Torso Wrapped in Rug,
Girl Guide Throttled,
J.P. Goes to Jug.
Fleet Street is perhaps hardly a place you would associate with poetry, but when Ted Harriott and John Bull started asking around, they were surprised by how many ‘closet poets’ they unearthed among their newspaper colleagues. Some, like Michael Gabbert, John Pudney and Paul Dehn (from whose poem ‘Gutter Press’ this stanza is taken), found their subjects close to hand; others, like John Arlott and Denis Botterill, looked to the cricket pitch and the natural world for their inspiration.
This collection of poetry was first published in 1969 as a privately circulated pamphlet. The poets featured include cricket commentator, wine connoisseur and Guardian writer John Arlott, Denis Botterill (London man for the Yorkshire Post), Daily Herald film critic and Goldfinger screenwriter Paul Dehn, Michael Gabbert (News of the World), feature-writer Charles Hamblett, Anthony Hunter of the Sunday Dispatch, Evening Standard film critic Philip Oakes, war correspondent Derek Patmore, Daily Express book critic John Pudney, Daily Mirror chief sub Sydney Tremayne, and Press Club habitué Sir John Waller.
Keywords: Poetry, Fleet Street, journalists, 1960s, John Arlott, Denis Botterill, Paul Dehn, Michael Gabbert, Charles Hamblett, Anthony Hunter, Philip Oakes, Derek Patmore, John Pudney, Sydney Tremayne, John Waller