‘Heidelberg’ and the International Times

I have a poem that’s just appeared in the International Times, ‘Heidlelberg’ from Jam, my forthcoming collection. I left school at sixteen, as soon as I could, and got a job in a printing factory as an apprentice printer. It was a good job in those days, the union was strong and looked after you. My dad always said it was important to get a trade, and printing was certainly in that category. I stuck it for six months, did another couple of jobs and eventually ended up at Kidderminster College of FE. It made a big impression on me, working in that printing factory and I sometimes think what would have happened if I’d stayed on and completed the apprenticeship. I was in Paris one time, walking down a side street past somebody’s garage, and inside there was a bloke on a Heidlelberg platen. The sound and the smell took me right back, stopped me dead.

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