BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER FOR TUEBINGEN/DURHAM 30TH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH

BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER FOR TUEBINGEN/DURHAM 30TH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH

30.9.15

NORTH EAST LABOUR HISTORY SOCIETY



Greetings one and all,

A First Tuesday meeting will be held at the Bridge Hotel, at 7.00 pm on 6th October 2015.

                       
   The Belgian Refugees: A Hundred Years On.

Next year marks one hundred years since the arrival of Belgian refugees into the region. Bill Lawrence  will bring us up to date with they and their families, and will discuss the events and publications planned, both in the North East and Belgium,  to  commemorate the centenary. Keith Armstrong will present his poem that has been specially commissioned as part of the celebrations.


'Thanks for the poem and thanks for your contribution the other evening. It went down well and the whole evening was entertaining as well as informative (I've been trying to reduce the po-faced academic element).' 
Brian Bennison (NELHS)

20.9.15

MOUTHS OF TYNE




























photos: dr armstrong










This poet’s wild imagination
is open all hours.
Fired by the flash of barmaids
I have worshipped,
I crawl the Shields bars,
seeking memories 
of old sailors.
Thrashing through The Jungle
of sun-kissed lounges,
I look for a date
with a Tyneside Dolly,
trawl through the faded papers
for a glimpse of a dashing blade.
My thirsty history is in these pubs,
seeping through The Porthole,
swimming with the Low Lights blues.
My tongue is wagging with excitement,
I am the talk of the Tyne,
one of the many mouths
of this swilling river
in our blood.





KEITH ARMSTRONG 



14.9.15

HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 2015









Hookey Walker’s Farewell to Shields

South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, Ocean Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE33 2JA
Performance by poet Dr Keith Armstrong of the atmospheric narrative poem describing the state of South Shields in 1852 written by former Shields gazette Editor William Brockie (1811-1890), together with a short selection of other poetry by Brockie. The rendition was accompanied by sea shanties performed by South Shields folk heroes 'The Ancient Mariners'. All those attending received a Hooky Walker souvenir broadsheet at the performance.

Opening Times

  • Thursday 10 September: Performance 12.00


Organised by


Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

The Geordie Lamp: Celebrating the Stephenson Legacy


White Swan Centre, Citadel East, Killingworth, Tyne & Wear

A special event organised by Northern Voices Community Projects to mark the 200th anniversary of the invention of the 'Geordie' mining safety lamp by George Stephenson. The event included readings from 'North Tyneside Steam', the recently published book by Dr Keith Armstrong and Peter Dixon which tells the story of George Stephenson in Killingworth and North Tyneside and of steam railways in the area. Contributors to the book performed their poems, stories and songs as well as new materials inspired by the 'Geordie Lamp'. They were introduced by local poet Keith Armstrong with music from the Sawdust Jacks.










Additional information

North Tyneside Steam: This new book from Northern Voices Community Projects, was commissioned by North Tyneside Council in 2014, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, It was published to mark the bicentenary of George Stephenson's steam locomotive Blucher and tells the story of its creator in Killingworth and North Tyneside and of steam railways in the area.



















6.9.15

MAUD WATSON, FLORIST




bred in a market arch
a struggle
in a city’s armpit

that flower
in your time-rough hand’s
a beautiful girl in a slum alley

all that kindness in your face

and you’re right

the time are not what they were
this England’s not what it was

flowers shrink in the crumbling vase
dusk creeps in on a cart

and Maud the sun is choking

Maud this island’s sinking

and all that sleeping sea is

the silent majority

waving



Keith Armstrong

4.9.15

BERWICK 900


2.9.15

WILLIAM BLAKE IN THE BRIDGE HOTEL


































A few pints of Deuchars and my spirit is soaring.
The child dances out of me,
goes running down to the Tyne,
while the little man in me wrestles with a lass
and William Blake beams all his innocence in my glass.
And the old experience sweats from a castle’s bricks
as another local prophet takes a jump off the bridge.

It’s the spirit of Pat Foley and the ancient brigade
on the loose down the Quayside stairs
in a futile search,
just a step in the past,
for one last revolutionary song.

All the jars we have supped
in the hope of a change;
all the flirting and courting and chancing downstream;
all the words in the air and the luck pissed away.
It seems we oldies are running back
screaming to the Bewick days,
when a man could down a politicised quip
and craft a civilised chat
before he fed the birds
in the Churchyard.

The cultural ships are fair steaming in
but it’s all stripped of meaning -
the Councillors wade
in the shallow end.

O Blake! buy me a pint in the Bridge again,
let it shiver with sunlight
through all the stained windows,
make my wit sparkle
and my knees buckle.

Set me free of this stifling age
when the bland are back in charge.
Let us grow our golden hair wild once more
and roar like Tygers
down Dog Leap Stairs.




KEITH ARMSTRONG 

1.9.15

AFTER THE UK










































Shreds of the UK
flapping in the downturn,
decayed Britain
broken into smithereens.
No Kingdom now,
no United State.
We are
citizens
with no obligation
to genuflect
in front of an overstuffed Queen.

Get the UK out of your system,
no going back.
We take the power
to rule ourselves,
make community,
build our own spaces.
Break
the hegemony
of dead parties,
lifeless institutions,
let debate flower,
conflicting views rage.

We want to breathe
and strip away
executive power,
share
the beauty and culture
of these islands
around.
Make good things,
good love.
Empower ourselves
with an autonomous freedom
in a new England,
in a new Europe,
in a New World
of real ownership
and delicate emotion.




KEITH ARMSTRONG

the jingling geordie

My photo
whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur