Blue Monday

Another great piece of work from the Wakefield Creative Writers.

A glass half empty or half full? There’s a melancholy air to this poem by Neville Raper that perfectly catches the mood which sometimes follows Christmas and New Year.


Blue Monday


Xmas all concluded

Resolutions? Deluded

Now I sit secluded

Good thought occluded


Monday is so blue

It’s hard to start anew

January say adieu

Roll on springs renew


Neville Raper

15-1-2017 (the day before blue Monday)



Humanities Day in York

This vibrant event brought tutors together from across the Humanities including history, family history, archaeology, art history, practical arts, creative writing, literature, languages and politics. Such diversity of tutors at the same event generated some interesting and lively conversations during the day.

The day provided an opportunity for tutors across the region to exchange ideas and find out what was happening elsewhere. There were also lots of interesting updates about what was happening in the region and how it might affect Humanities tutors including the ‘Out of the Box’ scheme, Voices of Conflict and the EmCett and SunCett research projects. Linda Croft introduced the ‘Out of the Box’ Scheme, explaining that it provided additional funding for class visits for groups that otherwise would be unable to participate in such activities. Liz McPherson then gave her experience as a WEA tutor who had used the funding to take her group of creative writers to the National Mining Museum near Wakefield. The group had produced a book of their creative writing inspired by the visit. Additionally, the group benefited in different ways including confidence and friendships. The scheme provides wonderful opportunities for all concerned and hopefully some more groups will be able to take advantage of it after the event. The Voices of Conflict project marks the centenary of World War One, and incorporates a wide range of course and activities. The report reflected on what had already happened in the region and the exciting prospects for the project on the horizon. Victoria Beauchamp and Nicola Thorpe gave an overview of their EmCett research about how do we effectively capture the impact that visits to cultural sites has on students; and Sarah Holland talked about the findings of her SunCett research into the impact of studying local history on mental health and wellbeing.

In addition, there were a series of workshops and short sessions engaging tutors with ideas and activities that related to the humanities. The morning sessions revolved around using the environment creatively, and included creative writing, line drawing, using maps and recording buildings. It was a great opportunity to try something new and think about how different curriculum areas could embrace the local environment in creative ways. In the afternoon, three short workshops explored ways in which to creatively record progress. Sarah Holland discussed how history, archaeology, writing and ESOL tutors and students had already effectively used the WEA Yorkshire and Humber Blog. Victoria and Nicola introduced a creative video that captured the thoughts and actions of groups of Digability students to showcase progress in a very visual format. Jackie Depelle combined family history and scrapbooking to demonstrate how this creative activity could be used to evidence progress.

A big thank you to everyone who organised the event, and especially to Linda Croft, Victoria Beauchamp and Nicola Thorpe for ensuring the day ran so smoothly.