A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

July 2010

06 May 2012

Death of a Clown

For me my Life's been the theatre

A Thesbian I wanted to be
Treading the boards as a trouper
Join in the joviality
Each role I played was a pleasure
The applause gave a lift to my soul
The stage was my very existence
But now the years have taken their toll
No longer can I be 'Top of the Bill'
But a 'stand in' when they are short
Of players to play demanding roles
In the past for my position I've fought
Now I am faced with decision
Shall I wear the mask of drama to hide a frown
Or bring to conclusion this lonesome life
And end my life as a clown
As I slowly walk to the riverside
To slip in the water and drown
When all that is left to remember me
As my body sinks below
A few Daffodils float on the surface
As the finale to my Life's last show.

Dennis Shrubshall
27th June 2008


Creatures great and small, beneath the tented sky,
welcome to the Circus Minimouse, where, of course, we use only
Homo Sapiens for your entertainment. See the clowns, if you can
bear a joke too often repeated; watch the daring high wire act
and feel the frisson of your world on the brink; gasp with ashtonishment
at the jugglers, and how much they can let slip through their fingers
And once again I would like to apologise, for the absence of our man-tamer,
who unfortunately has run away to another Circus.


Circus Dreams

Dreams, they come in many forms
great ambitions, but not the norms
of society, but those who're getting decrepit and old
they dream of youth, and of being bold

So when I saw them I looked wide eyed
at the younsters gliding round at their parents side
being told off to shouts of “Come here”
then I saw what it was, well out of my sphere.

They weren't around when I was a kid
so it's something that I never did
go darting around on an even keel
lifting my toes, using a wheel in the heel.

Instead I'd put on my san'shoes white
and run like the wind, fast and light
I offered to swap with Billy Girvine
'cause his san'shoes were faster than mine.

Today I want wheels but the shop does not have
any non-pink, casual, size ten and a half
none at all of sensible hue and with no laces,
fit for a pensioner of limited paces.

So I guess I'll miss the grandest thrill
of floating with panache down Ilford Hill
and being hauled back up by taxi or bus
stealing a tow while the drivers cuss,

or casting off the dirty mac
and launching into a big attack
and seeing their faces, the slack jawed shock
at green and yellow licra with hernia jock.

Front page news, pictures all blurry
taken by fumbly fingers in a hellofa hurry
the headlines, lurid, would wail with woes
“Beware of the Pensioner with the turned up toes.”

Terrorising the shopping malls
invading hallowed consumer halls
but I'm not worried, they'll never catch us
when me an ma heels run off to the circus.

Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop



I had my hearing aids checked, re-tubed, sound different
Rehabilitate my brain once again, all goggle-de-gook
Been there, done that, many times before
Chat away, the humour, my personality - okay!
I have holes in both eardrums, meniere's disease
Different than a profoundly deaf person
Deafness effects us all in different ways.

I watched 'The Silence' BBC 1 Drama
Four episodes, a character, Amelia (Genevive Barr) newcomer
I have been glued - it is true - Silence is Golden
Climb away...even with hearing aids, a cochlear implant
The person wearing the aid, realizes they are just that -
They have to rehabilitate, they help, they don't cure
Some hearing people think they do.

I am proud to be a deaf person
I am proud to be partially sighted
I am proud to have a pituitary tumour
I am proud that I have to cope -
Rehabilitate -
and try to write so others can be helped

If they will listen! And Learn!

(c) Josie Lawson
All Rights Reserved


If you take me you'll forsake me
but don't try to break me
you know I should be free

"Reserve" me, then preserve me;
you know you don't deserve me
and this cage is no sanctuary

Please take heed of reform
I wasn't born to preform
If you love me, let me be me.

Free to fly in the breeze;
Swing through the trees
or hunt in my own territory.

Jim White

A Circus With No Clowns

Circus and childhood are like bread and honey – excitement and the sweet smell of sawdust in a large multi coloured tent, whilst one sat hunched on a rough wooden bench – waiting for the whip to crack and the voice of the red-coated ringmaster to peel out,

‘Welcome to the Circus!’

