bennett along later on in the 80's with local poet / tutor and Phoenix Poetry Group organiser Margaret Weir and Derek Gregory - Editor of Tees Valley Writer.

Cliff Richard and the Shadows wrote Summer Holiday and The Stars Fell On Stockton at the Globe Theatre, Stockton.(The link shows many acts at the Globe Theatre including Cliff)

Teesside Fettlers Formed with Ron Angel who wrote, along with others, The Chemical Workers Song (lyrics). Hear it on You Tube It's about ICI Chemical works.

Graeme Miles began writing his many Teeside Industrial Ballads from his experience of working in the local industries. His songs (over 200) have been well recorded by local folk based acts like Vin Garbutt and The Teesside Fettlers and the Wilsons.

The Wilsons (Teesside Traditional Singing Family) began singing around this time. In the 80s they would record an album of Grame Miles's Teesside Industrial Ballads and songs.

Darlington Writers Circle Established 1965 and going to quite recently but some members involved with the later Darlington Writers Group which meets a Bennett House in Darlington. Again the group was very focussed on writing for publication in commercial magazines or publishing companies as with the Middlesbrough group.

Purple Onion Writers This was more of a Ginsberg group - Middlesbrough's alternative society presided over by John Miles Longden - a former Professor of Statistics who after his nervous breakdown became an increasingly colourful and eccentric character and involved with a number of later writing projects such as Thornaby Pavilion, Teesside Writers Workshop, Write Around. After his breakdown he dedicated his life to writing sonnets in the Cleveland dialect and Haiku retreads and mentored a small group of student - writers in the original Purple Onion Caff in Middlesbrough about this time. He was also a member of the local Communist party with some other local writers such as Andy Croft who were involved with developing the local writing scene. Follow the links for more info. The John Longden link is to a pdf essay by Peter Stockill and so may take a while to load depending on your connection.

Thornaby Pavilion Poets This group was formed in 1968 also by John Miles Longden, Ray Tester, Norah Hill and Vincent Mullholland. They have several pamphlets of poetry out which Peter Stockill has (hoping to get them on line at some stage). Quite a popular and innovative group for the time. Norah Hill has given us a good description of the group if you follow the link. Norah Hill will be familiar to Mudfog readers for her later work.

A number of key groups were formed in the 1960's working with a relatively small number of people interested in either in writing poetry or writing for commercial magazines and some of the members were interchangeable and a few of them became involved in the later Creative Writing movement on the 1980's / 90's. Three of these groups continued to be a force well in to the 1990's by which time many of their members had passed on.

Margaret Drabble refers to the Transporter Bridge in her novel - The Waterfall (1969) (Mentioned in Andy Crofts Fire & Horror Essay on writers who have written about Teesside - link is in the side bar.

The 1970's

Claire Hamill - singer Songwriter from Middlesbrough toured the college circuit / maked album. Later lead singer with Wishbone Ash. John McCoy a local club owner / musician brought her to the attention of Chris Blackwell of Island Records. He signed Claire and her first album 'One House Left Standing' became one of the first ever recorded by a British female singer-songwriter. Claire went on to record one more album with Island 'October' and tour America and Canada with Jethro Tull and Procul Harum before leaving them to sign with Ray Davies's label Konk. She wrote 'You Take My Breath Away' recorded by Eva Cassidy and became a number one album in the United States and United Kingdom.

Lesley Duncan - Singer Songwriter from Stockton - her 'Love Song' (and this you Tube links to a great original version of it by Lesley) was recorded by Elton John. She was recording singles from 1963 but wasn't sucessful until Elton recorded her song on Tumbleweed Connection in 1971

BBC Radio Cleveland Housecall -Poetry Group Created by Mike Hollingworth - Presenter of Housecall programme on Radio Cleveland and later overseen by the new presenter Bill Hunter. Listeners sent in poems to have read between the music and this led to the formation of the long running Housecall group which met in Norton. Leading members of Darlington Writers Circle and other local groups were members. Continued into the 1990's.

