October 20, 2023
Wandsworth’s bid to become London’s Borough of Culture 2025 has received celebrity backing with an endorsement from boxing legend Frank Bruno.
The former was at Southside Shopping Centre in Wandsworth Town Centre to sign copies of his new autobiography Frank Bruno: 60 Years a Fighter.
He said, “Wandsworth has a special place in my heart and it’s always great to revisit this borough where I grew up. As a South London lad I'll definitely back Wandsworth to be London Borough of Culture in 2025."
He joins Children’s Poet Laureate Joseph Coelho who hails from Roehampton. Joseph recently returned to his roots to share his tips on how to start writing poetry and being creative with words in a visit to his former primary schools and ARK Putney Academy (formerly Elliott School).
He said, “It has been a privilege to return to Wandsworth this week and get the opportunity to connect hundreds of children to poetry and writing – inspiring them to express themselves in new creative ways.
"I’m so excited that Wandsworth is going for London Borough of Culture and thrilled to support the bid to bring the title home, back to where it all started for me.”
On Monday 9 October, more than 1,000 Year 4 pupils and teachers gathered at Wandsworth town hall's Civic Suite to take part in poetry performances and workshops with Joseph and took the opportunity to ask him questions about his favourite book, when he first became a poet and what inspires his writing.
The following day he gave a captivating performance to Year 7 students before being joined by Year 4 students from 10 different primary schools for interactive poetry sessions.
Writer Joseph Coelho talks to local school children
After unveiling a plaque at Roehampton Library, his childhood library, he called into Wandsworth Town Hall to meet Mayor of Wandsworth, Councillor Juliana Annan, together with council leader Simon Hogg where they agreed support for Wandsworth's bid to be London Borough of Culture 2025.
Councillor Hogg said, "It was such a pleasure to meet Joseph and hear first-hand about his early life in Wandsworth and his journey to becoming Children's Laureate.
“We are so grateful to him for sharing his inspirational passion for books and poetry with so many of our local schoolchildren - and I'm delighted that he supports our campaign to win London Borough of Culture which would help us to deliver more fantastic creative programmes like this."
The borough's bid will be sent in to the Mayor of London at the end of November.
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