Whilst I happily trotted off with my mom, to the twice yearly visit of the Chipperfield family; it was another circus that played a huge part in my childhood. Circus in the dictionary, is also defined as a large circular shaped place where roads converge, of which we had a few in Birmingham, such as; Colmore Circus, Paradise Circus and Lancaster Circus.

It was the latter, which became an integral part of my growing up, for here, at its bottom end stood The Central Fire Station. The large, three storey, wedged shaped complex (for it was more than a building) stood as an island with roads on three sides and a clock tower arch, as its front façade.

Deserted now it no longer serves its purpose; as West Midland Fire Service Headquarters, have moved elsewhere to a brand new purpose built Head Office; with no on site Fire Tenders; just dedicated to offices. Such is progress?
Where do I fit into this, you ask? Well my connection began on the very day I was born! Let me elaborate.

My mother gave birth to me at Loveday Street hospital, just off Lancaster Circus, whilst in a neighbouring hospital, The General; my father was in for one of his frequent visits, due to continued ill health. The story was often told how he was wheeled through a connecting tunnel, to see his new born daughter. The significance of this was I was the first of his three daughters he saw at just a few days old. My elder sister, Kathleen, was born whilst he was serving abroad in World War Two and she was three when was demobbed – next, in 1946, Pauline came into the world at three months premature, and it would be another two months before was allowed home – with no fathers permitted to visit!

Things had moved on a wee bit when I was born eleven years later. Mom was in hospital, for bed rest and dad across the road in The General, when I decided the time was right for my appearance!

It was visiting hour at the time and with this being precious, my mom held on till the bell at eight pm!

The visitor, who delayed my arrival, was to become one of the most important people in my life, my dear Auntie Ruby.

It was she who was taking care of my sisters, along with my auntie Oll, both of whom remained unmarried – with no child of her own, Auntie Ruby embraced all her nieces and nephews, but as she and my mom were close in more than just age, we were as valued as her own daughters would have been.
Auntie Ruby bought with her an extended family – her numerous work colleagues of Birmingham Fire Brigade, based at Central Fire Station – from cleaners to wage clerks, from fireman to officers they were a close knit community.

Jim Roach, a leading fireman at the time, supported my family at the time of this hospitalisation, by driving them here and there, as he was one the few people to own a car, his wife was also a great support, the legacy of which is, I inherited her Christian name as my middle name and she became my Godmother! It was ‘the done thing’ then and so I became Janet Edna Dearn! Edna I ask you!
As I grew, I valued the close presence of auntie Ruby – always involved in our family life, there never seemed to be a moment, she wasn’t there. Right from a toddler I was taken to visit her, in her office at Central (as it was fondly known) where she happily laid down her work and took us around the station, including the ‘Pump room!’

Things were so much ‘free and easy’ then; no high-tech security was required. No swipe cards or key coded door controls! They were to come much later.
To fill in a bit of background of how she came to be working there, we have to go back to World War Two. When she was called-up, Auntie Ruby chose the Fire Service and after training and serving in Birmingham, she was stationed down to Portsmouth. When peace was declared, and the Fire Service reverted back to being under control of the Local Council, she was offered the chance to stay on in a civilian capacity, to assist in the re-organisation. I don’t believe she even hesitated! She loved the camaraderie and the secure future it offered, and indeed it did just that. She remained working in the same office, Building Surveyors (becoming Sites and Buildings) till she retired at 60 and a grand party in the ballroom!

Yes, a ballroom! For Central boasted a fully sprung wooden floor, in a full length ballroom, with a stage, on its third level, where much entertainment took place. Auntie Ruby herself was at one time in the choir and once donned a habit as a nun in a production of The Sound of Music!

The ‘recreation room’ on the floor below mirrored the ballroom in its size and presence.

As for the rest, of this now deserted majestic building, perhaps you would like to join me in a little tour and travel back with me on a past visit to Aunt Ruby’s domain.

