Syd Meats musician poet and BBC songwriter

Syd Meats is our guest at the Andover Afternoon Cafe on March 28th. Here are some interesting facts about him.

Romsey songwriter and poet Syd Meats has been confusing the public with his musings for longer than he cares to remember. As well as writing and performing parodies of popular songs, he brings to musical life such unlikely themes as the life of a mayfly, the trials and tribulations of an oversleeping cockerel, and doing battle with Arctic prawns

Guest musician Syd Meats is Romsey songwriter and poet.  In Syd’s early career he worked for the BBC writing songs for Lincolnshire BBC local radio.

In the 90’s he fronted surreal indie band Meet The Vicar, and also wrote and performed a one man show Meats Saves The Planet which was a mixture of songs and spoken word.  During this period his brushes with the famous included having a cup of tea in the same room as Barbara Windsor and speaking to Ernie Wise on the phone twice.

In a recent street performance in Andover, he re-wrote the town’s history to include a Viking founder with the unfortunate name of Eric The Hippopotamus. Not only have Syd’s songs been heard on local and national radio, but they have also been used to teach English in the Sudan and Natural History in the UK.

He runs the popular Teapoet Collective, a Sunday afternoon poetry cafe at Rum’s Eg in Romsey.

At this stage in his career he has achieved the status of a walking, rhyming, inaccurate encyclopaedia.

“We’re really excited to have such a fantastic talent coming to Andover,” said organiser Cat Randle.

Andover Afternoon poetry cafe is held on the second Saturday of the month at The Rendezvous Cafe, 8 Union St, Andover, SP10 1PA. The first half of the afternoon is reserved for local poets, entertainers and acoustic musicians. The guest spots are after a tea break with cakes supplied by The Great British Tea & Cake company.

Syd Meats having a cup of tea.

Syd Meats having a cup of tea.

Ivor Bundell returns with secret poetry.

Ivor Bundell musing on Meon Valley

Ivor Bundell musing on Meon Valley

Ivor Bundell former secretary for Big Up Words is the founder of Secret Poetry at It is a website which publishes free downloads, an occasional e-zine and sells poetry online.

Ivor was M.C at the Poetry cafe pilot at the Bridge in 2012. He’s best remembered for his humorous poetry about carrots.

Ivor has produced three albums with his brother Kevan and a solo album entitled ‘Heart & Stone’. A poet, singer-songwriter and near novelist, Ivor hails from the Meon Valley and writes about the natural world and local history.

His most recent work includes the newly discovered and translated ‘Winchester Tales’, a natural history of butterflies ‘Moments of Delight’ and ‘Randall –  A Triptych: Untold Tales, A Narrative Odyssey, The Existential Comedy’.

Andover Afternoon poetry cafe is held on the second Saturday of the month at The Rendezvous Cafe, 8 Union St, Andover, SP10 1PA. The first half of the afternoon is reserved for local poets, entertainers and acoustic musicians. The guest spots are after a tea break with cakes supplied by The Great British Tea & Cake company.


Bobbie Coelho inspirational poet.

Bobbie Coelho winner of the Andover section

Bobbie Coelho winner of the Andover section

When Bobbie was 11, she wrote a poem about a cowboy. Her teacher said, “There’s real feeling here.” Bobbie comments “I got a good mark for it.”

As she enters her third age, Bobbie’s poetry is helping her educate people about another passion, Parkinson’s disease.  In her poem ‘Control Freak’ she says;

She comes and goes when she pleases
and never makes life easy
It’s usual for hijackers to be jailed
Mrs P not easy to curtail

Bobbie was working in Tidworth Library as a library assistant when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2002. Parkinson’s disease is progressive neurological condition.

People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough dopamine because some nerve cells in their brain have died. The chemical dopamine is produced naturally in the body and functions as a neurotransmitter. It is part of the pleasure and reward pathway of the brain and is involved in memory and motor control. Symptoms of Parkinson’s include depression, shaking, moving slowly and stiffness.

Bobbies first reaction to her diagnosis was a private prayer of “God don’t make me bitter,” She decided to become a good finder. Bobbie is adamant poetry has helped her retain a sense of who she is and it has not let the Parkinson diagnosis eat her away.

At a difficult time where a lot of people would be afraid to go out in public Bobbie became a staunch crusader for people suffering from Parkinson’s. She has written two poetry books “Finding the light” and “Reflecting the light” to raise money to fight the disease.

Bobbie’s poetry crusade started in 2003, when an intuitive friend said ‘I’ve a vision of you as a poet.’ Bobbie went home, wrote a poem and just left it on the computer.  But after writing her second poem ‘Freak’ she realised life had changed.

“I’m quite proud of the book. The best part of putting the book together was choosing the cover. I write when I feel like it, so it’s not every day or every week. I tend to write about things that inspire me.”