Gordon Hodgeon arrives on Teesside from Morecombe to take up a post with Cleveland Education and becomes one of the early literary activists in the area in his role as an English Advisor, Northern ArtsLiterature paneland later Cleveland Arts and Buzzwords and an editor of Mudfog press and of course a poet. Gordon was responsible for establishing a number of important writer in residences int he area during the 1980's and a co founder of Brotton Writers Group - See next entry.

Brotton Writers Group Formed in 1972 by members of the Brotton Labour Party and Gordon Hodgeon - freshly arrived in the area from Lancashire, continued to run the group right up to recently. Gordon and some of the members were English advisors with Cleveland County Education. Gordon became an important writing activist in the 1980's working through the County education and Northern Arts advisory boards and later Cleveland Arts and Buzzwords and runs Mudfog press.

David Coverdale (Saltburn Singer and songwriter) replaces Ian Gillan in Deep Purple and later formed Whitesnake.

Vin Garbutt (Born and bred in South Bank Middlesbrough) released first full album The Young Tin Whistle Pest with Ron Angel's The Chemical Workers Song on it about ICI (the You Tube vid is on this site). Vin is still touring the world with his folk based songs - many set in Teesside. See him on You Tube

Chris Rea - Middlesbrough born and discovered by Pete Waterman when he worked for Magnet Records. had a single in the charts - Fool if you Think its Over (Link to \You Tube). Chris would go on to write and have hits with songs inspired by Teesside - Steel River and Stainsby Girls among many successful albums.

Eddie Walker - Middlesbrough born singer songwriter / Ragtime and blues guitarist published his first album - Everydayman. Eddie began playing folk clubs and festivals in the 60s and 70s but his recording career took off in the 80s with many songs set in and around Middlesbrough. Eddie has toured here and abroad and with Chris Rea. Hear Eddie on You Tube Ballad or Rag Blues - Diddy Wah Diddy

The 1980's

Trevor Teasdel arrives on Teesside October 1980 from Coventry to start a degree course in Humanities at Teesside Poly. Trevor was involved with the Coventry Music Scene and ran Hobo magazine and Workshop. He was keen to get involved with his new community and become another leading literary activist / catalyst via the Multi-media society, New Poetry Scene, Outlet Magazine, Write Around, tutor on WEA and Leeds University Community Creative Writing classes, Writers Cafe and much more that will be revealed on these pages.

Rebecca O' Rourke was coordinator of the Leeds University Adult Education Centre in Middelsbrough at this time, a writer (later to have her novel Jumping the Cracks published by Virago). Soon she would leave Cleveland to take up a post with Centreprise - a community publishing project in London, only to return to the Middlebrough centre in the early 90's as a research fellow to study the creative writing movement which began about this time after she left. (More on the research project later). In 1994 Rebecca remarked in her research booklet - Written in the Margins (Link to a download of the research) - "In the early 80's I lived in Cleveland unaware that anyone else shared my interest in writing. Yet within days of starting my new work on the project in 1992 I was spoilt for choice as the WriteAround festival opened its stall in Hartlepool, Whitby, Guisborough, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Skelton and Loftus and Trevor Teasdel compiled a 30 page history of the writing movement in Cleveland." Trevor and the other activists in the area had been busy establishing this between 1980and 1992 and this site is a reworking and update on Trevor's history of the writing movement.

Ann Wainwright from Billingham started on a degree course at Teesside Poly in October 1980. Ann would go on to produce the first local Poetry Magazine in the area (as far as I know) since the George Markham Tweddell produced the Yorkshire Miscellany in the 1800's. Poetic Licence would come out in 1982 and Station Identification in 1983. Ann also created The Castalians - a poetry music night at the Dovecot Arts Centre with Colin Walker and Trev Teasdel in 1982 and was later involved with Trev in co-organising the Merlin's Cauldron Arts Fest in 1997 and The Writers Cafe in 2006.

Humanities Society Trev Teasdel joined both the Humanities Society and got elected to the Entertainment Committee at Teesside Poly as a first step towards building contactsand organising music / literature events. Throught Ents committee Trevor would meet Dave Wood, Amelia Ward, Jeff Lawson, who were instrumental in forming the Multi Media Society at the Poly. Trev and Dave were also involved with a group setting up the Poly folk club at the Lord Welington in Middlesbrough.