It began by walking through the arch in the clock tower; there began the surprise for a first time visitor, for the building was ‘hollow’. Contained in its three sides, was a large cobbled yard, used for drills and training. Once a year, a display and inter-brigade competition was held – and fireman from competing stations and watches would race to roll their hoses out first and win the shield! This was a highlight in the family calendar.

On the right and ahead was tenement style flats; fireman and their families often lived on site back then, officers included. Training offices were also contained here, as were classrooms for the Auxiliary Fire Brigade – disbanded in the late sixties.

At the far end were the workshops, repair shops and the ambulance depot, which were all relocated in time to more appropriate premises.

Turning in to a side door on the left, one was into a corridor laid with oak wooden flooring, polished to perfection; this style of flooring was indicative throughout the building. A curving staircase led to the second floor; the polished wood continuing in the sweeping banister. Directly opposite, behind a thick carved wooden door (again indicative of the building) was the Building Surveyors Office (later to become Sites and Buildings), where my auntie Ruby was Chief Clerk. A most esteemed position!

Its purpose was the upkeep and maintenance, of all fire stations in the Birmingham area; and from 1974 the whole of the West Midlands. This included, the once fireman’s flats – bringing aunt Ruby into contact with fireman at grass roots level, right up to the top brass; when a new fire station was commissioned to be built, the office also sharing in this responsibility. I said at her funeral three years ago ‘her legacy lives on’ and I believe this be true. She was at ease, dealing with contractors to councillors, from tendering a ‘new paint job’ to collating and balancing the budget for the end of the financial year. March and April was the only time ‘we had to stay away from the office’!

A quote from the Jubilee book, a 50 year history of Birmingham/West Midlands Fire Service Headquarters; 1935 – 1985.

‘Special mention must be made of Ruby Maddox who worked in the department from 1948 till her well- earned retirement in 1980. Ruby helped to carry the section through many difficult periods including the transition in 1974 and many of the systems she instituted are still in use today.’

A ‘real’ office of the time, complete with fireplace and the chimney breast adorned with a large mirror, it immediately gave a warm welcome to visitors, as did the smiles of its staff. As well as my aunt, there were two other clerks and in an adjoining office, the Building Surveyor himself – later to have a technical assistant.

Two large casement windows, with views over Lancaster Circus, flooded the office with light and whenever passing or approaching the building, I always looked for ‘Auntie Ruby’s window’, where she sat at her desk, with a large blotter pad and a glass ashtray – funny the odd things you remember!

There were two typewriters – changed and updated as time went on, that I could ‘have a go on’ typing with one hesitant finger! Switching from black to red ink on the ribbon!

Of course all office equipment and stationary moved on with the passing of time and as I grew I shared the unfolding of this, but nothing matched those early days, where ledgers were handwritten, in blue ink, in neat rows and columns, in hard bound volumes.

To this, and the other offices, a lady with a trolley visited mid-morning and mid-afternoon, laden with milky coffee and a large teapot – biscuits in the morning, cakes in the afternoon, no leaving the desk for a walk to the vending machine for weak coffee in a plastic cup!

I remember Mom, ‘timing’ our arrival to join in the refreshments!
Of course taking in fluid, results in the ‘letting out of’!

This meant running the gauntlet of The Staff Office! Very large it contained multiple desks, and big uniformed foreboding men. At least they appeared foreboding to a young child – me! They were very kind actually. Having risen through the ranks, they still wore a dress uniform adding to their stature. The strong aroma of pipe tobacco was always present and is as fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday.

The embarrassment came later, as an adult when on meeting any of them, they said, ‘I remember when you was little and…!

Oh, but it was worth plucking up the courage to walk the length of that office, for through the door at the end – things got very exciting!

A large decoratively, art deco wall tiled area ;known as ‘the landing’ housed a caged lift, where one could see all the well oiled mechanism as it slowly rose up and down the three floors.

