Willerby Library Workshop

Open Bridges includes a series of workshops hosted by Lou Duffy-Howard with creative writers Christina Lewis and Russ Litten who are working with schools, prison, hospice and community venues to explore freedom and the impact of freedoms denied in the world today.


Novelist Russ Litten and I spent a great afternoon with a group from Willerby Library Memory Lane and Willerby Library Book Club. We enjoyed lots of fascinating chat about growing up in East and West Hull, memories of uncles and grandfathers who played for both rugby teams, worked in the whaling industry and as a Tugmaster on the Humber.

After a good supply of tea and biscuits the group all worked together with Russ at the helm to create two brand new poems, one about Freedom and one about the impact of the river and the bridges.


once upon a time
there was someone on a beach
at the ocean
the gulls soared above
in clear blue skies
the wind was stirring up the waves
opened a door in the mind
holidays of yesteryear
books and songs and games
we all played long ago
the freedom to read
the freedom to speak
dreams of doors that opened
to walk the road of memory
and learn from what we know


traffic on the river
traffic on the road
tugs and boats and barges
carry heavy loads
cars and trucks and lorries
go from east to west
red and white and black and white
argue who’s the best
but they share a common goal
they live with every day
deep within their soul
as they work and play
to heal all the division
to wave the magic wand
to realise the vision
and strengthen the city’s bond
so raise up all the bridges
raise the spirits too
where once our hearts were rigid
now we’re born anew

by The Clever Girls of Willerby Library


Thanks to Sally, Sharon, Kim and the team at the most excellent Willerby Library and everyone who came to the workshop, Mollie, Jo F, Jean, Margaret, Jo I, Jenny, Sarah and Sheila.

Lou Duffy-Howard


Open Bridges Hull

For the first time in Hull’s history the city will be split in two when all Hull’s 13 bridges will be simultaneously raised or barriered, momentarily denying the freedom of movement east or west across the River Hull. On September 22nd Open Bridges will signify the vital role bridges play in our everyday lives with a river journey, the mustering of historic vessels representing three centuries and a new musique concrète commission by BAFTA winning Hull based composer John Stead.

The music premiere is at an outdoor stage – The Stage @ The Dock –  it starts at 7.30 pm and finishes at 10.30 pm. From there you will be able to see the historic vessels as they enter the Humber.

Tickets from Hull Box Office 

Open Bridges is an independent Hull based project by Duffy-Howard Music taking place during the Hull City of Culture Freedom Season. It is supported by Arts Council England and Hull City Arts Fund with partnership support from Hull City Council Streetscene and project partners Malcolm Scott, John Stead, Streetscene’s Andy Burton, Pete Curry, Graham Lownsborough and Bridge Operations staff, Helen Thackeray: Hull Events, John Medland, Phil Withers, Mal Nicholson and Historic Motor and Sail, Paul Escreet: SMS Towage, Simon Lee: Svitzer (Maersk), The Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society, The Beverley Barge Preservation Society, Team Humber Marine Alliance, Freedom Festival’s Jenny Coombes, Hugh Jones of HPSS , C4Di, creative writers Christina Lewis and Russ Litten, photographers Piotr Korczynski and Graeme Oxby, Humber Film Creative Community and Octovision Media.


2 thoughts on “Willerby Library Workshop

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s