Our Trip to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses

By Julian Hadley

On Saturday 25th August 2018, as part of the continuing OWG 4th anniversary celebrations, Angela, Nicole and I visited Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses. On this occasion, there were just the three of us, but we still had a really nice day.

For anyone that may not know, Kinver is a beautiful village, west of Stourbridge and north of Kidderminster, perhaps best known for its rock houses.
Well, after a bit of a disjointed journey, courtesy of my trusty sat nav, we arrived at our destination, and set off, eager to scale the dizzying heights of Kinver Edge. (Incidentally, I myself hadn’t been to Kinver for six years, and I had forgotten that parking for Kinver Edge is free. Another bonus).

We’d opted to follow the woodland trail, as this was apparently the shortest and least strenuous. Hmm, I think this was a case of famous last words. That said, it wasn’t too bad, though the trail was quite steep in places, so it might not suit those with mobility issues.

Our route was well marked and led us along some nice, shady paths and as one would expect, through plenty of greenery. Like Sandwell Valley, plenty of conservation work has been/is being done, and it was nice to see that here too — the off-trail areas had been allowed to go wild. At one point, a series of basic hides had been put together with fallen branches, so presumably, that was a good spot for wildlife. I myself didn’t see any, but who knows how many pairs of beady eyes were watching us from the dense undergrowth.

Soon enough, we reached the top and marvelled at the view. You can see for miles, in almost every direction. For those who like to know which way home lies, a compass type beacon has been provided for your convenience. As one would expect, most local towns were pointed out, as well as a few places that are a bit further away. Even New York was featured, though I think that is a bit too far for a Saturday hike.

After a short break for lunch, we followed a gentle path up to the famous rock houses, and for the first time in my life, I was able to go inside. As a boy, I visited Kinver several times with my Grandfather and had seen the rock houses when people were still living in them. I suppose I thought that inside they were the same as any other house. I was very wrong. It was like a trip back in time. The rock houses, or cave houses, were cut into sandstone, which was formed roughly 250 million years ago when the entire region was a desert, a desert which presumably encompassed nearby Bridgnorth, which is hard to imagine, given the green and pleasant landscape of today.

The houses (currently owned and maintained by the National Trust) were known to be occupied as early as the 1700’s and were described by one of the earliest visitors as being very clean and comfortable, and having modern conveniences. But of course, back then, little basics like electricity and flushing toilets didn’t exist. Yet despite that, these cave houses had plenty in their favour. For one thing, having no gas, electricity or running water meant no bills. Also, they were cosy; being solidly enclosed made them warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The typical form of heating was a cast iron range, which doubled as a cooker, and given the location, they had no shortage of firewood. The houses typically have one general living area and one bedroom, both spacious. Looking around, you can see little niches or alcoves cut into the walls, which were probably for candles. I don’t suppose for one minute that it would suit everyone, but I would happily live there. If you haven’t been, it’s worth seeing.

After our visit to the rock houses, we headed into Kinver for a look round. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a lovely place, but there isn’t that much to see. We did, however, find a great little antique shop, hidden away in a side alley – the proprietor of which was a retired firefighter from Rowley Regis. It really is a small world.

Angela treated herself to a few books, including a copy of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe, dating to the 1800’s, and we all got to see a small collection of blades, including a Scottish basket hilt Claymore, though unfortunately, it was a replica. Still a beautiful piece, though.

We concluded our little ramble with a visit to a local pub, the Plough and Harrow, just on the High Street. We were all very good and had soft drinks (honest guv), and Angela sampled one of the speciality pork pies. I hadn’t been in that pub since 1988, and while it had changed a bit, it still managed to keep its traditional appeal.

As usual, there were a few comical moments that are worthy of a mention, but since they all focus on one certain group member, I will not name names.

Things got off to an encouraging start when a certain someone mentioned that they could identify any of the snakes we might encounter, including the adder, which apart from being venomous, it has a very distinctive pattern.

A little later, following our visit to the rock houses, this same someone went on a scrumping spree through a nearby orchard, swiping at least two apples, supposedly to see if they will grow when planted in a garden.

Last, but not least, this certain person recounted a little ditty, “sit in a hole and suffocate a mole, in an English country garden.”

Honestly, you couldn’t make it up.

So, there you have it, another adventure crossed off the list. And since we’ve still got a little bit of summer left, there is plenty of time for another. All suggestions welcome.

