THE LAST Airedale Writers Circle meeting of 2019 was a cheerful affair.

Martin poured everyone a glass of fizz and people tucked into the nibbles contributed by members.

The theme for the evening? Our highs and lows in writing in the past year; but it turned out to highlight what we must do in 2020.

Rita was a highlight in herself. She arrived radiant because medically discharged after two years of ill-health.

Whilst poorly she had decided to collect all her poems together in one printed volume.

No mean feat this; first finding them all, then grappling with computer issues. The finished product is at the printer’s, so we look forward to seeing it in 2020.

No computer issues for Mary, who read us a powerful story of the supernatural, her neat handwriting covering every square centimetre of a double sided sheet of paper.

Her enthusiasm and creativity reminded people that she used to write compelling ghost stories, so in 2020 she must write more of these.

Pat has stopped writing poetry, because she’s lost inspiration, she says.

But the poem she read out was one of her classics, composed 20 years ago, a poignant piece that absolutely nailed people’s obsession with material acquisition and the plight of those marooned outside society, visible as they languish homeless in the shopping centre.

A poem absolutely relevant for today. Pat’s poems echo those of John Betjeman, skewering modern life on to paper in polished rhyming verse.

She must get her creative juices running again in 2020.

Martin also produces clever poems that lay low common myths and misconceptions with great humour, this one written during the Millennium pointing out that it should be celebrated at the end of 2001.

New member David enthused about a writing-memoirs course he had attended, prior to writing his own, his project for 2020.

Newest member John explained how he had written technical books in his time but not creative stuff.

He’s joined our group to gain some inspiration, and pronounced that “I had not expected so many good writers.”

Thanks for the compliment, hope I heard you correctly! We look forward to your efforts in 2020.

Neil read to us from Roald Dahl’s autobiography covering his time in India, a very amusing section about the crazy colonials he travelled with, showcasing Dahl’s razor-sharp observational and writing genius.

Chris sang one of his poems accompanying himself on guitar. Beautifully plaintiff, “Don’t scare away the white deer” is a lyrical lament for the loss of peace in our busy world.

Both Johns had selected pieces from Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales - one of the best and funniest descriptions of Christmas.

I read Dickens’ account of Christmas from Pickwick Papers which captures the essence of the season so well.

So roll on 2020.

If you want to come and be inspired to write, join us at Sight Airedale, Albert Street, Keighley, second Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm.

Visit for details.