Humanities Mixed Media Gig Trev Teasdel organised his first mixed media gig for the Humanities Society and the Empire Hotel (Now the Tavern) on Linthorpe Rd. with Russ Teasdale's band Partners In Crime, folk singers Dave Wood and Kay Castle and himself as poet. This became the first step towards creating the Multi Media Society with Dave Wood and Amelia Ward later in the year.

Entertainment Committee Alongside the bands, Jeff Lawson ( a singer Songwriter from Peterlee and Social Secretary at Teesside Poly) booked poets John Cooper Clarke and Little Brother for gigs at the poly.

Multi Media Society In October 81 Trev Teasdel, Dave Wood and Amelia Ward initiated the MultiMedia Society at Teesside Poly, with a regular mixedmedia gig, creative workshops, a band, street theatre groups and much more. It would last until roughly 1985. This was a spring board for Trevor to organise things later in the wider communityand a writers group formed from this at the Poly that has significance later on in the story when Richard Briddon came to Teesside poly in 1986.

Poetic Licence - January 82 - 85 Ann Wainwright and Pamela Hutson launched the area's first poetry magazine called Poetic Licence. At first just local writers but then linking up with the international Small Presses network. The Poetic Licence Collected published chapbooks, a poetry digester and anthologies and launched a second magazine Station Identification and co-founded the Castalians - a poetry performance venue. Ann also drew poetry links with BBC Radio Cleveland's Housecall programme and their Asian programme.

Humanities Society - Trev Teasdel organised mixed media gig at the Empire Hotel (now the Tavern on Linthorpe Rd.) with folk singers Alistair Russell, Dave Wood, Trev Teasdel, Colin Scarth, Kay Castle and Paul O'Neill.

The Castalians -May 82 - 84 Ann Wainwright, Colin Walker, Trev Teasdel co-founded the Castalians - a mixed media poetry performance venue at the Dovecot Arts Centre in Stockton on Tees. Later re-branded The New Poetry Scene in 1984 to 85.

Voice of the North - 1981 to 1986 Pamela Hutson and Trev Teasdel joined editorial board of Voice of the North November 1982, established by the environmental activist - Kevin Daws and they introduced a themed poetry, women movement and other sections alongside the environment, regional identity sections of the magazine. Pamela Hutson had been a co-founder of Poetic Licence and now ran a poetry column with largely more political themes.

The Euclidean Mushroom Band via the multi-media group, Dave Wood establishes a band playing orginal songs and backing Trev Teasdel's 15 min anti-war performance poem with music, effects and slides set in Cannon Hall Park in Birmingham. They do a mini tour taking in Teesside Poly, Dovecot Arts Centre, Middlesbrough Town Hall with Here and Now, Joozle, New Model Armyand Little Brother and also Sheffield Art college in between studying.

Village Arts (East Cleveland Community Arts organisation based in Loftus). Coordinator Doff Pollard is an important arts and writing activist in the area and one of their early projects was East Women Live in Skinningrove which began the next year. Doff was later involved with co-organising the regional Write Together programme in 1985 with Keith Armstrong. Teesside groups were heavily involved in that.

Cleveland Arts - formed in Middlesbrough to administer a more local focus for the the regional arts body - Northern Arts. Cleveland Arts become significant for the furthurance of the writing movement in 1987 through a link up with Write Around but also supported other writing projects in the area. Now re-branded as Tees Valley Arts,

Cleveland Literary Society - Sue Reid and John Carthew (Senior lecturers on Teesside Poly Humanities English Lit Dept form the Cleveland Literary Society meetings first at Teesside Poly then at Leeds University Centre. Andy Croft later joins the group after 1983 and by the the late 80's relaunches it as Poetry Live at the Cambridge Hotel inviting performances by leading national poets.

Village Verses - Anthology produced by East Cleveland Women live,via the Village Arts project,Doff Pollard and Jean Forrest. Next year this project was involved in a Channel Four documentary about poetry and unemployment in Skinningrove, 

North East Women Live This was a regional North East group who held a Celebration of Women's Writing at Darlington Arts Centre, reading poems, stories, sharing work and experience, produced a booklet and had work read out on Radio Tees.