Music:

Song 1The Banshee. Gravel Walks. The Old Copperplate by Sláinte

Song 2Appalachian Coal Mines by Mid-Air Machine

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Four Years of the Oldbury Writing Group

By Angela L. Garratt

It is amazing that four years after the birth of the Oldbury Writing Group (OWG), we are still going strong, but none of what has happened would have if it were not for the brilliant members that we have.

We have seen it all since day one, a teacher that wanted no more than to expand his imagination, a nurse who loves to write poetry, an Italian children’s author, a life writer, graphic novelists, journalists, content and copywriters and of course people who just want to write for the fun of it.

Being a writer, or indeed any kind of artist is no good if you are just in it for the money, you have to love what you do in order to do it right. The reader can tell whether or not there is passion in the words that have been written, and that is the one thing that every member who comes to the OWG have in common. Whether we write for fun, therapy or as a profession, we all love what we do, and that passion is shown every week in the stories, poems and other works that are shared. It has been this way for four years now, and I am so proud that I am the founder and leader of this magnificent group.

We are not just group members; we are friends that get together every week. Sometimes we see each other more often: we visit each other, call and text one another. We help each other out, and the one thing that you can always rely on is honesty. We can trust each other to tell the truth about each other’s works. We want to know if our works are good enough to be published and we will tell the truth as it would be better coming from a friend you can trust rather than an unscrupulous editor that won’t bother to spare your feelings.

The Oldbury Writing Group encourages equality and diversity. It is great to see two people standing together; two people who could not be more culturally different, but they have their love of the written word in common. One of the trips we went on a couple of years ago was to Haden Hill House in Cradley Heath, which is a big manor house with beautiful grounds and a lot of history. I took a photo of two of our members who have since moved on, of a white, English, elderly gentleman and a young, black male from Africa’s Ivory Coast. They were not just standing side by side, but they were leaning on one another – friends because of their common interest. I love how the OWG has brought people together, created friendships and helped to increase the confidence and self-esteem of people who have really needed a lift in life.

We have shared our good times, like my 40th birthday when I invited all of the OWG to my birthday party and they put together and bought me a £45 voucher for WHSmiths (which I have now spent), and we have shared our griefs. All the members of the OWG are my friends, and I care about them all deeply.

We have learnt so much, not just from each other, but from the outings that we have taken together. Another place that we have regularly visited as a group was the PowWow Festival of Writing in Moseley. About three years ago, there was a talk about the pros and cons of getting a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. The two talking was a Master’s Degree student and a university professor on the subject. The student said, in so many words, that you would do just as good if you joined a good writing group to study creative writing instead of studying it at a university. I do believe that, but an element of my degree is in creative writing, so who am I to say. Having said that, I do run a good writing group, but the truth is, this group would not be the group it is if it were not for Nicole J. Simms. Nicole is the group’s deputy leader, and she runs the online side of the group. She knows exactly when to take charge and when to step back; she has all the makings of a natural leader, and she has done the OWG proud. She is a wonderful human being and one of my closest friends. We would be lost without her. We gain inspiration from one another too, listening to each other’s woes and praises, life experiences and general chit-chat.

One thing is for sure, it is impossible to put into words just how much the OWG means to me. Not just the trips, inspirational talks, the stories and poems that we hear from each other, not the new skills or even the fact that we have each helped one another to overcome our insecurities or improve our self-esteem, or the fact that we are all such good friends. It is all of that and more. I hope that in the next four years, the OWG would have expanded to gain new members who become good friends, I hope we publish more and more books together as we already have done with From Sunrise to Sunset and another anthology that we have coming out towards the end of this year. I hope that we see more personal publications from each member, and I hope that we are all still there to help support each other through our personal and passionate journeys to expressing ourselves through the beauty of the written word.

Music:

Memories by Audiobinger

Our Day in Sandwell Valley

By Julian Hadley

On Saturday 28th June, four daring members of the OWG, namely Angela, Dave, Julian (me) and Nicole, undertook a scouting mission into Sandwell Valley, encompassing the Priory ruins, the Swan Pool, and concluding with the RSPB reserve. And a great day it was, too.

One of the first things that struck me was the rich greenery. The walkways are well maintained, but to a greater extent, the surrounding woodland has been allowed to revert to its natural state. Tall leafy trees line the main trail, but off track, patches of dense, thorny undergrowth help to ensure that people are kept away from the valley’s delicate wildlife; just as it should be.

A short way along the trail, our collective eye was drawn to a metalwork sculpture of a clump of flowers. It was nothing fancy, but novel, despite the graffiti, so delicately sprayed on the dull grey leaves.

