Poems celebrate character of Batley

Batley was the theme of a poetry event hosted in the town.

The Gujarati Writers Forum launched two new books celebrating Batley and its character at the Pakistan and Kashmir Welfare Association Centre.

Dr Jayendra Shekhdiwala presents Fireplace, with poet Ahmad Gul.

Dr Jayendra Shekhdiwala presents Fireplace, with poet Ahmad Gul.

Fireplace, written by Ahmad Gul, is a collection of poems which explore his move to the town from Alipore in India in 1963.

Budding poets, including pupils from Batley Business Enterprise College and Batley Girls’ High School, also worked together to produce a collection of short poems called Batley Blooms.

Mr Gul said: “When I came over I had nowhere to go and I used to sit near the fireplace and write poetry. I was 24 and the poems look at my life and impressions of Batley.

“Batley Blooms is a collection of 38 poems written by children from schools in the area. The children are very talented and it is nice to see the town through their eyes.”

More than 120 people attended the event, including Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood, historian Malcolm Haigh and Coun Shabir Pandor (Lab, Batley West).

The special guest for the evening was Dr Jayendra Shekhdiwala, who is a professor at SP University in India.

Mr Gul said: “We wanted to do it for the youngsters. We want to encourage more children to expand their literature and creativity.”

Each book costs £1. Phone Mr Gul on 07980 611808 to order a copy.