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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Celebrating work of Millom poet

A COMBINATION of respect and appreciation marked the opening of acclaimed Millom poet Norman Nicholson’s centenary year.

Organised by the Norman Nicholson Society, several activities including a church service and poetry readings were held at St George’s Church, Millom, ahead of the 100-year anniversary of his birth tomorrow.

The group held a candle-lit procession to his grave in St George’s churchyard and also completed a guided walk of points of interest around Millom relevant to Nicholson’s poetry.

Charlie Lambert, media editor of the society, said: “The day was very successful. What was great about it was that there was a good variety of things happening which really demonstrated what Norman Nicholson was all about.

“There was the serious business of the church service and there was a fun side as we cut a special birthday cake and sang happy birthday to him by the stained glass window, which was quite surreal really.”

The poetry of Norman Nicholson, who spent virtually his entire life in Millom, is described by his fans at the society as “always celebrating the human, the humorous, the natural world and the quirky, with a generosity of spirit that found delight in the least likely places.”

Mr Lambert said: “During the church service I saw quite a few faces I didn’t recognise. It was nice to see people from the area who just wanted to come down and pay their respects to Millom’s greatest son.”

Nicholson wrote about the reality of life in 20th century Cumbria, from the local ironworks to the nuclear plant at Windscale.

He was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Poetry in 1977 and the OBE in 1981. He also wrote novels, verse plays and a large number of literary reviews.

The next centenary event in the Millom area is a gala lunch due to take place at Haverigg Lighthouse Centre on Saturday April 26. Visit www.normannicholson.org for further information.

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