I was Jazzman John Clarke’s Batman!

Wash House PoetsJohn Hegley in flying form, Jazzman John Clarke and Claire Booker bringing up the rear – what a bill for the inaugural Wash House Poets’ spoken word gig last Monday. 

Launched deep in the bowels of the  St Bride Foundation off Fleet Street, the Wash House Poets monthly spoken word event is the brain child of Isabel White – no mean purveyor of verbal fireworks herself.

The poets were welcomed with open arms, including a 45 minute tour of what is one of London’s hidden gems.

Kelmscott Chaucer at St Bride Foundation

Kelmscott Chaucer at St Bride Foundation

Everything you could possibly want to know about the history of printing is here, from a working Gutenburg printing press, to exquisitely designed, modern leather-bound books and such heady items as an original edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary. There are more than 20,000 books tucked inside a building with more rooms and staircases than sense. Bibliophiles – this is paradise!

If you’d like to know more about the St Bride’s Foundation, join one of their craft workshops, take in a play at the Bridewell Theatre or simply relax and enjoy a drink in what used to be the old wash house, then click on: www.sbf.org.uk

John Clarke

John Clarke

You can also check out interviews made on the day with Jazzman John Clarke, John Hegley and Claire Booker at www.stbridefoundation.wordpress.com

The Wash House Poets’ lunchtime event is on the first Monday of each month, from 12.30 to 2.00pm. Next up  – Mon 1st Dec at The Bridewell Bar, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, EC4Y 8EQ. Free entry, with a well-stocked bar to quench your thirst.

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