Further on, we found what I think is a small stream (Google maps doesn’t say), roughly five feet wide and quite literally carpeted with Jade green algae. The water’s canopy was so still and perfect, it looked like a road, leading off into the distance. Here and there, decaying logs and fallen branches raised their heads above the surface, rather like hungry crocodiles in a scene, more reminiscent of an Australian swamp than a tiny stretch of water in the West Midlands.

Next, we reached the ruins of Sandwell Priory, and wandered round, trying to guess which foundation was which (little realising that just a few feet away, was a site map). I found myself trying to mentally reconstruct the site, wondering if the original builders had used mortar, etc. The excavation work had been carried out by volunteers, between 1982 and 1988. They certainly did a good job.

Back on the trail, we soon reached the Park Lane waypoint and continued towards the Swan Pool. The last time I was there (obviously a very long time ago) the trail leading to the pool didn’t exist. I think there was a simple stile on the main path, allowing hikers access to the field. These days, thick green bushes, trees and shrubs line the path, effectively hiding the pylons, which once dominated the view. It was here that Angela spotted a pair of Damsel Flies, such fragile little things, a beautiful shade of blue. At first, I was surprised to see them. It was quite open at that point, and the wind was strong. But of course, with the land having been allowed to go a little wild, there was plenty of shelter for them.

We skirted the inner edge of the Swan Pool. There were a few Canadian geese here and there, and perhaps one or two other species, but for the most part, the waterfowl were concentrated on the opposite side.

So, after a quick stop for lunch, we headed for the RSPB reserve.

I knew that Forge Mill Lake was popular with ornithologists, but I had no idea there was a dedicated RSPB site there. Just in case you’re thinking of going (which I would recommend), parking is £3, and the drinks are quite pricey, but the site itself is free entry. Not being a bird watcher myself, I was pleasantly surprised. The visitor centre is really nice, and inside is an observation deck, with a great view of the pool; perfect for anyone with mobility issues.

We followed the track and found that once again, the surrounding landscape (while well maintained) was quite wild. Rarely have I seen so much dense greenery in one place. Much better for wildlife and it stops people straying too close to the water.

Soon, we came to a hide. Again, I was impressed because it was deceptively large. Inside, seating was basic, but the view was fantastic. Ok, it was only a pool in Sandwell, but that’s hardly the point. I was surprised to find that the RSPB had provided a telescope and some binoculars for people to use. Most of the enthusiasts had their own of course, but I found them handy. Luckily, Angela was very clued up on the different species and quickly spotted a couple of lapwings (apparently rare) and a moorhen. I heard one of the enthusiasts saying that he’d been watching a heron, though I didn’t see it myself. I’m not sure I will ever be a “twitcher”, but it was lovely to see the birds, just doing what they do, unthreatened and unafraid.

We left the hide after about fifteen minutes and carried on around the lake and back to the visitor centre. It was a lovely walk, but there wasn’t a great deal more to see. As usual, one of the best things about the group outings is spending a little time with kindred intellects and simply enjoying the day.

There were, of course, a couple of comical moments.

Inevitably, at one point, it started raining. Dave, Nicole and myself, were suitably covered up, but our Angela hadn’t brought a coat or umbrella. Never fear; I sorted her out with a German army poncho, in a very fetching olive green. Not everyone could get away with it, but she carried it off nicely. It wasn’t long before the rain got heavier and I was forced to put my poncho on too. Naturally, Nicole snapped a few discreet photos (I’m negotiating with her for the negatives).

So, that’s another mission completed. I’m not sure if it will inspire any great literary works, but time will tell.

PS:

While I think about it, Angela suggested that we should have a special name for our touring group. So, I applied my keen mind to the task for a few minutes and came up with “OWG Reconnaissance and Expeditionary Squad.” I quite like it, but my son reckons its closest acronym would be “Ogres.” I welcome any thoughts on the matter.

Music:

Adventure, Darling by Gillicuddy

Celebrating Black Country Day at the Old Hill Festival

By Julian Hadley

Black Country Version (see below for translation)

As most people’ll know, Sat’dee 14th July was Black Country day. Needless to say, the Odebury Writin Group – all proud Black Country folk – was aat n’abaat in Ode ‘ill to support the event.

Unfortunately, things got off to a bit o’ a bumpy start; we managed to lose Daniel, n’ tha’s not easy, because ‘es a big mon. So, we gid Daniel a call n’ let ‘im know where we was, n’ while we waited for ‘im to join us, me n’ our Dave ‘ad a quick nose round.

