Category Archives: Ripley Arts Centre

Meeting of Dec. 11th 2018

The theme of the meeting was ‘Baubles, Bangles and Beads’ which members interpreted in their own way giving rise to poems like Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Warming Her Pearls’ to Liz Lockhead’s ‘How I’ll Decorate My Tree’ and Adele Radelat, our hostess for the day, did us proud with an array of Christmas goodies to have with our tea.

Sadly for us. it was Patsy Paine’s last meeting as she and her husband John are moving away from Bromley to live close to their daughter in Princes Risborough at the foot of the Chiltern Hills. Patsy has been a member of the Shortlands Poetry Circle for 30 years and we will miss her calm presence and her obvious delight in poetry. John will be missed as well a he is well known for lending a hand at our functions, having washed up. served wine and offered his calligraphy skills at Ripley’s annual Garden Party.


Meeting of Sept. 11th 2018

Returning to Ripley after the Summer break had the feeling of starting a new school year, for me anyway, but with none of the qualms. We were delighted to return and get on with the business of sharing our love for poetry.

As usual, the first session was Open Choice. It is always interesting to hear what people light on as their choices. Sadly we have lost a very fine poet in Matthew Sweeney who died in August from motor-neurone disease but he lives on through his poetry. Matthew was still writing three days before his death. He was represented in our readings :-



Meeting of 27th. March 2018

We welcomed Paula Piggot who returned to us. Sezgin Kemal was also also able to attend after a spell of teaching. We heard the sad news of Wyn Parkinson’s death. Wyn was a long-term member of both the Reading Circle and the Writers’ Group and will be missed by all who knew her.

Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Esther Morgan


Gerard Manley Hopkins

    Gerard Manley Hopkins

Esther Morgan

Esther Morgan

After reading something about the biography and work of these two poets, members read their chosen poems – The Wndhover, Binsley Poplars, Pied Beauty, Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins, among others; Orbit, Avocado, British Winter Time, This Morning by Esther Morgan. It seemed appropriate that the last poem read was Grace by Esther Morgan. All in all, eighteen poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins were read and sixteen by Esther Morgan.


Bromley Arts Council / Health & Safety Risk Assessment, 18th March 2018

Bromley Arts Council / Health & Safety Risk Assessment, 18th March 2018 Shortlands Poetry Circle, AGM, report by Anne Stewart

Last time I read the report (our chosen way to meet
the Council’s Risk Assessment strategy)
there was a challenge laid down: ‘Next time’
someone said, ‘we want it done in poetry!’

Well, poetry’s a tough one for such a serious matter
(seeking, as it is, to help you to avoid
unpleasant injury), but rhyme’s achievable
and easier to do in the time I can afford…

So… Most Risks – Same As Everywhere: you might be
run over in the car park, trip up or down the steps,
there might be cold spells causing snow and ice and hot
and sudden spillages around teapots and cups…

Then there’s Particularly At Ripley: there might be
bustling in the kitchen, excited children in the corridors,
scalding water around the urn and the kitchen taps,
and polished, therefore potentially slippery, floors.

On tea duty, there’s backward walking with the trolley,
so you’ll need your trolley partner on the alert,
and there are those little lifts required from room
to corridor to room, so, please be careful of your back.

The P A System – two mic-stands, light enough to be
knocked down – potential shocks as it pulls out the leads –
and you tumbling after, and that is why the speaking-stand has
an obstacle in front, and a bright red visual alert around its feet.

The Committee are asked not to forget that Ripley
requires us to have the equipment regularly checked
and to have the Portable Appliance Testing* Certificate
renewed, so that it’s never beyond its expiry date.

Then there may be an Emergency requiring Evacuation.
If so, gather on the corner of Sundridge Avenue
– opposite the post box (no roads to cross) – AND
the Declared Count must be taken too …

… because it’s for the head-count, to check
that no one has been left behind in danger…
So pay attention please, with eyes and wits,
and that’ll Keep You Safer At The Centre.

Anne Stewart

March 13th. Annual General Meeting

With eighteen members in attendance the Annual General Meeting was held.

The current President and her Committee will all be staying on and their reports were accepted by members.

An unusual report was given by our Health and Safety Risk Assessment officer in the form of a poem and people say they remember it better that way.

Maybe everything should be in verse! Members read one poem of their own choice when the main business was concluded :-

Meeting of 27th. February — Poets of Spain and Latin America

There was a thinner turnout than usual owing to blizzarding snow but, given the weather, it was surprising so many people attended. We also had an invited guest from The Dulwich Library Poetry Group. Wendy Williams told us a little about her group which has about twenty members and meets once a month at the library.

Like the SPC it is a reading group with a programme that allows for the work of individual poets and poems on a theme to be shared. The continuance of the group has sometimes been in doubt, not because of any lack of enthusiasm from the membership but because of decisions from above. These however have protested by a loyal membership and the group continues.

We welcomed Wendy’s presence and hope to return the visit.

Frederico Garcia Lorca

Frederico Garcia Lorca

Everyone enjoyed searching out poems to read for this session and many members gave some background information about the poets they had chosen. It was felt that there was a distinct flavour to these poems in terms of imagery and flow and some were very moving. Pablo Neruda featured largely. There were poems by Frederico Garcia Lorca, as you might expect and two by Octavia Paz.

Other poems read were by Bernado Atxago, Luz del Alba Nicola, Antonio Machado (3 poems) Juan Jimenez, Antonio Garronda, Juan Jiminez, Jorge Maurique, Julia Piera, Cezar Vallejo, Gabrielle Mistral and anon. The latter was the ballad-like ‘Poem of El Cid.’ A touch of the south on a snowy day.