On the last Saturday of March, the Manchester Children’s Book Festival joined up with the fantastic folk at Manchester Central Library once again for their Saturday Spectacular.
This month’s activities were on the theme of Belle Vue. We put up two large images and invited the public to contribute stories, words and impressions on post-it notes. We have collected those words and created a poem inspired by them. If only we could enter it to the Poetry Together competition – But remember, you still have lots of time to enter!
Here is the poem, followed by an extraordinary memory added by one of our visitors. When writing the poem, it was interesting to note how much people had written about what the animals and people were thinking. This became the theme of the poem.
All the Thoughts of the Fair
Think what we’d hear if we could hear thoughts:
“I’m on a mountain,” calls the kid in shorts
wobbling down the elephant lane. “I can see
the whole world from here. Wowee! Wowee!”
The parents (“Help me!”) feel elephant sick.
The crowd cries “My turn!” “Oooooh!” “Fantastic!”.
“What’s for tea?” wonders the elephant handler
as the great earth trembler is heard to mutter:
“These people are so heavy. I wish I was a tiger.”
Memories of being a child at Belle Vue in the 1960s
My father, Willian Conerney, worked in the kitchens at Belle Vue and used to throw the leftover bones into the tigers’ cage. Whenever the tigers saw him passing by, they used to get very excited and would stand on their hind legs, up against the cage, and beckon him. Everyone thought he had some kind of connection to the tigers, but they just associated his passing the cage with their dinner time. – Claudia Conerney
For more information on upcoming events and the MCBF Poetry Together competition check out www.mcbf.org.uk/get-involved/