The main attraction, if yow can call it tha’, was a bloke in a bright red jacket (I couldn’t mek me mind up if ‘e looked more loyk a ring master or a fox ‘unter) up on a stage, singing n’ dancing to some classics from the 60’s, 70’s n’ 80’s. ‘E wor at all bad neither, n’ all the while we was there, ‘is enthusiasm dae waver. Mind yow, it was too loud for me.

Any road, we was a bit ‘ungry, so we looked raand to see wha there was to eat. Apart from a couple o’ nice cake stalls n’ the customary chip wagon, we was chuffed to find a stall selling traditional Black Country fittle. Dave (bein a bright bloke) ‘ad faggots n’ peas, while I ‘ad the “taster box” which included a faggot, gray pays n’ baircon n’ an ‘elping o’ grorty dick, which I ‘asten to add, is suitable for all them wot doe eat meat. Very nice, burrit wor ‘alf fillin.

There was still no sign o’ our Daniel, so I wen’ to fetch ‘im. He wor too far away, so we was soon back wi’ the rest o’ the gang n’ we all ‘ad a look round.

It was a bostin sunny day n’ everyone we met was very friendly. Mind yow, it wor fantastic, the main problem bein the size o’ the venue. It was on a social club car park, so there wor much room. The stalls they ‘ad was good, but there was too few o’ them. There may ‘av bin summat gooin on in the social club, but it looked proper crowded, so we dae goo in.

We did gerra few ‘ighlights mind yer. Our Dave got mistook fer Ed Sheeran (an the wench wot mistook him, wor even blathered). Our Angela bought ‘erself a very posh pen (we’ll ‘ave ter wait ‘n see if ‘er writes any posh poems wi it). But the best buy o’ the day was med by our Nicole, who treated ‘erself to an ‘elium balloon in the shape o’ an ‘osses yed (I think). It was not only a bostin buy, but a brave one an all. Gooin back to Odebury by car was one thing, but ‘er was a gooin to do some shopping in Sainsburys, n’ then gerrin ‘um on the bus.

So, in the finish, did the event goo any way towards capturing the essence o’ the Black Country? Ard ter say. Mind yow, ‘ow can summat as grim n’ majestic as the Black Country, wi’ a proud ‘istory of unrivalled industry, blazing furnaces, coal barges n’ ‘eavy iron chains, be expressed in a single day, except in the ‘earts, minds n’ the wonderful language still spoken by them as live there?

The event may not ‘av bin fantastic, but the aim was to bring people together in a show o’ Black Country pride, n’ in tha, it succeeded. A’m propa looking forrad to next year.

I’ll see yer there.

Plain English Version (Translation)

As most people will know, Saturday 14th July was Black Country day, and the Oldbury Writing Group were in Old Hill to support the event.

Unfortunately, things got off to a bit of a bumpy start; we managed to lose Daniel, and that’s not easy because he’s a big man. Anyway, we gave Daniel a call and let him know where we were, and while we waited for him, Dave and I had a quick look round.

The main attraction, if it can be described as such, was a gentleman in a bright red jacket (I couldn’t decide if he looked more like a ringmaster or a fox hunter) up on a stage, singing and dancing to some classics from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. He wasn’t at all bad, and all the while we were there, his enthusiasm didn’t waver. Very impressive, considering how hot it was. Mind you, it was a bit too loud for my liking.

Anyway, we were a bit hungry, so we looked around to see what there was to eat. Apart from a couple of nice cake stalls and the customary chip wagon, we were delighted to find a stall selling traditional Black Country cuisine. Dave (very wisely) opted for faggots and peas, while I tried the “taster box” which included a faggot, some grey peas and bacon and a helping of groaty pudding, which I hasten to add, is suitable for vegetarians. Lovely, but very filling.

There was still no sign of our Daniel, so I went to fetch him. Luckily he wasn’t too far away, so we were soon with the rest of the gang and had a good look round the event.

It was a gloriously sunny day, and everyone we met was very friendly, but for me, personally, the event was not fantastic. The main problem was the size of the venue. It was set on a social club car park, so there was not a lot of room. The stalls we saw were good, but there were just too few of them. There may have been something going on inside the social club itself, but it looked so crowded that we decided not to go in.

On the plus side, there were some unexpected highlights; a woman mistook Dave for Ed Sheeran (she was stone cold sober too). Angela bought herself a very posh pen though whether it inspires any posh poetry remains to be seen.

