Cinderloo poetry – writing together

Jean Atkin, poet and writer, joined us this week for the launch of the Heritage Schools training day for teachers (see separate post).  During a 2 hour history walk around Horsehay, Doseley, Little Dawley and Lightmoor, Jean gathered thoughts and comments about the landscape and Cinderloo from the course participants to include in a collaborative poem.  Very fitting for the theme of communities working together …


Walking Cinderloo

Hear stomp of feet & rising noise.

How sure were the ones at the back?

On that day they shout and argue.

This day we’ve only honk of geese & faded blue

& hum of the fan in the chip shop wall.

It’s private land.  Can we get through?


Here witness trees date Myford House

& march the line of the drive.
Their birds know a story gone into the past.


This sweetshop was run by Mr Ball,

great nephew of the Shropshire Giant, mighty

ironworks puddler, forty stone & five foot nine.


& in a dip a pub pulled down –

I had a drink in the Labour in Vain.


We’re walking where they walked.

In a wall on the way to Brandlee,

we find frothed rocks poured

out the top of the vessels,

while deeper down was vitrified,

& still the molten iron ran off.


We pass under Bridge 13, for a brand new

tramway, built the year before the riot.

We climb past Bath Spout and cross

the parish boundary into sunlit quiet.


Poem made from many voices walking Cinderloo routes on
28 March 2019, and edited by Jean Atkin.


Jean is working with the band Whalebone on a wonderful project, Understories:  a collection of poems and music, all focused on urban and rural myths and tales just out of living memory from all over Shropshire. The collection includes one poem that powerfully retells the Cinderloo story called “Tom Palin at Cinderloo”.


Next library gigs are:

Ludlow 16 Apr 3pm

Bishop’s Castle 26 Apr 10.30

Newport 13 May 10.30 dementia-friendly performance

Market Drayton 14 May 3.30

Wellington 11 June 10.30

Oswestry 12 June 1pm

Church Stretton 12 July 4pm

All free entry, thanks to Arts Council of England funding support.

Performances by Jean Atkin and Whalebone, including Tom Palin at Cinderloo, were featured on Genevieve Tudor’s Sunday folk show recently.  For a short time, you can hear the show again here.


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