London Shakespeare Workout LSW Prison Project

Memories in the light

Text by Carolyn Douglas

Dear Bruce,


Thank you for your kind letter of 13th June in which you express a wish to build on the work already started with the women here at Cookham Wood.  Having spoken to the women involved, I can say without reservation that we would love to have you back. 


Some of the women will be writing to you themselves to express their thanks, but I should like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came on Tuesday for their hard work, creativity and commitment.  Ruth (Cookham Wood’s Arts Teacher) and I gained a great deal personally from the two workshops we have attended (at Rochester and Cookham Wood).   We found the exercises both stimulating and challenging, and I personally felt an excitement about Shakespeare which my teachers at school never managed to engender!  


It was also so good to see the change in attitude from both sets of prisoners – moving from uncertainty and a slight wariness to sheer enjoyment.


I look forward to hearing from you again.


With all good wishes,

Carolyn Douglas

Director of Education, HMP Cookham Wood

The following is a Witsling that Carolyn kindly wrote – beside the women – in a few minutes in the session referenced: 


My glass shall not persuade me I am old.
My face is lined, my bones are growing cold.

My friends are gone, my children have left home.

The landscape’s bleak and I am all alone.

There is a warmth though it is hard to see.

My memories in the light, the fire in me.