Stockton Women Writers Group This was a Women's Writers Group / Course run by Mary Cooper of the WEA (Workers Educational Association / Durham University Adult Education Centre in Hartington Rd. Stockton. Mary offered a course each term throughout the 1980's and into the early 90's until she retired.

Darlington WEA Creative Writing Course.

Hartlepool WEA Creative Writing Course at The People's Centre.

Other Creative Writing courses ran at the Middlesbrough, Redcar, Billingham and Hartlepool Colleges and at Leeds University Centre in Middlesbrough during the 80's. Tutor included Tim Beswick, Eleanor Fairburn, Heather Bennett, Charles Causeley(?), Barbara Gamble.

Station Identification (83-84) - Ann Wainwright established a new magazine for more avant garde contributions, poetry, articles graphics.

Voice of the North linked up with Tyneside CND magazine Northern Survivor to achieve a truly North East distribution. Trev Teasdel and Teesside Poly performance poet - John Quinn - interviewed Brain Patten and Roger McGough for Voice of the North.

Bob Pegg - Writer In Residence 1983 to 1985 at Dovecot Arts Centre. Gordon Hodgeon was instrumental in bringing Folklore singer / writer Bob Pegg (of Mr Fox) and Julie Fullerton to the area to run workshops in schools and community. The three year project would result in two anthologies, for for schools and one for adults. Bob would organise the first Cleveland literature festival in 1984 at the Dovecot - a long weekend of performance poetry.

Andy Croft - Arrives in area from Nottingham and settles in Middlesbrough. Becomes a WEA tutor in Literature, later Creative writing and by the 90's is the main Literature lecturer at the Leeds University centre in Middlesbrough. From the 90's onwards Andy would lead the Leeds University Community writing programme and chair Write Around festival and establish Buzzwords etc. Another major literature activist had arrived in the area.

Stokesley Writers Group begins as a WEA Creative Writing Course organised by Tutor organiser Maude Warwick. The group met both as a course (with a different tutor each year including Andy Croft 1985 and Trev Teasdel 1986) and an informal writers group inbetween the courses. The group got involved in the later Write Around festival.

Escaped Poet - Trev Teasdel begins work on his first poetry chapbook for Poetic Licence Collective - Escaped Poet - published in 1984 and sold via the International Small Press network. One of the poems is featured in the US / German magazine Gypsy as part of the prologue along side a piece from author Henry Miller. Trev also designs the cover for multi-media society singer songwriter Dave Wood's first album.

Middlesbrough Writers Workshop- members of the Multi-media Society's Poetry and Music workshop form a writers group at Teesside poly. English lecturer John Carthew joins and brings in writer in residence Bob Pegg to lead the group. Trev Teasdel produces chap books of John Quinn's book at Darlington Arts Centre. A new intake of students in 1986 will bring in Richard Briddon and Mark Rutter who will take the group to new heights. More later.

The Darlington Media Group - based at Darlington Arts Centre became important too. Trev Teasdel produced poetry chapbooks for poets of the Multi Media Society and Castalians (eg John Quinn (AKA Joe Flamingo) and with Kevin Daws, the layouts for Voice of the North. They were also good for links that furthered the work of this underground writing movement, via a first link to the Durham Northern Voices poet / editor - Keith Armstrong (who becomes significant along the way) and to a link up with Pete Roberts who was both on the board of the Media Group and soon to launch Community Arts Middlesbrough with Paul Hyde.

John Mingay - was a Writer in Residence at Darlington Central Library.

Open Hearts - Poetic Licence Anthology launched the first Cleveland anthology in the modern age. (Dovecot claimed Bob Pegg's anthology was the first in 1985 but this predates it.)

East Cleveland Way - Anthology / Channel Four documentary produced by Village arts and East Cleveland Women Live in Skinningrove. Jean Forrest would later appear in the BBC 2 Outlet film and Doff Pollard was involved with Write Together - a regional project in 1984.

New Poetry Scene Ann Wainwright and Trev Teasdel re-branded the Castalians poetry performance night at the Dovecot Arts Centre and gave it a new leash of life. It was relaunched with Bradford performance poet Little Brother and ran for a further year.

