RIVER WORKSHOPS BY Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership

I received this email from Will Hirstle the Stour Project Co-ordinator so passing it on to see if any of you are interested in doing any of these workshops. I have done one in the past and found it very informative. These are free events so contact Will if you would like to participate or even just to go on their mailing list for future events.

In the Stour Valley, rivers flow through all our towns and many smaller settlements. We rely on them in many ways, yet we take them for granted and they often pass by un-noticed. WordFlow is about using writing to celebrate and draw inspiration from rivers and riverside landscapes. Local writer Victoria Field will hold workshops at venues in Ashford and Canterbury in June. 
Full details below. Just reply to this email to book a place. 

WordFlow creative writing workshops

In Ashford (at the Riverside Centre, Clockhouse, TN23 4YN)
Tuesday June 4th
Saturday June 8th In Canterbury (at the Marlowe Kit, Stour Street, CT1 2NZ)
Friday June 7th
Sunday June 9th All workshops run from 10am to 1pm.

Free event

Local writer Victoria Field will use the River Stour as inspiration for you to write poems, fiction, memoir or drama. We will read examples of other people’s writing about rivers, share our own experiences and possibly spend time observing the river nearby. We will use these as a stimulus for creating our own responses in writing. No previous experience necessary. Refreshments will be provided

WordFlow is a sister project to FlowFilm, our river-based film-making project. 

There will be opportunities later in the year to work with a film-maker on a short film based on your writing. The writing created in the workshop will also be used as inspiration for young film-makers attending workshops in the summer holidays. I hope you can join us! 

Will Hirstle Our Stour Project Co-ordinator
Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership Ashford Highways,  4 Javelin Way, Henwood, Ashford, TN24 8DH

Tel: 03000 410900

  Conserving, enhancing and promoting the countryside and urban greenspace of the Stour Valle

Part of the Kent Countryside and Coast Management Service.


Folkestone’s Golden Summers: III 1963 – The Poet as a Small Boy Visits the Town

Life was never better
Than in Nineteen Sixty Three
Between the end of the snowbound winter
And Freddie’s You Were Made For Me.

On a cool August morning in Foord Road
A blue Vauxhall Victor groans to a stop,
Disgorging two pairs of flustered parents
And three kids chock full of crisps and pop.

No sooner the guest book’s been signed
The kids clamour to go to East Cliff Sands;
With the tide far out the beach is ripe
For making castles and handstands.

But it’s for cricket the boy yearns the most,
Pitching stumps and bails he scans the beach
For willing, smaller boys to do the fielding
While he smashed the ball out of their reach.

As sand recedes beneath insistent waves,
Cricket gives way to crazy golf with slides,
To amusement arcade and boating lake,
Rollercoasters and Rotunda rides.

He plays for plastic racing cars
And pinball machine high scores,
While parents play bingo for household goods
They could buy much cheaper in the stores.

And then there’s that first trip abroad
On a ferry bound for Boulogne-Sur-Mer,
The boy spends his time bent overboard,
In bitter tears and silent prayer.

But he brightens at promise of fish and chips,
White bread and butter, mugs of tea;
And climbing the crooked, sloping street
To Rock Shop’s window wide and free.

Life was never better
Than in Nineteen Sixty Three
Between the end of the snowbound winter
And Freddie’s You Were Made For Me.

By Tony Quarrington

Folkestone’s Golden Summers: II – 1903 The Grand Gentlemen’s Mansions Opens

Perambulators and parasols parade
On new mown and manicured lawn
Designed by Decimus Burton,
From polo field and pasture hewn.

“Finest marine promenade in the world”,
The guidebook effusively lays claim;
Hard to argue on this glorious morn
When sea and sky look just the same.

The guests arrive by lift and carriage,
Depending on their wealth and style
To acclaim a marvel of the modern age,
A red brick vision to make them smile.

Crowds congregate on Madeira Walk,
Path forged from latest cliff slide,
While builder Baker, spurned by Metropole
Admires his handiwork with rightful pride.

