Pillaton WI Report -June 2013

Our speaker for the evening was David Prowse who is a life long poet and who now writes on a regular basis for the Western Daily press and also is often on Devon and Cornwall radio.

He told us that his childhood was spent on a farm with no sanitation or electricity and the only running water was the water that ran down the walls but he said he did not see himself as deprived. His poems reflect much of his own life and he gave a number of examples of this.

One of his poems depicted Friday night bath night in front of the fire in a tin bath. He was one of five: two brothers and two sisters. The pecking order for the bath varied but as the smallest and youngest of the brood he was always last as there was less of him to clean. He remembered that by the time it was his turn the water looked like Cock-a-leekie soup! In his poem he described vividly what it was like when the kettle of hot water was poured into the cold, murky bath water and which cooled immediately. He also likened using carbolic soap to the surgical removal of skin!

A very poignant poem “Dancing Years” was a reflection of a young persons view of an older person – Polly. The young person was of the view that older people had always been old and were figures of fun. Until the day when he saw a photo of Polly as a young woman and realised that she had “the face of an angel” and was one of “yesterday’s children”. I thought this poem was just delightful.

Another of his poems described when his mother brought wonderful food to him, his father and brother as they were working in the fields – three surfs turned into “Yeoman Kings” with a lavish feast. And yet another was a very amusing account of the first time a young lad took a young lady to the cinema and sat in the back row (memories??) on the advice of his brother! I won’t tell you what happened apart from saying that the “damsel of dreams” was very fond of popcorn and he “couldn’t keep pace with the rise and fall of cheek”!

We were certainly entertained by him. His poems were amusing and at times so moving and nostalgic for times gone by. They had colour and were descriptive allowing pictures to come to mind very easily.

His final poem was called “Say it with Flowers” and was the tale of a man, who after a night out with the boys couldn’t get his key into the front door only to discover he was at the wrong house. Does anyone recognise this dilemma I wonder?

We were all left smiling at the end of hearing these super poems. Wendy very ably thanked him for coming and spoke for us all by saying he had been most entertaining.

If you are interested in joining Pillaton WI we will be very pleased to see you at our next meeting on July 8th when the speaker will be telling us about the work of the Children’s Hospice South West.

Other dates for your diaries:

  • July 27th - Collection for Operation Sunshine the African Charity that we support.
  • Aug 31st - An opportunity to see what we do at WI.

More details to follow so watch this space.

Pam Lowther

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Last updated: 2 July 2013 Contact Us