Bob Pegg's Poetry Festival - Dovecot Writer in residence organised the first Cleveland Literature festival. Just a weekend of performing poets such as Seething Wells, Nick Toczak, Brian Patten and Bob Pegg and Julie Fullerton at the Dovecot Arts Centre.

Street Clean - Trev Teasdel launched a proto type New Poetry Scene magazine called Street Clean at Bob Pegg's literature festival. The magazine was a one off but was a forerunner of what became Outlet Magazine.

Community Arts Middlesbrough (CAM) - Formed in North Ormsby, Middlesbrough with Paul Hyde and Pete Roberts. They facilitated the early Music Collective and Studio 64 and oversaw the development of Teesside Writers Workshop among other things. Trev Teasdel was on the management committtee as a volunteer assisting Pete Roberts in this development and Community Arts Middlesbrough supported the development of Outlet Magazine in 1986.

Teesside Writers Workshop - initiated by community Arts Middlesbrough at the Albert Hotel, Albert Rd Middlesbrough. This was a very important group, not without it's problems but it's problems led to very important developments (which follow this) via it's breakaway groups. Write Now, Outlet magazine, Write Around Festival and much more developed out of its breakaway groups. Jon Miles Longden, Johnny Nichol and Trev Teasdel were on the organising committee,overseen by Pete Roberts from CAM. Produced a Broadsheet.

Pete Morgan - Renowned poet Pete Morgan became the second writer in residence in the area thanks to Gordon Hodgeon, working mainly in North Ormsby and Redcar libraries through out the county. This was his first residency followed by another short residency in 1985.

WEA Creative Writing Class by this time Andy Croft was teaching some literature courses for WEA and set up a Creative Writing class in Hemlington, Middlesbrough. Some of the members had been longstanding members of The Castalians / New Poetry Scene and were involved with the Teesside Writers Workshop.

Whitby Writers Group - This group formed in 1984 running well into the 1990's. Terry Lawson, soon to be associated with Outlet and Write Around was a leading member.

Guisborough Poetry Group I don't know when this group formed but it was certainly active in 1984 around Lawrie Rhodes and Denis Puncheon. The group were associated with The Cleveland Peace Artists organising cultural events for CND with themselves and poets from the New Poetry Scene. Terry Lawson was also a member. The group folded in the later part of 1985.

Write Together - A regional North East Community Arts Project involving the Worker Writers Network and Community Arts Projects and local writers groups. This annual event took place in Durham organised by Keith Armstrong and Doff Pollard. Teesside Writers Workshop became very involved with this.

The Green Tree Poets - A music / poetry group centred around East Cleveland poet Tim Beswick met / performed at The Green Tree in Brotton.

Platform Poets - Local Poetry book publisher based in Middleton St. George nr Darlington and established by Geoff Tomlinson. Published local poets such as Jerry Slater of the Teesside Writers Workshop. Not sure when it started but it was active in the mid 1980's for sure.

Middlesbrough Music Collective (and I think Stockton Music and Arts Collective (S.M.A.C.K.) about this time, supported by Community Arts Middlesbrough. Teesside Writers Workshop sometimes held joint gigs and performance Poets Stiletto Pigeonetto and Trev Teasdel sometime performed at special events. This led to the creation of Studio 64 in Middlesbrough - a community recording studio and now both groups have become Tees Music Alliance at the Green Dragon Yard in Stockton.

Cleveland Peace Artists - organised a very well attended Poetry performance in a pub in Carlin Howe.Tim Beswick and Doff Pollard were the organisers and performance poets Nick Toczak and Gordon Hoyles were among the performers along with local poets Tim Beswick, Trev Teasdel and Stiletto Pigeonetto. Trevor booked Gordon Hoyles for the New Poetry Scene in Stockton.

Bennett House Writers Group - Darlington - Not sure when they formed. Some members were in Darlington Writers Circle too. Mary Sweeten runs the group still but they existed in the 80's and still going I think.

Multi Media Society (Teesside Poly) produced Godspell at Middlesbrough Little Theatre. 

Teesside Writers Workshop developed it's programme and arranged performance exchanges with regional groups in county Durham and Newcastle.

