Next Wednesday at 6pm St John’s will be hosting a night of international poetry and music. With performers from as far afield as East Timor, Lithuania, Africa and Brazil it should be a night of surprises. If you’ve come to our Tuesdays Till Two concerts a lot will seem familiar – the chance to enjoy a slice of cake with a hot drink in our café area, followed at 7.15pm by some serious but (we hope) uplifting culture – but we hope that “Mesh”, as we’ve named our new event, will have a distinctive feel of its own. At Mesh we’ll be aiming to be multicultural in more ways than one – bringing together writers, musicians, photographers, and artists, and bringing together the many different communities that now make up our city, giving all of us a chance to share each other’s food, culture and company. Unlike at Tuesdays Till Two we’ll have live music while the café is running, so please don’t turn up just before 7.15pm, or you’ll find you’ve missed the chance to hear Brazilian guitarist Estevão Devides, and violinist Anthony Nottingham. The poetic part of the proceedings will be split into three sections, and we’ll have some more music while you have a chance to do some mid air refuelling from our café. We’re very grateful to the “Shepherd’s Inn” Lithuanian restaurant, which will be supplying some Lithuanian treats for you to enjoy from our café.
Future Mesh events will probably take place on Fridays, but this time around we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for you to hear from three prominent Lithuanian writers, who are visiting the city on 16th and 17th May. The day before they perform for us they will be reading from their work in Lithuanian at Chauffeurs Cottage, but on the 17th they will be reading their work in English translation, as will some of our other international performers. We’ll also be bringing you poetry from the African, Portuguese, and Latvian communities in Peterborough as well as a chance to hear from well known local poets like Viv Foster, and our former poet in residence Pete “Cardinal” Cox. Alun Williams, who will be familiar to many as the regular host of Tuesdays Till Two, runner-up to Charley Genever at the last Poet Laureate of Peterborough competition will host the evening, and also hopes to read some of his recent work. Charley Genever won’t be performing, but she will be on hand, with entry forms and information about the next Poet Laureate competition, which is scheduled to take place in September at the Key Theatre.
Peterborough Heritage Festival has long been one of the city’s most spectacular events. But there’s more to celebrating our heritage than reenacting battles and dressing up in old-fashioned clothes. This year, in conjunction with Peterborough U3A, St John’s will be hosting speakers and exhibitions from some of Peterborough’s longest established clubs and societies. Our Saturday café will also extend its regular opening hours and will be open throughout the day, so please drop in any time for a tea or coffee and a slice of cake, and check out what else is happening!
10am – Talk : “The Diary of a Victorian Surgeon” with Liz Davies from the Museum Society
11am – Concert: U3A Harmony Singing Group
12pm – Poetry: Poetry about Peterborough with Poets United and the U3A Poetry Group
1pm – Concert: U3A Concert Band
2pm – Talk: “The Blue Badge Trail” with Toby Wood from Peterborough Civic Society
3pm -Tai Chi Display: U3A
3.45pm – Talk: “Peterborough – A walk through its yards!” with June & Vernon Bull from St John’s
All day exhibitions:
Peterborough Photographic Society
U3A Water Colour Group
Peterborough Cycling Club
Photographs of Peterborough during the First World War from June & Vernon Bull’s collection
Andrew Cole – Commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme
Mask Theatre will be performing extracts of “Much Ado about Nothing” – this year’s Shakespeare in the Park production in St John’s Square
Meet a nun! Sisters from The Community of St Francis will be parking their mobile monastery outside St John’s and will be in St John’s all weekend. Take a break from the excitement of the Heritage Festival and enjoy a few minutes of quiet reflection in our Lady Chapel.
Our spring recitals have now finished, but there are two more Tuesdays Till Two events before we take a break until August. As usual the café will be open from noon, and selling a variety of home baked goodies and hot drinks in aid of The Green Backyard. There is no Tuesdays Till Two on 9th June because the Pearl Izumi Tour Series cycle race will be taking place later that day and access to the area will be disrupted.
2nd June – Sergeant Roy McMichael “The British Transport Police – Our History and Role in Protecting Britain’s Railways”
Sergeant Roy McMichael is an officer with 11 years experience in the British Transport Police. He has served in a variety of different roles across the country. His presentation will explain the role of the BTP in protecting the railway network and take you through its history.
16th June – Poets United “Magna Carta 800”
Local poetry collective “Poets United”, who have performed at St John’s several times in recent years, return to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta with us with a selection of poems about and responding to the great charter of 1215. (It was agreed at Runnymede on 15th June 1215, and copies were formally issued on 19th June so this is a good week to celebrate Magna Carta).
Among the poets reading will be Pete Cox, former poet in residence in St John’s, and Viv Foster, who recently performed in St John’s Square as part of this year’s Green Festival. Both Pete and Viv took part in the “Poetry on the buses” project which was led by Keely Mills. who was instrumental in setting up Tuesdays Till Two.
“My Words Were now Written” is a collection of poems from Peter Cox, written during his year as Poet in Residence at St John’s. The book is now available for £5 from the souvenirs counter in the church. The title is a quotation from the book of Job.