Mungrisdale Writers Group

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Ann Miller

I have always had a love of drawing and painting. I attended a children's art class at Hartlepool College of Art, and later became a full time student. Through marriage I discovered and began painting the wonderful world of the countryside which in the past I had taken for granted. I taught art for four years still painting in the holidays and weekends. With the end of marriage and teaching I was able to spend all of my time studying the landscape in its moods and weathers. In 1997 I joined a creative writing class, something happened inside me. The sound of words began to compete with what I had always enjoyed doing - painting. In 2003 I took a big leap and put away my brushes.

Coronation Day 1953

Things were different then. The coal mine worked.
Doors were left unlocked. Strangers welcomed.
Though the eleven plus split up school friends,
The National Union of Mine Workers and the colliery's village people
stood by each other. A cup of sugar easily asked for and given.

There's not much I remember.
I know I was given a mug with the Queen on it
I think from school.
There was a house - or was it a shop -
decorated with red white and blue flags,
Queen and Duke of Edinburgh statues waved from the balcony.
They looked so real I think I might have curtsied.
A maypole of moving patterns,
the dancers shaped with coloured ribbons
to music squeezed from an accordion.

I have no recognition of where this happened
dad said was in the rec. with sports and games.
Colliery band played dance tunes on the bandstand.
Some street parties, trestles borrowed from the Miners Hall
crackets and forms brought out of homes,
best tablecloths spread with food.

That's it, not a great lot to tell except -
the weather was grey.

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