Two closed doors with shiny brass plaques, offices of The Chief Fire Officer and the Assistant Chief Fire Officer were situated here also. I knew they were to be respected. I have to share with you though, a story that was often told, that when a dear gentleman; whose family and ours were great friends; having rose through the ranks right to the top of the tree as Assistant Chief Fire Officer, was now someone, I just couldn’t go and see. Apparently, I used to keep saying ‘Can we go and see George now? Why can’t I see George?’

He subsequently became, Chief Fire Officer George Merrill CBE, OBE.
George Merrill stood in office at the time of the Birmingham Pub Bombings and I remain very proud to have grown up knowing him as both a civilian and as an officer.

Here also, was situated the ladies ‘cloakroom’. One of the highlights of a visit! Why? Because on its facing wall, it had a huge window (nearly always pushed up open) that overlooked ‘the yard’! I used to ‘spend a penny’ as quickly as possible, so I could rush from the cubicle, lean on the wide window sill and watch all the comings and goings. If you were lucky, training would be going on at the tower. Men would be hurtling up ladders and carrying ‘casualties down slung over their shoulder, or be wearing gas masks, as they emerged from the 54 foot, smoke filled, underground tunnels. Beat television, every time! Especially if the turntable was in the yard!

From this landing, the corridor led on to the Fire Control Room, with an old style switchboard, with black plugs being pulled and pushed in and on the main desk stood a large red telephone! Maps and pins adorned its back wall.

Local knowledge was much relied upon; I fear this is something we have lost now with the centralisation of Fire Control. One of aunt Ruby’s lifelong friends Freda ‘Chippy’ Carpenter was a stalwart in this department and reached the rank Principal Fire Control Officer before she too retired.

Like aunty Ruby, when retirement came, she was ready. Technology was moving onwards and upwards, and she left a fire control office that had ‘outgrown’ its switchboard and was now housed in a new extension with computers and modern communication systems.

Before we head down to Pump Room, a tour of the ‘upstairs’ wouldn’t be complete without saying a little about the canteen. Although it couldn’t be called ‘little’! The kitchen and dining area was huge! Well it did cater for an immense staffing level. All good home cooked food was served, typical British Fare of the era, including, good old stodgy puds!

It was an extra special treat to join aunty Ruby for dinner! I used to feel so important standing with her in the queue to be served, because once we had our meal, we headed for an anti-room, reserved for ‘higher ranks’. I don’t recall it as snobbish, everyone remained friendly, and it was ‘just the done thing’ back then.

Having her dinner at work, like this, five days a week, meant aunt Ruby, rarely ever cooked! Such was her busy social life, with friends in the brigade – she was always ‘somewhere’ at the weekends, or with us her family. There was the odd Sunday, when as a child I had stayed over at her flat, when she cooked dinner, because I remember picking fresh mint from outside the front door. It was always, lamb or pork steaks, her repertoire!

I had so many happy weekends with aunt Ruby; I could go off at a tangent here, so to return to Lancaster Circus!
Where better to return to than the Pump Room! I used to hold my breath, when aunt Ruby telephoned them, to ask if she could bring her niece down!

If I could just transfer my memories and senses of that time onto paper, then I wouldn’t have to write any more. It is still so intrinsically imprinted within me today.

Walking down the main stairs to the main entrance hall; where stood ‘Ollie’ a full sized bronze statue of a once proud and brave fireman and also a shiny brass helmet mounted on a tall plinth, the area was opulent and very grand!

I only remember ever coming in that way, through the main doors once, on a senior school trip and desperately struggling not to boast, and not to show off too much! Aunt Ruby did pop down to say hello, making me feel very smug!

On the left coming down the stairs was the watch room, where; before 999 went straight to the switchboard; all calls reporting incidents were channelled through via the duty officer.

Ah but to the right were the engines!
Shiny engines all in a row, lined up, all ready to go, when the big red double doors opened on the cry of a shout! These doors could tell their own story, form the days when they were manually opened by pulley and chains to the electronic push of a button!