Write Together - 2nd annual meeting in Durham. Trev Teasdel suggests formation of a Regional Publications Network for North East Writers Groups. Committee forms to organise this with Keith Armstrong, Kevin Cadwallander, Trev Teasdel and Clive Rawson. Trevor on organising committee to co organise the 1986 Write Together at Darlington Arts Centre.

Teesword - Trevor Teasdel and Vera Davies plan Teesword magazine (a forerunner of what would become Outlet). It doesn't come off owing to funding it but Trevor tries several other options this. Later in the year he discusses it with Terry Lawson on a trip back from a performance in Tynesideand Terry mentions the idea for a Literature festival. This alliance and the ideas become the basis for Outlet Magazine and Write Around Festival but it would 1986 before Outlet took off and Write Around negotiations start. Meanwhile the pair filter the idea through the Teesside Writers Workshop. Trevor withdraws working the idea through the group because of disputes. These ideas are fundamental to much that develops after this point and are being planned towards a launch in 1986. The magazine and Festival will be springboards for a range of publications, imprints, groups etc. What we call the Cleveland Writing movement.

Poetic Licence and New Poetry Scene end this year and Trevor works through Community Arts and Teesside Writers Group instead.

Cleveland Peace Artists CND and Friends of The Earth organise cultural events around the county. Guisborough Poetry Group and performance poets Trev Teasdel, John Quinn and Stiletto Pigeonetto perform at a range of gigs this year.

Bob Pegg finishes his three year writer in residency by launching two anthologies Crossing the Tees and Dotting the I's and tours Cleveland with Julie Fullerton and poets published in the anthologies.

Northern Writers Week Not a Cleveland initiative but the Dovecot held severel events in March to celebrate it. Anne Stevenson read poems from the Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Women Poets. Bob Pegg Launched his anthologies at the end of his residencies with Guest Pete Morgan who was also a writer in residence in the area.The anthology was claimed to be the first ever Cleveland anthology but ignors many in the 19th and also Ann Wainwright's Open Hearts anthology for Poetic Licence in 1983. The New Poetry Scene - a regular event run by Trev Teasdel and Ann Wainwright also took place about then.

Pete Morgan begins his second short residency in Cleveland and performs for the Teesside Writers Workshop.

Stokesley Writers Group - Andy Croft took over tutoring this WEA Creative Writing course / Writers Group from Peter Rushforth.

Printing and Publishing in Stokesley by Daphne Franks for the Stokesley Heritage Group. A good account of the innovative printing publishing and literary scene in 1850's around The Pratt Family, Braithwaite, George Markham Tweddell.


Workers Educational Association- Middlesbrough Branch Committee. Trev Teasdel became a voluntary committee member and Programme secretary. Trevor worked through WEA and Commuity Arts Middlesbrough and later in the year Outlet to develop the Cleveland Creative Writing movement. Here Trevor got to know Andy Croft who was tutoring literature courses at this time.

Creative Writing Class - Jan 1986 Trev Teasdel ran his first Creative Writing class for WEA at the Albert Pub in Middlesbrough January. A six week course in conjunction with WEA and Community Arts Middlesbrough designed to launch a new break away group from the Teesside Writers Workshop through which Trevor would launch a range of Community writing courses and groups around the county, Outlet Magazine and Write Around, establish a local writing community of both established groups and writers and a host of new ones and eventually bring writers and groups together. This was the beginning of a new grass roots writing movement in the area. Established Arts elements would later get mixed in.

Community Arts Festival (Summer 1986) in Middlesbrough. Trev Teasdel ran some writers workshops as part of this.

Middlesbrough Festival - (Summer 1986) Trev Teasdel and other members of the Teesside Writers Workshop took part in the Middlesbrough festival, performing poems in between bands.

Write Now - Feb 1986 Trev Teasdel formed a writing workshop group as a result of his first class.A breakaway from Teesside Writers Workshop, this group would launch Outlet and Write Around later in the year.

Creative Writing Courses (October 1986) in the autumn Trev Teasdel tutored two further courses this year - one at the Neighbourhood Centre in Middelsbrough and he took over as tutor for the Stokesley WEA Group, producing the groups first anthology Leven Lines.

