Northern Writes is a Stanley based cultural education programme inspired by the pitman poet Tommy Armstrong. This school and community based participatory programme uses Armstrong’s literary legacy to inspire new writers and musicians. Featuring inspirational artists such as Simon Armitage, Rachel Unthank, and the Reg Vardy Band, it gives children and their families the opportunity to join in creative writing residencies, song writing workshops, writing workshops and live performances.
Tommy Armstrong, a miner from the age of nine, went on to write more than 150 poems in his lifetime. His poetry stood firm against the injustice and unfairness that miners were subject to, from working conditions to lockouts, family evictions and mining disasters. Northern Writes brings his defiant voice to a new generation of children and young people.
“A wonderful project. Thanks for all you've done in making Tommy Armstrong a visible figure in Stanley once again." - Judith Murphy; WEA
“Our students appreciated the extremely rare opportunity to spend time with such a highly acclaimed writer." - Paul Creegan, Head of English, Consett Academy
"The children absolutely LOVE the songs and sing them constantly." - Teacher, Bloemfontein Primary School
"Thank you for…the wonderful workshops…for reminding people of the wonderful cultural heritage we have here in the North.. ..and engaging with the children to ensure such things are never forgotten…." - Tony Gadd, local writer