Tuesday, 19 February 2013

wedding ring

We're working in partnership with Gallery Oldham to help rethink their reminiscence boxes as tools to stimulate art, writing and shared reflection.

Philip writes:

Our afternoon session at Werneth Lodge on 13 February was with a group of older people with a wide range of abilities. We tried a writing technique that's often served us well when there are many voices to accomodate and a number people have difficulty writing. It's a trick that I inadvertently invented when we were working in Stockport, training a student. Two people make notes of a conversation with a participant or participants. The notes are then read back line by line, each reader alternating. This creates an echoing effect, but with lots of variants, because no two people will write exactly the same notes from a conversation. In fact when Lois and I tried it at the workshop in Werneth Lodge, our notes were remarkably different, but the following poem gives a sense of this method.

The conversation was stimulated by Lois' own wedding memorabilia.

wedding ring

white wedding pink flowers

very long time ago

a garter

married a long time

a helluva long time


a bit of a scent

the faint scent of cloves

we choose to forget

a wedding ring

a buttonhole the men wore

the bride a bouquet

a long white dress

wore white

at All Saints

he a carnation

and a party after

and a couple of drinks

a garter to

hold your stockings up

hold your socks up

to the knee

plenty of confetti

nice to be wed in a church

everyone went

something borrowed

something old

we spoke latin

pink roses

carnations a spray

white wedding, pink flowers

a long time ago

my hair mother washed

put rollers in, that was it

washed, curled around

a rose petal heart-shaped


a garter with little bows

always someone to take a photo

everybody went to a wedding

with their garters

a knees-up

I remember mine quite well

jump over the table

white wedding, nice

weather a long time ago

always somebody there to

take a photograph

a corsage, a buttonhole

my first stockings


a nervous wreck

four older sisters all married

but me

a do at the pub

father watching

he didn't like the beer

so we went running round the corner

a gold shoe, a wedding gift

a little tear, one, two, three

Bill's mother, my mother

white pillars

oh the wedding cake, mother-made

two-tier, little white pillars

a cake tin, keep them locked in

for christenings

a ring of roses keep them tight

with icing

two little figures on top

wearing white

no hanky panky beforehand

a wedding ring

a wedding band



had a boy in 55

he's married now

my son has

got his life and

so it goes round.

Group Poem

13 Feb 2013

Werneth Lodge

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