To be met with an expanse of tiled floor meant, some appliances ‘were out’ and a brief moment of disappointment.

Never lasted for long, as there was always ‘something’ to climb on or sit in! I have to be careful not to mention too often, that I remember Fire Engines with wooden ladders, and wheels, because it gives my age away, but I do, just!
Oh, the smell of leathered seats, so evocative, as I sat in the front of the ‘pump escape’, wearing a yellow cork helmet, that often fell down over my eyes.
I recall a line up of several other vehicles but I cannot tell you the make and model of every one, that is something for the fire engine historians, but all of them to me, were exciting to be around.

A couple of pump tenders with a larger capacity, stood also with their doors open, waiting for hastily dressing fireman, racing from wherever they were, or sliding down the shiny brass pole; having abandoned their dinner in the canteen on the second floor, or hurtling out of narrow beds, throwing back woollen grey blankets, from the dorm on the first floor; grabbing their uniform and boots as they flew past and dived into the cab, to finish getting geared up, ready for action.

There was also a turntable ladder; replaced in the early seventies with the much anticipated arrival of Simon Snorkel! High rise blocks were shooting up all over Birmingham, for which a super turntable would be needed! Enter Simon!
After this, there came the back up vehicles, for major incidents – I loved these! They were so smart! All polished wood and leather!

A fully equipped mobile canteen and a control tender to head operations, in which I would sit in for as long as I could get away with, it was so peaceful. Strange, away from the chaos of a fire situation, the engines at rest in the pump room were just silent beautiful creatures.

Last in line was the big green recovery truck; as I mentioned earlier the workshops were originally part of the Central complex and my interest stopped there! I was a girl, well sometimes, anyway!

Not all of this, was of course, done in every visit, I bought it all together here, for the purpose of this story.

As I got a little bit older, I often went by myself to visit, this was my time, something I valued and I was always ‘going off’ by myself – sometimes, I have to admit without permission, but that is another tale for another day!
Visiting regularly, as I did, there were many times, I saw the engines going out on a ‘shout’ and I used to rush to the nearest window or vantage point, so very excited to see them turn out, sirens blazing (incidentally the first siren was fitted to a pump engine, at Central, in 1957, the very year I was born!) wondering where they were going, where is the fire!

Back home if there was a merest hint of a siren, or flash of a fire engine, all us kids, would track it down and run after it, sometimes ending up streets away.
Just like, the thrill, of seeing lions coming into the cage; through a wire tunnel; mouth gaping, responding only to the crack of a whip, sea lions balancing balls on their noses and elephants trunk to tail parading round a sawdust ring, both gave a heightened buzz to a child.

So the two Circuses were not so very different, and now?
As I grew, I learnt to understand the fear and danger from fire; or of being trapped; from both the victims and the fire fighters perspective, just as I learnt we need to respect the wild creatures of our planet, they are not man’s toys, as fire is not a game.

The empty shell of Central Fire Station at Lancaster Circus is now; after a much fought battle; a listed building but its future remains uncertain. Wild animals are no longer subject to cruelty and cramped unnatural conditions, in our circuses, but their future is also uncertain. Man is destroying our planet, as a fire feeds on oxygen. We all need to quench the flames.

Footnote; Aunty Ruby had a wonderful retirement, the social links with her beloved Fire Brigade ever stronger and friendships forged remained throughout her life.

Jan Hedger

Circus & Clowns

When we were young we looked forward to a few treats in our lives, such as a day out in the country, sun bathing on the beach, a trip to the seaside. But the most electrifying and surreal was to go to the circus and see the roaring lions and tigers, the performing elephants and the artists on decorated horses, as they careered round the ring with the riders standing up on their backs, even switching riders as they went full gallop round the ring.

The clowns would enter in their outrageous costumes, with strange hats and very colourful outfits, with painted faces together with huge red noses and boots that were three sizes too big.They usually entered the ring with an exploding car which popped and banged and the doors fell off. Then the slapstick would start, with the buckets of water and custard pies going everywhere. They were always the children's favourite act. Even the adults had to smile at their antics .

