Monday, June 13, 2011

The Umbrella Club in the 90's to the Present

From the current Umbrella Club website

"In the 1990s, there was a reunion and relaunch at the Koko building in Spon End. After an initial busy programme, activities were toned down to the present level. Times have changed and people have many more opportunities and demands on their time than was the case in the 50s and 60s, however there is still a desire for people interested in the arts to meet together in order to participate in and discuss the various media."

The link below goes to Martyn Richard's site on the Umbrella Jubilee 2005

After we did the poetry reading for CWR in August 2005 we published a booklet of the poems that were read.

We called it 'Under the Umbrella, a Jubilee Anthology'. The first edition sold out at the Jubilee Social and there is now a second edition with a few extra poems we thought were pertinent to our jubilee year.

We chose a yellow cover as it was our golden year.
The design on the cover is based on the famous umbrellas statue which used to be in the front window at Queen Victoria Road.
It was drawn by Bill Mann.

Copies are available at meetings or by post.
Cost is £2 to members and £2.50 to non-members plus postage.

It is now available at The Herbert shop and at The Tin Angel in Spon Street, also for £2-50

Martyn Richards recalls " Coventry's Heaventree Press, with whom club and members had established published links, arranged an hour-long recording session for Umbrella Poets. This took place at the re-emerging BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire Station. Seven poets read 23 poems during the lunch-time of the 11th August 2005.

Two of the poems were played from the tape by BBC CWR at 7.36 and 7.38 pm on the 12th September 2005. This was during an interview with the station's "poet laureate".

I was spurred to suggest that all of these poems be assembled into our own book - "UNDER The UMBRELLA" - in time for our 50th Anniversary.

Hard work produced a limited print of these broadcast poems in time for our Golden Jubilee. It quickly sold out.

The recent poetry anthology

A fine anthology of current Umbrella poets with a touching poem by Colin Dick to poet John Hewitt, himself a member of the Umbrella poets.

It is now available at The Herbert shop and at The Tin Angel in Spon Street, also for £2-50
or via the Umbrella Website


  1. I was a very young member of the Umbrella Club and was involved with the magazine and designed the logo at the top of this page. Geoffrey Demdike was a member called Geoffrey Saunders and a very creative artist and writer for the magazine. Others I recall include Stanley Sellars, Michael Bench designer of the Belgrade Theatre, John Astle, Roger Keen There were so many very, very talented young people and such a strong bond between every-one. The visit of Aaron Copeland and the Chicago Symphony after a concert at the Hippodrome is still vivid as is an invitation (which I still retain) from Hindustanley Sellars to a celebration of the.100 anniversary of the Cawnpore mutiny.

    1. Thank you for this very interesting comment. I remember the logo being on all the newsletters. Are you Martyn? If i know your name I can give you a credit for the logo. I didn't get involved with the Umbrella until 1969 when i was 18 and so my information on its history before then is reliant on material I've been sent or have found along the way. I only have the copies of Umbrella magazine that are on the site but they were excellent productions. What was your role in the magazine? I'm not sure I knew about Aaron Cope's visit, so that's interesting. If you or any other former member want to write anything or contribute material to the this history of the Umbrella, I'd more than happy to upload the material to the site. I remember the names John Astle and Roger Keen, possibly from the magazine and Terry Watson was still very involved while I was at the Umbrella. Shame I haven't got a photo of him or any of his poems. We haven't found a photo of the Umbrella as it was at Queen Victoria Road either. Do feel free to contribute material to the site - the email address is - Thanks again for your very interesting comments - Trevor Teasdel - site admin.