Hat Poets 2016

streetOn Saturday 2 July I led an intrepid team of poets onto Parchment Street in Winchester to take part in the annual Hat Fair celebrations. Sorry it has taken me a week to get this up online (realise this sounds as if I think watching Andy Murray winning Wimbledon is more important … anyway, we’re here now).

Our line-up of fabulous local talent comprised: Joan McGavin, my predecessor as Hampshire Poet 2014; Syd Meats, Chair of Romsey’s Tea Poet Collective; Lynda O’Neill, a Winchester poet; Hugh Greasley, a painter-poet; Sue Wrinch, who runs two regular poetry/prose events in Winchester; Steve Scholey, a ringleader of Not The Winchester Poetry Festival; Rosemary Brook-Hart, currently studying for a languages degree; and Cat Randle, a steampunk poet from Andover, who performed as her steampunk persona Merciful Grace the Mechanical Maid.

We played Hunt The Microphone at the beginning, braved rainstorms and wind gusts that threatened to overcome my clothespeg/music stand combo. At one point I was standing behind Steve, holding an umbrella over him and his poems. But our wonderfully enthusiastic audience stuck with us and enjoyed all our performances.

Here are a few pictures from our afternoon – again, apologies for not getting pics of all the poets as they performed (Rosemary and Syd). I was sometimes distracted by rain-management or microphone issues, or (in the case of Syd) too mesmerised by his darlek impression and forgot to get my phone out.


Joan McGavin


Lynda O’Neill


Hugh Greasley


Sue Wrinch


Steve Scholey


Cat Randle, as Merciful the Mechanical Maid

hat fair

Our wonderful audience!