A SCHOOL headteacher has been inspired to give up teaching full time and write poetry following the death from cancer of his step son.

Richard Hunt, headteacher at Glusburn Primary School for 13 years, left the school in the summer after deciding life was too short following the death of his step-son Chris Riley in March.

Chris, who was just in his 20s when he died, was a hairdresser based in Cross Hills, hugely popular in South Craven and an inspiration says Richard. A family event, attended by hundreds of people was held in his memory in Glusburn Park in the summer.

"I decided to take inspiration from his bravery and follow a different path - life is short," said Richard.

Since the summer, Richard, who continues to teach part time, has turned his energies into writing poetry and has also become a broadcaster on Drystone Radio.

His poems are aimed at people who don't normally read poetry and are inspired by every day life, whereas his radio sessions combine music, lyrics and poetry, both his and the work of more famous poets, such as Roger McGough.

"I talk casually with friends over various poems and themes - like mates in a pub; with the accompaniment of songs linked to the week's theme," said Richard.

His poems are also his way of coping with the grief of Chris's passing, such as Absent Advent, which deals with the first Christmas without him.

Richard said he thought about what he enjoyed doing following Chris's death and realised it was writing, whether that was writing emails to parents or press releases for newspapers.

He then set himself a challenge of writing a poem every day and eventually he had a book. After seeking a publisher, he went down the self publishing route. His collection of poetry, 'a good title is hard to find' was at one time listed in the poetry section ahead of a book by Stephen Fry.

"The book is for people who would not ordinarily read poetry; it includes over 50 poems on life, love and loss, and is dedicated to Chris," he said.

One person after reading the book commented: "Wonderfully crafted, touching, comical thought provoking poems for the authors first publication it is tremendous!” and another “I love the wit throughout. There really is a poem in there for everyone. Highly recommend."

Find A Good Title Is Hard To Find: A collection of poems to excite all to the love of poetry at: https://amzn.eu/d/3bHSsXm

Catch Richard on Drystone Radio on Fridays at 7pm.