Golden milestone for Walsall Writers Circle

Fifty years of writing marked by civic ceremony.

A Walsall writer has presented the borough’s Mayor with a very special memento of the town’s oldest writing group.

Mrs Margaret Orams Hampton, a member of Walsall Writers’ Circle, met with Cllr Kath Phillips JP in the Mayor’s Parlour on Monday 19th December to hand over a copy of Fifty Years of Walsall Writers’ Circle, a book of members’ work published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the group’s founding at Walsall Central Library in 1966. The Circle has spent the last five decades successfully encouraging the work of local writers of all levels of experience, including that of a number of novelists and short story writers as well as writers of non-fiction.

Apart from the significance of the anniversary to the cultural life of the borough, there is also a significant link between Mrs Hampton and Cllr Phillips, who have in the past worked together at the Walsall Co-operative Society, and with the office of Mayor, since the article which Mrs Hampton had ​herself ​written especially for the book looks at the Mayors of Walsall over the past fifty years. To research her piece, Mrs Hampton approached several ex-Mayors and asked them their personal views on various subjects which she then recorded. From the information given, she was able to construct an article that expressed their thoughts and opinions. She also included a brief history of the Council House and Town Hall itself.

The Mayor said: “I am delighted to receive this book, celebrating as it does fifty years of the Walsall Writers’ Circle’s contribution to Walsall literary culture, and will read it with great interest.”

Edited by the Circle’s Secretary, Mrs Alison Reed, Fifty Years of Walsall Writers’ Circle contains a mix of fact, fiction and memoirs on the theme of the past fifty years in Walsall, looking both back and forward, from fifty years ago to fifty years hence. It also includes a brief history of the Circle itself, as well as a selection of past prize-winning stories by members​.​

The Mayor and Mrs Hampton were joined for the presentation by several past Mayors of Walsall as well as Mayoral Consort Mr Maurice Phillips and Mr Anthony Hampton in the Mayor’s Parlour at Walsall Council House, where Mrs Hampton also presented books to several past Mayors, as a mark of appreciation for their help in her research.

Appropriately, Mrs Hampton and Cllr Phillips also took time out to take a look at an important relic of another Walsall writer, the bureau desk of world-famous Walsall-born Victorian/Edwardian author Jerome K. Jerome, which resides in the Mayor’s Parlour.

Today, Walsall Writers’ Circle is still going strong, and meets at the Broadway North Recovery College on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm. For further information on the Circle, visit their website