The band plays a medley of popular tunes,
From jazz, music hall and ragtime,
Like When We Were Two Little Boys,
And In the Good Old Summertime.

Albert Burvill, in new blue uniform,
Sends packing gatecrashers from the town,
Craving a peek at the rich folk’s party,
Now turned away by copper’s frown.

But they will get their chance another day
To press their noses to the Monkey Cage,
And watch their King among his court
Feast and roar on this most public stage.

Metropole management looks on
At the rival Radnor vowed not to build,
Contemplating legal action
Against violation of its private field.

Pavilion, Burlington, Majestic,
Metropole and now the Grand,
Fashionable Folkestone is all the rage
At harbour and on cliff top land.

By Tony Quarrington

Folkestone’s Golden Summers: I -1843 The Water Witch Sets Sail

From centuries of slog and slime,
From Pent and Channel battered,
A sleepy, careworn fishing village
Today becomes a town that matters.

Herring, mackerel, crabs and sole
Now make their way to Billingsgate,
And fetch a price not seen before
The railway raised flat Folkestone’s fate.

Sun, with constant bedfellow, breeze,
Smiles on the arrival of the first class fares,
While locals rush to harbour viewing points
From auction sheds that plied their wares.

The first wave of “down from Londoners”
Steps from gleaming horse drawn coach
That brought them from a makeshift station
In lieu of soon to be rail track approach.

A boisterous band blares out the latest hits
Of Wagner, Chopin, Strauss and Liszt,
As crinolined ladies, with handbags and fans,
Tease gentlemen whose advances they resist.

Steam powered Water Witch, focal point
Of this auspicious day, adjoins the quay,
And nervous passengers clamber aboard
In clothes unsuited for a swelling sea.

But the water’s calm and the crossing smooth
As guns and flags bid travellers adieu,
In three hours, on Boulogne’s teeming dock,
An even louder band greets guests and crew.

Now, La Marsellaise and God save the Queen
Salute the excited but exhausted crowd,
A necessary triumph for entente cordiale,
Two towns so far, but now so near, made proud.

In Folkestone, normal service is resumed,
Men mend nets and women cook and clean,
Habitual chores for o’er a thousand years,
Yet a smaller, faster, world can now be seen.

By Tony Quarrington
PICTURES, Writing prompts


#creativewriting #writing #creative #prompts #writingprompts #ideas #shoes #creativewritingideas #shouldbewriting #amwriting #writingphotoprompts #happywriting
A few prompts for you! 1. I picked them up, put them on and that’s when the trouble started… 2. I’m sitting here and the only thing people can see are my shoes… 3. Unwanted… Happy Writing people!

Get those creative juices flowing, with random image!

1. I picked them up, and that’s when the trouble started…

2. I’m invisible. People can only see my shoes…

3. The shoes were all I owned…

Or any other idea which might spring to mind!

Happy Writing people!

#writing #amwriting #photowritingprompts #prompts #onceuponatime #firestarters #folkestone #nickjshingleton #writebythesea #creative #shouldbewriting

Photography: Nick J Shingleton
PICTURES, Writing prompts


#amwriting #shouldbewriting #creativewriting #photowritingprompts #folkestone #onceuponatime
This image was taken in Folkestone, Kent. It might inspire you to come up with an idea for a short story. Here are a couple of prompts to get you started! 1. From behind the cliff came the ships… 2. This is a close as we could get… Or any other writing ideas which this image might give you! Happy Writing People!

This image was taken in Folkestone, Kent.
It might inspire you to come up with an idea for a short story.
Here are a couple of prompts to get you started!

1. From behind the cliff came the ships…

2. This is a close as we could get…

3. From the sea, we came…

Or any other creative idea which might spring to mind!

Happy writing people!

#amwriting #shouldbewriting #creative #writing #onceuponatime #writingphotoprompts #nickjshingleton #writingphotos #prompts #stories #poems #folkestone #storyideas

Photography: Nick J Shingleton