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‘A BIT OF FUN’: Introducing the poet inspired by life in Radlett

 Published on: 28th November 2023   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

The self-proclaimed ‘Radlett poet’ has spoken of how he uses poetry to explore issues within the local community.

Retired chartered surveyor Paul Blakeley took to rhyme in later life, publishing his verse on social media. His poems, often light-hearted in tone, have become beloved contributions on the Radlett Village Facebook page.

He explains: “I see myself as a commentator, but I mostly do it because it amuses me. It all started when someone wrote a silly post about parking problems on Facebook, and I decided to write something back.”

Paul has lived in Frogmore – a village that he dubs ‘Greater Radlett’ – with his wife, Adele, for 13 years. With his teenage years spent in Edgware and his own children brought up in Harrow, Paul has lived on the Hertfordshire border for most of his life.

Asked why his poems centre around Radlett in particular, Paul said: “There’s just so much happening in Radlett. My son, daughter-in-law and three of my grandchildren live in Radlett. I’ve just always been, well, the Radlett poet.”

Paul’s work provides a humorous insight into what the people of Radlett are thinking and talking about.

He said: “Some of my poems are deliberately provocative and argumentative, I’d say, and not everyone agrees with what I think. My poems do kick off long discussions and threads.”

Some of his most popular verses are dedicated to local townspeople, like one called Colin the Tech Man, published in April 2022. Perhaps Paul’s most popular rhyme, the poem accrued almost 300 likes and apparently earned Colin quite a lot of new business.

Although Paul states that he tries to avoid matters of politics in his poems, a lot of his verse does reflect the local concerns dominating council agendas.

Paul said: “Radlett isn’t quite overdeveloped yet, but I’m worried about all these proposed developments and permissions given for building works.”

Luckily, Paul’s contributions to Radlett give everyone the opportunity to share their perspectives. Most of all, though, Radlett’s poet-in-residence hopes that his rhymes can provide “a bit of fun and entertainment”.

You can buy Paul’s Anthology of Radlett Verse from Amazon, or join the Radlett Village Facebook groups to read his latest pieces.

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