By Matthew Hedley Stoppard and some of the Otley Poets:
Boltini Glenda Kerney Brown Sandra Burnett Mark Connors John Hepworth Jane Kite Gill Lambert Ben Lowe Gail Mosley Jo Peters Pam Scobie Joanna Sedgwick Helen Shay Maria Stephenson Peter R White Noel Whittall.
As the ever-changing weather drenches and dries out the cobblestones of Otley, in the space of a day we meet its townsfolk, including a pie-obsessive teased by schoolchildren, a death-fearing estate agent who calls out in his sleep, pedestrians singing about dangerous roads and photocopiers and Widow Griffin loitering in the graveyard. At the river-end of town, a freshwater mermaid makes it clear she’s had it up to the gills with romance, a hurricane called Desmond has left the taps running, swans are pelted with stale scones and trolls take residence under the bridge.
Openly in homage to Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, Town Below the Steps is an affectionate rendering of the goings-on in the West Yorkshire town of Otley that sits at the foot of the ancient wooded hill, The Chevin. This is a collaborative outing by poets celebrating the people and landscape of a unique place.
Matthew Hedley Stoppard – Otley Town Poet
Town Beneath the Steps was first broadcast live in April 2017 as a part of the ‘Writing on Air 2017’ festival staged by Chapel FM, a community radio station based in Seacroft, Leeds.
The Town Poet is funded by the businesses of Otley through Otley BID