But the prize for the best buy of the day must go to Nicole, who treated herself to a Helium balloon in the shape of a horse’s head (I think). It was not only a great buy, but also a brave one. Travelling back to Oldbury by car was one thing, but she was going to do some shopping at Sainsbury’s and then going home on the bus.

Did the event go any way towards capturing the essence of the Black Country? Then again, how can a place so grim and majestic as the Black Country, with a proud history of unrivalled industry, blazing furnaces, coal barges and heavy iron chains, be properly expressed in a single day, except in the hearts, minds and the wonderful language still spoken by those who live within its borders?

The event we attended may not have been fantastic, but the aim was to bring people together in a show of Black Country pride, and in that, it succeeded. I for one am looking forward to next year.

I’ll see you there.

Music:

Village Fair by Dee Yan-Key

Our Visit to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

By Heather Barrett

Oldbury Writing Group finally got its Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery visit underway, after the snowfall and other pickles had thwarted plans. Our intention was to visit the museum to expand our interests and cultural field as writers. The wait was worthwhile and on Saturday 28th April 2018, we met in the grand Victorian vestibule, making our way up the marble staircase, where so many stepped before during the museum’s 133-year history.

The Location

The 19th-century building is a jewel in the crown of Birmingham’s civic zone, and along with the Council House and Town Hall, retains its majesty in a city undergoing vigorous construction projects, with luffing cranes unfurling like Knotweed and new architectural statements sprouting up loud and proud, making Birmingham a powerful global city. There is so much to see and do here, from retail therapy at Selfridges to al fresco dining (weather permitting) at Colmore Row’s trendy eateries. While the museum has its contenders for our hard earned and precious spare time, it remains an icon and place of calling for locals and tourists alike.

A Birmingham Museums Trust annual report in 2015 listed 1,272,070 visitors to museums in the city, but these heritage sites are at an increasing, advancing risk from the pestilence of cutbacks. It’s never been more critical to support our museums. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery have a collection totalling 800,000 items and thousands of volunteer hours are spent each year on tasks, which include lovingly restoring items, serving food in the Edwardian Tea Rooms and assisting school children in their visits.

What’s On and What Got Us Thinking

Ok, where do we start? We had things that inspired us as a group and wowed us on personal levels, such as group leader, Angela’s moving commentary on Nevinson’s WW1 scene ‘Column on the March’, “they are all marching into the light” and Dave’s keen observation on Empire as a “Disaster of epic proportions.” A small and dearly painted portrait of a young Edwardian man named William Downing, who perished from TB in his prime, is the presence haunting my mind following the visit. That is what is so unique about stuff a museum trip imprints on us, how lives divided by time and continent touch each other because we share the commonality of human spirit, whether Egyptian noble or 21st century Black Country wordsmith.

We were engulfed in the art of the Round Room, where Epstein’s stunning and whimsical ‘Lucifer’ bronze greeted us with outreached fingers and spreading wings. The walls were flanked with artworks, taking us from the piazzas of Venice to the hills of Llangollen, seen through eyes long closed for the last time.

Well established collections, such as the Staffordshire Hoard, did not disappoint. The museum did a great job of complimenting the exhibits with models of Viking life, giving a glimpse into the charm and the dangers of that age. Julian gave a vibrant talk on weaponry and history that complimented the sights. We were equally thrilled amongst the gems and the jars of the ancient Near East. Gathered around an Egyptian funeral mask, we mused about what those people knew and did that we might never, our imaginations as writers were catching fire.

Much as we were wooed by the old, there was plenty to inspire amongst the themed and contemporary exhibits. Museum Trust Director, Ellen McAdam, stated in 2017, “We want to ensure that Birmingham remains a leading city for arts and culture, and continues to thrive.” Making local life central to the museum trust philosophy was evident. At the Faith exhibit, 11th-century Indian bass reliefs, in juxtaposition to 1980’s Rastafarian tee-shirts, spun a complexed story of a multi-spiritual city.

We saw more of that local life in action with Vanley Burke’s photographic depiction of black political identity, ‘Rivers of Birmingham’ series. The photographs are now part of a wider collection, gathered by the Museums Trust. The theme of culture and identity was developed further in ‘The Past is Now’ exhibition, exploring the role the city played within the British Empire. This, for us as a group, was one of the biggest talking points, and stoked some lively conversation. The exhibit consisted of textiles, works reflecting themes of diverse identities, mirrors posing the question ‘how do you see yourself?’ and artefacts of colonial rule. The writing wall, prompting opinions, was a great interactive tool for taking part in that debate while leaving a statement behind for other visitors to see.

