Category Archives: Poetry

Harold Parry – Bloxwich war poet

Parry with Poppies

On National Poetry Day, what better than to revisit the poignant story of a local Bloxwich poet – a man who also made the ultimate sacrifice for king and country in the Great War of 1914-18?

Harold Parry (‘Hal’ to his friends), son of Alderman, mine engineer, colliery proprietor and landowner David Ebenezer Parry and Sarah Parry, of ‘Croxdene’, Bloxwich, was born on 13 December, 1896, one of twins.

Croxdene in the late 1960s.
Croxdene in the late 1960s.

After studying at a junior school in Bloxwich (probably the National School, High Street), Hal won a scholarship to Queen Mary’s Grammar School, Walsall, where he became an outstanding pupil, head of his House and captain of the school’s football and cricket teams, as well as a cadet officer.  While studying there, he won the Queen’s Prize for History and in 1915 won an Open History Scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford.

Exeter College, Oxford (Wikimedia Commons).
Exeter College, Oxford (Wikimedia Commons).

Hal volunteered for army service in January 1916, being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and after training at Rugeley he transferred to the 17th Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps, on the front line in France.

Badge of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Wikimedia Commons).
Badge of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Wikimedia Commons).
Badge of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps (Wikimedia Commons).
Badge of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps (Wikimedia Commons).

Before the war, Parry had been a prolific writer of poetry.  The bitter experiences of the trenches, at the Somme and in Belgium, soon made him turn again, this time for relief, to poetry, both reading and writing, and letters home to family and friends.  He could express himself clearly in both prose and verse, and his writings are important in that they reveal what the young men who died in “the war to end all wars” thought about their experiences in that terrible conflict.

A trench on The Somme, 1916.
A British trench on The Somme, 1916.

One of his shortest poems, ‘Tommy’s Dwelling’, written in the field, tells of the ever-present water and mud which was the curse of the trenches:

Tommy’s Dwelling

I come from trenches deep in slime,

Soft slime so sweet and yellow,

And rumble down the steps in time

To souse “some shivering fellow”.

I trickle in and trickle out

Of every nook and corner,

And, rushing like some waterspout,

Make many a rat a mourner.

I gather in from near and far

A thousand brooklets swelling,

And laugh aloud a great “Ha, ha!”

To flood poor Tommy’s dwelling.

Continue reading Harold Parry – Bloxwich war poet

Amazing evening entertainment at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre

Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, Elmore Row, Bloxwich

There’s an amazing range of entertainment coming up soon at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, part of the Bloxwich Library complex in Elmore Row, Bloxwich.

The little theatre with the big heart is such an incredibly versatile venue that just about anything can happen there – and frequently does!

Managed by Bloxwich Library Forum in partnership with Bloxwich Library, the theatre, opened in 1964 and rebuilt in 2009-10 together with Bloxwich Library, the complex being relaunched as Bookmark Bloxwich, is completely reconfigurable and also boasts a Library Cafe, shared with the library during the day and usable as a bar in the evenings when events are on.

Hot evening events on the horizon at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre are listed below – click on each title to view full details on the What’s On Walsall website:

Fri 12 April 2013

Open Mic Night

image for Open Mic Night

Musicians For Life in conjunction with Bookmark Bloxwich Forum invite you to come and play….

Free Entry.  Time 7.30pm doors  8.00pm show.  Email Bruno On open.mic.bookmark@gmail.com  to Book a slot. Normally 15 min or 3 songs.

Sat 20 April 2013

Don’t Go Into The Cellar presents… Sexton Blake

image for Don't Go Into The Cellar - Sexton Blake

The British League of Underhanded Scoundrels, Traitors, Extortionists and Rapscallions holds Edwardian London to ransom in this jolly fine play!

Time: 7.30pm Ticket price: £8.00, £6.00 concession. Tickets can be purchased from Bloxwich Library: 01922 655900.

26 April 2013

Youth Open Mic Night

image for Youth Open Mic Night

A place for young singers, song writers, rappers and musicians to play, jam and try out songs and Rhymes….

Time 6.00pm doors  6.30pm show.  Free Entry.

Call Dan 01922 712069 for info and to book a slot.

Fri 10 May 2013

Open Mic Night

image for Open Mic Night

Musicians For Life in conjunction with Bookmark Bloxwich Forum invite you to come and play.

Time 7.30pm doors  8.00pm show.  Free Entry.  Email Bruno On open.mic.bookmark@gmail.com  to book a slot. Normally 15 min or 3 songs.

Sat 11 May 2013

Vera Van Heeringen

image for Vera Van Heeringen

Debut album from Dutch bluegrass guitarist/singer Vera van Heeringen promises much and delivers in spades.

Tickets £5.00. Call 01922 655900.

See:  www.veravanheeringen.com/_/Welcome.html

Fri 24 May 2013

Youth Open Mic Night

image for Youth Open Mic Night

Bookmark Bloxwich and IYPSS invite you to come and play…

Time 6.00pm doors  6.30pm show.  Free Entry.

Call Dan 01922 712069 for info and to book a slot

image for Don't Go Into The Cellar - Dracula Walks the Night

Count Dracula, has returned to exact a dreadful vengeance on his nemesis, Van Helsing in this show with real bite!

Time: 7.30pm Ticket price: £8.00, £6.00 concession. Tickets can be purchased from Bloxwich Library: 01922 655900.

image for Don't Go Into The Cellar - 'Warnings to the Curious'

Have your spines tingled and your bumps goosed with this atmospheric adaptation of the creepiest Edwardian ghost stories…  Spooky!

Time: 7.30pm Ticket price: £8.00, £6.00 concession. Tickets can be purchased from Bloxwich Library: 01922 655900.

And there’s more…

More events will be added as they are booked – don’t forget to check at Bloxwich Library or on the Bookmark Bloxwich web page:

https://sites.google.com/site/bookmarkbloxwich/

Book giving and poetry celebrate the Bard at Bloxwich

Bloxwich Library

Bloxwich Library Forum is joining forces with talented Midlands poets next Monday to celebrate World Book Night and the birthday of William Shakespeare!

An evening of free book giving and Shakespeare-inspired performance poetry is being held at Bookmark Bloxwich in Elmore Row on 23rd April, and members of the public are invited to drop in from 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

While stocks last, free books marking World Book Night will be handed out in the foyer of Bloxwich Library by volunteer book givers, plus an evening of poetry entitled ‘Sounds and Sweet Airs’ will be available for those who wish to stay on and make a night of it.

Guest Poets Marcia Calame, Charlie Jordan, Roy McFarlane and Bobby Parker will be hosted by David Calcutt in the adjoining Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, and Floor Spots will also be available.

Admission to the World Book Night book giveaway is free, and admission to Sounds and Sweet Airs costs just £4, tickets are available now and on the night.

Booking is recommended for ‘Sounds and Sweet Airs’.  Tel: 01922 655900.

Bloxwich Library Forum manages Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre in partnership with Bloxwich Library.

Bloxwich Library Forum website:  http://bloxwichlibraryforum.wordpress.com

Poet Laureate Ian is well versed in Mayoral fundraising

Ian Henery
Ian Henery

Walsall’s temporary Poet Laureate Ian Henery is music to the ears of the borough’s Mayor as his rhymes are helping to bring in funds for charity.

Ian, who lives in Aldridge, has already come up with special poems for the Mayor and Mayoress and despite “not doing Christmas” he has also penned some verses in keeping with the festive season. Continue reading Poet Laureate Ian is well versed in Mayoral fundraising