Poetry break at the For Teas wartime cafe

Eric Bishop with his collection of war poems (8393181)

Eric Bishop with his collection of war poems (8393179)

First published in News

KEIGHLEY’S Home Front-themed cafe For Teas is selling a booklet of poetry inspired by the First World War.

Keighley taxi driver Eric Bishop wrote the anthology to raise money for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

The booklet – which ties in with the centenary of the war starting in 1914 – costs £1.50 from the North Street cafe.

Mr Bishop, 60, originally wrote a poem last November entitled Little Red Flower after hearing that the For Teas was giving away poppy seeds in commemoration of the First World War.

He presented a copy of the poem to the cafe, and owner Janet Croden hung it on the wall. The poem was also published in the Keighley News.

Mr Bishop said: “I went on the For Teas Facebook page and got some nice comments. I started putting other poems and people liked them.”

Mr Bishop said one poem was about people on the Home Front while another was dedicated to the Men of Worth Project, which records the experiences of local servicepeople.

He added: “The poem Our Will is about a lad who goes to go to war, and is loosely based on my great grandfather’s brother.

“The Rape of Youth is about my dad who served in the Second World War at 16, while Poor Tommy is about the average British soldier.”

Father-of-two Mr Bishop, a Keighley driver for 32 years, began writing poetry in the early 1990s.

In the past his poems have raised money for the former Braithwaite Special School, and in the future he intends to publish an anthology in aid of Manorlands.

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