Write Together In past years Write Together had been held up in Durham but this year it was at Darlington Arts Centre. This year also the organisers included Keith Armstrong, Kevin Cadwallander, Trev Teasdel and Clive Rawson (of Community Arts Middlesbrough)who had been the committee to organise a regional publications group. The session consisted of workshops and performances and discussion. After this Trev Teasdel and Clive Rawson and Terry Lawson decided to focus on developing Teesside writing, not to be parochial but because it and resources were underdeveloped compared to Tyneside at the time.

Green Dragon Roadshow - Benefit for Friends of the Earth at the Green Dragon Theatre, Stockton with Spectres, Trev Teasdel (with a music / poetry extravaganza), Mick Sheenan (Songs) Johnny Nichol (humourous monologes) and Denise Faulkes (poetry). Friday June 20th. Organised by Sue Wilson (Lammiman) and F.O.E.

Kathleen McCreery - Writer in Residence - East Middlesbrough, based at Berwick Hills Library Jan to June 1986. Kath work both with adult creative writers at Berwick Hills library and at Keldholme Comprehensive School. The anthology Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in 1987 with writing from both school children and adults. The Berwick Hills Writers Group also formed from this led afterwards by librarians Alyson Perry and Carol Sloan. Gordon Hodgeon was instrumental in organising the residency.

Outlet - After various explorations by Trevor, a new Cleveland Poetry magazine started a year after Poetic Licence had folded. It would go out free through the county libraries etc and promote new upcoming writers in the community, and many of those who came to the classes Trevor tutored. It would be a spring board for many developments and Write Around and also a 'Quality' writing magazine was mooted at the same time. Copies of Outlet magazine on pdf

Stokesley Writers Group Trev Teasdel tutored this group autimn 1986 and produced their first anthology Leven Lines.

Outlet - After the initial issue of Outlet, the team received funding from Northern Arts and Cleveland County Libraries and leisure to produce Outlet Poetry magazine which went out through libraries and bookshops etc. In the January / February issue the editorial mentions the idea of developing a community writing / literature festival which was later known as Write Around. Outlet creates a lot of excitement and gets media attention and contributions from all over county from Hartlepool to Whitby. Copies of Outlet Magazine on pdf

WEA Creative Writing Courses Trev Teasdel ran popular first step Creative Writing course in around the Middlesbrough area with people coming to them from all over Cleveland via Outlet magazine. Trevor's courses initially were based in Middlesbrough at the Settlement and Acklam library. Trevor produced two anthologies with the evening and day class - Reflections and Little Acorns.

Outlet - get response from a Middlesbrough school to create a page for kids poetry. Co-editors Viv Harland and Terry Lawson approach Gordon Hodgeon, English Adviser for Cleveland Education and poet in his own right, with an idea for a separate Children's outlet. After some correspondence the idea didn't come off but Terry Lawson persued the idea later through Write Around and Write Around created anthologies to encourage children's writing. Copies of Outlet on pdf

Outlet Poetry Competition - Mark Beevers wins the Outlet Poetry competition with Miriam Flint coming second. Mark Beevers becomes involved with Outlet informally but the contact helped him develop his own magazine later on Saltburn Scene and become popular with national small press magazines.

Write Around - Outlet initiate Write Around. Although first of 11 Write Around festivals didn't begin until May 1989, negotiation with formal arts bodies began when Trev Teasdel and Terry Lawson took the idea to Cleveland Arts for support. A committee was formed with Cleveland Arts bringing arts officers to the table while Outlet brought members of writers groups and other contacts along from all over Cleveland. This was an important step in this history of Cleveland writing in that it provided an effective springboard many new initiatives, brought some many people around the table for the first time and launched a festival that was different at the time in that it brought in established writers on what was a celebration of the work of local writers, It was also important in that Teesside was largely the poor cousin of Tyneside and the focus of Outlet was to develop Cleveland writers and provide structures. Write Around was a measure of the progress that had been made.

Entertaining Hope - A poetry competition in aid of NSPPCA organised by Richard Briddon (a newly arrived student at Teesside Poly who became a leading light on the Cleveland writing scence through the Middlesb rough writers workshop , paranoia Press and was involved with the editorial board of Outlet and orangising committee of Write around.

WEA (Workers Educational Association) - Trevor Teasdel tutored courses in creative writing in Guisborough, Middlesbrough in conjunction with Outlet magazine.

