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Pulling Threads are Fit for Heroes

On Sunday 21st October, Pulling Threads – the drama wing of Touchstones Creative Writing Group – put on ‘Fit for Heroes’ a very special WW1 themed performance at the Vibe for Rochdale’s Literary Fringe festival.This was organised by SWCT (Stories We Could Tell) and Steve Cook.

Pulling Threads perform Fit for Heroes. A dramatic celebration and commemoration of World War 1.

Facilitator’s Notes – August 2015


Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 by William Wordsworth
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty;
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Group discussion
Exercise one – write down a list of emotions generated by this poem

LONDON by William Blake
I wandered through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
A mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every man,
In every infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear:
How the chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every blackening church appals,
And the hapless soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down palace-walls.
But most, through midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse

Read the full piece

Busy Doing Nothing

My feet set off without needing my consent. It is one of those beautiful June days that bring out the best of these wild moors I love so much. I’m quite aware that I am blessed to be living within walking distance, almost skipping distance really, so I can get up here whenever I want.

And I have seen this landscape change but little within my lifespan. Time is fluid of course and seasons wreak their havoc and their glory on the vista. Long grass grows then dies through the year while heather perfumes and adds delicate colour to a seemingly rushing scene. The stone monoliths, though, the high peaks and soft undulations, still measure out the centuries, seemingly untouched. Even inclement weather adds something to nature’s canvas, not only with life-giving rain and eerily howling winds that batter at its length and breadth but there is also the mist. It clings to hollows, stopping one’s sight and muffling one’s hearing. And it sets the scene for eerie tales, to shorten winter nights and make children glad for their warm, safe beds.

Read the full piece

Busy doing nothing

Chug of tractor in nearby field.

Buzz of bees as pollen they yield.

Gentle breezes ruffle my hair.

Summer sun soothes worry and care.


Birds twitter as they search for food

with which to feed their hungry brood.

Sweet smell of new mown hay pervades where I sit;

insects scurry and butterflies flit.


Drone of lawn mowers, roar of plane

try to stir me, but in vain.

I am busy doing nothing today,

as inner peace chases tension away.