In contrast to the grandeur of art showcased across the centuries, the New Art West Midlands highlighted contemporary work from graduates across the region. I think we were all intrigued and delighted by Aileen Doherty’s light installation ‘Dark Matters’, with its twinkling star lights intermingled with black pyramidical formations. We stood and gazed into those lights, taking a moment to pause from what was an engrossing day.

To take in and fully appreciate the sights on offer was a day’s work. While the Edwardian Tearooms were jammed to the rafters with dining visitors, the small, modern and rather intimate Bridge Café offered some respite and refreshment. You can’t really go wrong with tea and cake. The gift shop had a varied selection of goods at all prices and tastes, and Nicole soon had us taking our ritual selfie by the book wheel. If I had one small complaint or suggestion about the wares on offer, it would be to stock items or postcards reflecting what some of the newer exhibitions had to offer.

Mission Accomplished

If the point of the visit was to broaden our cultural horizons and get the creative spark ignited, it had that effect and left plenty to think about and inspire. My only advice is that it’s a full day out if you are planning to see most of what’s on show. You spend more time on your feet than you imagine and it gets busy.

To plan your visit, check opening times and see what’s on, visit the Birmingham Museum’s official website.

Music:

Night at the Synth Museum by Wankers United

Daniel Bagley: Why I Joined Oldbury Writing Group

Daniel Bagley: Why I Joined Oldbury Writing Group

  1. When did you start writing?
  2. The early 2000s, I think. Unfortunately, it was something to past the time away, and not something I took much interest in, until now.

  3. What do you write?
  4. I enjoy writing a lot of dark fantasy related stuff, with a little bit of science fiction on the side.

  5. How long have you been a member?
  6. 8 months, to be precise.

  7. Why did you decide to join the writing group?
  8. It’s all well and good to write things of your own accord, but for me, that wasn’t enough. I needed to venture out there and find people who share a similar interest. Needless to say, it was one choice I did not regret making.

  9. How did you hear about Oldbury Writing Group?
  10. A local library, if I can remember.

  11. Have you joined a writing group before?
  12. Sort of, but that was back in primary school.

  13. What do you enjoy about being a member of the Oldbury Writing Group?
  14. Meeting the members every Saturday, and going out on day trips. It’s moments like these that I enjoy the most.

  15. How have you benefited from being a member of Oldbury Writing group?
  16. When I first joined the group, I was quite nervous, but it didn’t take long for me to feel at home. The support they offer is amazing, and through them, you can set goals you wouldn’t think was possible. Ultimately, I am quite pleased with these past several months, and I hope it continues well into the future.

  17. Has joining Oldbury Writing Group changed your writing life?
  18. Yes, in more ways than one. Before I conjured up the idea of joining a writing group, I’ve only ever treated it as a hobby, something to pass the time away. Moving to the present day, that particular mindset changed, and now I find myself writing more than usual. I owe my thanks to the OWG; their influence has allowed me to achieve my short and long-term goals as a writer.

  19. Would you recommend Oldbury Writing Group?
  20. Yes, without a shadow of a doubt!

Our Talk at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival 2018

By Claire Morrall

On the 27th January, the Oldbury Writing Group was invited to attend the Wolverhampton Literature Festival to talk about the merits of joining a writing group.

Each member was to explain their own, and often personal, reasons for joining the group and read a piece of their own work, be it a short story or piece of poetry.

It’s fair to say, that before our session started, we were all a little nervous. Even the seasoned pros amongst us looked a little wary.

As a few fellow writing enthusiasts, and my ever supportive fella, took their seats and shelter from the rain within Wolverhampton Art Gallery, we started our workshop.

Some members, like Jackie and Julian, chose to read pieces that painted a picture of the Black Country, which went down very well given our venue.

Dave and Nicole performed poems from the groups’ fantastic World War Two anthology, From Sunrise to Sunset.

Bally read a beautiful poem about time whilst Daniel wowed with a fantasy/science fiction piece.

Me? Well, I chose a short story based on one of our groups weekly prompts about a pair of stray pants! You’ll have to join the group to find out more!

Just like a flash, our session was over, and the subsequent applause made all the nerves well worth it. And best of all? We were challenged to a poetry throw down by a fellow writing group!

Music:

Corporate Presentation by Scott Holmes