A POET has been inspired by childhood trips to Spen for his new book of verse.
David Atkinson, who lives in Dudley, West Midlands, has just published his first volume of poems, entitled Doing My Head In, with many of them drawing on his childhood memories while visiting relatives in the area.
The collection features poetic tales of the Spen Valley, and references the area several times.
One of them, Well I’ll go to Cleckheckmondsedge, has been one of the most well-received of his collection, and clocks in at a whopping 199 lines.
The poem sees David remember visits to relatives in the area – his grandfather, Frank Atkinson, lived in Lobley St, Heckmondwike.
Even though his first visits to Spen were more than 60 years ago, David’s memories of Heckmondwike are still as vivid as ever.
He said: “I have certainly had fun writing this – I got to look through all my old photos and found myself remembering all sorts, like the jam pudding my gran used to make, and when we used to go to Batley and visit Staincliffe Park.
“The first time I visited the area was in 1947 when I was four – we had to get four buses from Leeds train station – but it was always worth the travelling. The biggest difference between Dudley and Spen that I noticed as a kid was the number of ginnels and passages between houses!
“I really did have some wonderful times in Spen, and it’s inspired this book.”
A former teacher, David retired in 2007, and has since taken to poetry like a duck to water. After sending some of his poems to a publishing house, he was asked to produce a book.
The book will be featured at the Frankfurt Book Fair from October 10-14, and will be available to order from the Xlibris online book store at www.XlibrisPublishing.co.uk.