Why do clowns have such sad faces? Why do we burst out laughing when they fall over or get a bucket of water thown over them or a custard pie in the face? It's a strange psychological thing we do at someone's misfortune.

Mind you the history of clowns goes back a long way. They started off as court jesters, performing in royal palaces. Their act consted mainly of tumbling and juggling while others travelled with gypsies, performing in groups, visiting towns and cities all over the country. Even to this day they are still performing in local circuses, at children's parties, visiting children in hospital and maintaining the morale in this sometimes very sad world.

Frank Burnham



The thrill of the circus animals performing and doing great acts of drama animals doing a lot of things, walking round the ring and climbing and the flying trapeze and dogs performing and monkeys jumping and crowd roar and shout elephants walk and climb and roll over perform with their trunks and monkeys climb and jump slap stick throwing over clowns horses ride round there is sometimes cruelty in the circus whipping animals and hitting them caged birds lions and tigers do different performances I don't believe wild animals should be locked up.

Sue Horncastle


The circus came to town

The circus came to town one night, the big top rose up from the ground like a large balloon being filled with air. Queues of excited people waiting to go in. The children hardly able to contain themselves as the huge doors open like two arms welcoming them in. The colours from the costumes sparkle and shine. The type rope walkers way up high. The swinging trapeze tick-tock tick-tock. Clowns blow whistles, trip, roll and fall to the laughter of the crowd. The smell of candy floss fills each nostril. Music Ringing out from huge speakers booming inside and out. Those lucky enough to be inside totally absorbed in the electric atmosphere. Those outside begging to go in straining for a small glimpse.

Judi Downes


The circus is here
Up goes the big top ready (7)
Animals perform (5)
Excitement fills up the air (7)
Clowns trip, roll, fall, and crowds laugh (7)

Judi Downes

Flea circus
Czech joke

Jaja was the best jumper in the flea circus. He jumped so high it took two days for him to come back. The nights do not count, because nobody can see a flying flea in the dark anyway. He was so famous that a well known scientist decided to examine closely Jaja's skills. The flea circus went on vacation because without Jaja, who was the main attraction, they couldn't perform. First day the scientist ordered: "Jaja jump!" Jaja jumped. The scientist carefully measured the flea's weight, height, counted the number of the legs, their length, and he also measured how high the flea jumped. In the evening he fed Jaja with his blood. Then they both slept. Second day the scientist tore away one Jaja's leg. Then he measured how high Jaja jumped. The flea jumped almost as high as yesterday.The third day the scientist plucked off another leg. The flea still jumped high. Day after day the scientist continued his experiment and Jaja jumped. The last day, when Jaja lost his last leg, he didn't jump. The scientist, before closing his experiment, wrote down the conclusion: "When the flea looses all its legs, it also looses an interest in jumping.

The flea circus temporarily closed down, because everybody went to look for Jaja's replacement.  


Marie Neumann

The circus

Roll up, roll up. The circus is coming to town. They set up the tents with such ease, but I guess they do get lots of help. From an empty grassy field to full in just a few days. I hope there are no animals in this circus because I think that's cruel. Acrobats dancing about getting from one part of the field to another with such grace and elegance. Posters being glued up on billboards advertising the circus dates and times. Excited children pleading with their parents to get tickets NOW. parents sighing and then telling their children that maybe they'll get tickets nearer the time.  Little disappointed faces coming away from the scene. In two weeks time this whole area will be chock-a-block with people and their children who suceeded in getting tickets, with smug smiles uoon their faces. Traffic flow will slow right down as traffic co-ordinators direct people into the car park as quickly as possible. The smell of fried onions and sometimes strange looking burgers cooking in mobile trucks. The smell wafting through the air. I think I'll keep away. Maybe I could watch it on telly instead.

