My favourite place - Roger McGough

PUBLISHED: 00:00 22 July 2019

A group of yougsters exploring the sand dunes at Formby

A group of yougsters exploring the sand dunes at Formby

Archant

Roger McGough 'the patron saint of poetry' explains why Formby is so special to him

Roger McGough (c) Nick Wright PhotographyRoger McGough (c) Nick Wright Photography

Litherland-born poet Roger McGough knows Liverpool is a part of Lancashire, but it didn't seem that way to him when he was growing up there in the 1940s.

'Lancashire seemed like another place to us,' he says. 'It was a place where people had different accents and led different lives. The landscape was different, there were green hills and little villages and it was a world away from what we knew in Liverpool.'

But as a young boy there were much anticipated days out, trips away from the smoke and noise of the big city and even now at the age of 81, he cherishes those memories. 'To select one favourite place is very difficult. I've been to so many places and have enjoyed most of them, but for those childhood visits, I'd have to choose Formby.

'I remember running and playing on the dunes and walking on the beach and just marvelling at the size of it. There's a fascinating history to the place, but I didn't know that then. Then it was just about being out in the fresh air and having fun.' He lives in London these days but still enjoys touring and appearing at literary festivals, as his did earlier this year at Litfest in Lancaster. He is the author of more than 70 books of poems and editor of scores of anthologies, he is a broadcaster, he has had a number one record - and a string of other chart successes - with The Scaffold. His new collection of poetry, Joined up Writing, was released in the spring and he will be bringing out two new children's books next year.

Although the Poet Laureateship might have gone to Yorkshireman Simon Armitage, Roger McGough is arguably Britain's most popular living poet, indeed previous Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has called him 'the patron saint of poetry'. u

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