Write Around, - Negotiations continued at Cleveland Arts towards the creation of Write Around, initated by Outlet magazine.

Stokesley Writers Group - Produced their second anthology Leven Lines 2

Guisborough Writers Group - Formed from Trev Teasdel's WEA creative writing course at Sunnyfield House.

WRITE AROUND - Finaly, after two years of negotiations with the local authority and Northern arts and local writers groups, a pilot version of write around was launched with events all over cleveland. the festival was a great success and thanks to Andy Croft, who took over chair, continued for 11 years until 2000 and was dubbed 'the most original Literary festival - with it's policy of name wrioters coming in on the terms of a celebration of local writing'. Write Around took over from Outlet as the main launching pad for new writing projects and initiatives, including local publishers, magazines, writers groups, courses and much more.

Yarm Writers Group (P.L.O.Y.) - Two groups formed from trevor teasdel's Creative writing class at Yarm Library. the celebrated Yarm playwright and novelist - Graham Farrow led an evening group at his house while a longer lasting group continued in the late 90's at yarm Library.

Bramblethorns Writers Group - Formed from a WEA creative writing course at Brambles Farm primary School, tutored by trev teasdel (and later andy croft) for parents in the brambles farm and Thorntree areas of Middlesbrough. the group produced their first anthology with trev and their second with andy.

The Phoenix Poetry Group -
Led by Margaret Weir (Chair of Middlesbrough Writers Group) and Jean Cumbour. The group was assisted in set up by Trev Teasdel and Outlet and ran monthly in Middlesbrough until 1991, with many ex students from trevor's writing classes. later the group merged with the remenants of Poetry 20+ which by this time was in decline after a very long existence form the 1960's.

TOP COPY - Initiated and edited by Steven Ryan who, along with others from the Hartlepool writers groups, had got involved with the write around organising committee. In the light of Outlet's success and the number of writers that had emerged from Hartlepool, Stevan applied for funding from Nothern arts to produce a literary magazine for Hartlepool itself. Unfortunatley Top Copy only lasted two issues before funding ran out.

Exile - Two writers from Billingham Ann and John who had both contributed to Outlet but who felt there should be more local Outlets, created the A5 size Exile - poetry magazine. They relocated to saltburn (at the same time as Outlet) and their magazine, like Poetic Licence before it, began to publish work not only from Cleveland but from all over. the magazine is still in existence by now published from their base in the south of england (a link will be on here soon). 

TEES VALLEY WRITER - Derek Gregory, (Chair of Middlesbrough Writers Group) launched a Northern Arts funded litary magazine for the area. The magazine aimed to serve the opposite end of the market to Outlet ie the more established / experienced writers with a glossy and journal style format. The magazine,which had been in market research for a year, was launched at the 1990 annual Write Around festival.

Northern Echo Literary Supplement. - This initiative by the regional paper Northern Echo was specific to the Cleveland area, covering most of the North East. However it did often give wider coverage to events in Cleveland and various local poets were published in it's pages. The supplement was edited by poet Grame Rigby and contained feature and regional poetry and prose along with a listing of events.

Evening Gazette Noticeboard - Impressed with the success of Outlet magazine, Andy croft, who had served latterly on the Outlet editorial board and was chair of write around, approached the evening gazette with an idea for a local poetry column edited by himself that would build on the work pioneered by Outlet but with a much wider coverage. the column, although it appeared spasmodically at times depending on space availability ran for about 10 years and published many budding working class writer sin the area, many of whom who had attended WEA or Leeds University creative writing course or had been published in Outlet or by Write Around. In a way it replaced Outlet, wnhose funding had run out by this time.






Merlin's Cauldron Arts Festival - organised by Trev Teasdel with Ann wainwright, Margaet Weir and others. may 1997. The festival was created to revive the original spirit of Write Around which some of the original initators felt had become too narrow in focus. The concept took more of a multi media appraoch to writing with workshops, mixed media performances, art exhibitions and much more all over the Tees valley and North Yorkshire. The three week festival was also an experiment to see if a festival could be organised without funding by a resouceful link up with voluntary and arts organisations. more details in the blog (soon!)

To be continued...

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