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Making Peace event - King's Lynn and Wisbech Stop the War

An evening of poetry, prose, music and humour at a peace event held by King's Lynn and Wisbech Stop the War.


The Making Peace event held by King's Lynn and Wisbech Stop the War on Friday 5th December was ambitious and unusual and a great success.

There were three simultaneous workshops from 6 pm to 8 pm, a music workshop led by Derek Paice, an art workshop by Cary Outis, who also designed our wonderful poster, and a poetry workshop led by Fenland Poet Laureate, Poppy Kleiser.

Each developed a creative work. The art workshop developed a huge artwork, while the music workshop developed a piece of music which inspired a poem by William Alderson. This poem turned out to reflect the ideas of the participants in the music workshop without any previous discussion. We also had a henna artist who beautified several of us.

The music and poems were performed later that night, followed by readings from World War One writers: from famous poets like Wilfred Owen, W.B. Yeats and Siegfried Sassoon to less well known but still excellent poets like Giles Dixey.

There was music from the John Preston Tribute Band and songs from musicians Derek Paice, Cary Outis and Sean Finlay. These were interspersed with readings from Robert Graves's Goodbye to All That, Sylvia Pankhurst's The Home Front and extracts from the paper the soldiers in the trenches produced themselves, The Wipers Times. Poets Poppy Kleiser, Jonathan Toye and William Alderson also read their own work.

One of the audience described it as 'the excellent peace event last night. The programme for the event was very interesting and varied, with just the right balance between poetry, prose, music and humour'.

The evening was attended by among others, Sue Dockett, the secretary of the Wisbech and March District Trades Council and Peter Smith, the Labour candidate for South West Norfolk, who were both extremely supportive and congratulatory.

One of our members, Cary Outis, designed a lovely leaflet and poster and another, Rohun Bouri (sadly now gone to Brighton) made badges with the same design.

People said how good the event was and someone from Manchester says she wants to know how we did it. Well, simple, we live in an area where there are a lot of musicians and artists and poets, including the then Fenland Poet Laureate Poppy Kleiser, who produced a collection of poems, Poems for Peace, in commemoration of 1914.

We have still got badges and copies of the book available.

There are plans to repeat some of the programme at a later date.

Source: King's Lynn Stop the War