Debbie Feltz


The Circus

My father and I
Went to the circus
In Lea Bridge Road.
When it wasn't there
There was, sometimes, a fair
And we went there too.
But back to the circus,
With animals then;
Elephants, lions,
Clowns and trapeeze.
Not many of these
Sort of shows any more.
They say it is cruel
To make animals work.
But the elephants seemed
To have a good time.
They enjoyed all the chocolates
I stuck up their trunks
At the end of the show.
We went home on the bus.
We sat on the top
And then my dad sneezed.
His dentures fell out
And they split in half.
Oh, how I laughed!
He never cared,
Never had them repaired.
It was really a joy
When I was a boy

Andrew Diamond
Newham Writers (Monday Group)

Carnival night

Carousel is spinning faster and faster.
The lights are on.
Orchestrion plays tune of my youth,
faster and faster.
It's carnival night
every night.
I am not part off it.

Grey morning,
grass frosted with vomit
and garbage.
Grey people get up
around the noon.
I am not part off it.

Marie Neumann

A Circus

Mysterious coincidences,
Connecting us all,
Karmic strands
Stretched across
Space and time,
Criss-crossing below us
To catch us if we fall,
Tethering us into roles
We need to play,
Lives we must live
In order to grow.

It is when we feel most trapped
That we are closest
To being free.
It is our fear of true freedom,
And the responsibility it will bring,
That holds us.

Actors all,
Some reserved and holding back,
Waiting for knowledge,
Insight, their moment.
Others brash and confident,
Sure of the part they are to play.
We tread the boards together.
Intricate plots,
Scenes within
Scenes within

A circus

Ashley Jordan



Your Name: John Malcomosn
Your Comment: Dennis I really like your poem. It is so sad and poignant, and the occasional broken rhythm adds to that poignancy. Great stuff. Will you be coming to TheFED one day festival in London on 6 November? It is a great event and has lots of workshops about all sorts of aspects of creative writing.

Your Name: Jan Hedger
Your Comment: Great to see your poetry gracing the monthly challenge Dennis!

Your Name: Ashley Jordan
Your Comment: It's always lovely to get an entry from someone new! Welcome to TheFED Dennis - I hope we'll be reading a lot more from you :-)

Your Name: Jan Hedger
Your Comment: The Circus has really come to town this month! Well done Debbie! Good to see you on here Bruce!

Your Name: Jan Hedger
Your Comment: Yes, dave perceptive! This story could have 'run' but I held back and abridged it for the challenge - there may one day be more!
I see the avator for your poem 'with wheels' as clear as day through your words, launching into the 'video'! Great peice of old fashioned humour - it's the young that don't know what they are missing!

Your Name: Dave Chambers
Your Comment: Nice to see a lot of prose pieces as well as the poetry, varies the reading and stories are plainer, great, keep it up. Jan, the reference to details of the fire engines, "leave that to the fire engine historians", kind of leads me to think that what you've written is the start of a particular personal history of a particular listed building. I'll look forward to reading the rest of it sometime...?
Dave Chambers
Newham Writers Workshop

Your Name: Jan Hedger
Your Comment: What interesting work we are getting for Circus - just goes to show we don't need to be Pigeonholed!

Your Name:
Ashley Jordan
Your Comment: A great piece of reminiscence work, Jan. I love your take on the different kinds of circuses leading, as they do, to a thoughtful conclusion - well done

Your Name:
Jan Hedger
Your Comment: Well said Sue H!

Your Name: Jan Hedger
Your Comment: Hi Judi! What fun with your two contributions! Memories indeed of the Big Top!

Your Name:
Ashley Jordan
Your Comment: Excellent work all round :-) For those who are struggling with this month's challenge there is a lot of information on the history and definitions of 'circus' here:

Your Name: Jan Hedger
Your Comment: Hee hee itch scratch - love the Flea Circus!Cheers Marie
Good description of the Circus Debbie!

Your Name:
Jan Hedger
Your Comment: A varied and great trio to kick of July! Two thought provoking pieces and Andrew a dip back into the memory of childhood, with tickilng humour!


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