Bobbie’s poetry is accessible, connecting with her audience at a visceral level.  She is very good at capturing emotionally charged moments in time. Her poetry is easy to understanding, using rhyming schemes that her fans enjoy. Bobbie’s audience can read her poems and immediately connect with the subject or character she is writing about.

“I started showing people my poetry and the more I showed, the more I wrote. Then I did some little booklets and handed them out. But I wanted to reach a wider audience.”

Bobbie has been through a major change and acknowledges she’s gained as well as had things taken away.

“It’s given me a deeper insight into human nature. I’d like to think I’m more compassionate. When you met someone all you see is their clock face, you don’t’ see the real person. People are very quick to judge but don’t know the whole story. I have seen people look at the blue disabled badge on my car, and they watch me step out in high heels. I can see them thinking ‘why does she get a badge if she’s got high heels?’ but they don’t see the days I’m crawling around the house because I can’t walk.”

Andover and Hampshire audiences enjoy her poetry. She is a regular speaker at WI groups. You can find her books in many varied places around Andover as diverse as Beaker Button wool shop in Weyhill Fair to the Vine Trust Christian bookshop in central Andover as well as Amazon.

“It’s important to promote the books but it’s a double edged sword. I’m raising money for Parkinson’s and spreading awareness. I hope I’m not too pushy but on the other hand it’s the most important thing in my life.”

Bobbie has been a consistent supporter of the Andover Poetry competitions when it ran from 2011 to 2014. In the first competition she placed second overall and in the last she was 1st in the Andover section. You can still buy her 2011 winning poem as a post card on the Travelling Bookstall.

Bobbie will be performing at Andover Poetry Cafe on February 14th at the Rendezvous Cafe, 8 Union St, Andover SP10 1PA. The cafe starts at 1.30pm. She will also be performing at Books and Words at The Lights Andover on February 14th between 12 and 12.30 pm.


On the 4th day of Christmas…4 fantastic books

Sally Startup has 4 novels for young adults and FINALLY the 2nd in the Tree Speaker series Spice City has arrived. If you have a teenager who is into fantasy, the power of friendship, animals, or rock ‘n roll then Sally will have a book for you. You can buy these books off Smashwords or buy them from the R.A.W stall at the Rendezvous Cafe in Andover on Friday mornings. For more info her is her website

A young child learns the value of friendship

A young child learns the value of friendship

A comming of age novel about a trials of starting a rock band

A comming of age novel about a trials of starting a rock band

Long awaited 2nd book in the Tree Speaker series

Long awaited 2nd book in the Tree Speaker series

Sally Startup's excellent fantasy novel

Sally Startup’s excellent fantasy novel

On the second day of Christmas…two poetry books.

s of Parkinsons

Bobbie Coleho’s first poetry collection to raise money and awareness of Parkinsons

The second poetry book by Bobbie Coleho.

The second poetry book by Bobbie Coleho.

Bobbie’s poetry books are perfect for people who don’t ‘get’ modern poets but know what they like. Any one who is a fan of Andover style of poetry will enjoy these poems. Bobbie has a way of connecting with the human condition and touching hearts.  Her books can be found at The Vinetrust bookshop in Andover, at the Travelling Bookstall and online.

One Afternoon poetry cafe-December 13th at the Rendezvous Cafe

Graham explaining about modern day Tarzan

Graham explaining about modern day Tarzan

One the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…an awesome poetry cafe! We have now found our permanent home at the Rendezvous Cafe, 8 Union St, Andover, SP10 1PA.

We will be starting at 1.30pm on Saturday 13th December with our new guest MC Damien O’Vitch. Open mic either email us here at or tell us on Facebook or turn up on the day.

Our guests are going to be Graham Brown, an exceptional poet who has heart stopping, poignant poems and breath taking funny poems. We also have our first poetry show, with Bryn Strudwick and Brenda.

There will be tea, cake, a book tombola and a chance to browse our Travelling Bookstall for last minute presents.

After wards we will be having a small writers workshop and explaining how Sally Startup will be holding workshops at the Poetry cafe in January.

See you there..

Click here to see Bryn Strudwick Diamond Jubilee show

Roy Chatfield, Cat Randle, Bryn Strudwick, Marion Chatfield, John Secluna

Roy Chatfield, Cat Randle, Bryn Strudwick, Marion Chatfield, John Secluna

Discount Weekend Andover Guildhall

Yes, we are going to start our Christmas promotion by adopting this American tradition. We are going to be at the Andover Guildhall today from 9-2 at Mencap Andover Christmas fair. We have poetry books discounted from £5.00 down £3.00 and “Anthony Ant, stories to read your Grandchildren is also down from £5.00 to £3.00. We have an amazing Tombola and we will gift wrap your presents for you. Or come ans see what books we have for the person in your life that’s read everything. Pop down and say hi.

Performance opportunity at Michaelmas Fair

IMAG3489The Travelling Book fair will be at Michaelmas fair, Weyhill Fairground on Saturday September 20th from 12-4pm and Sunday September 21st form 12-4 pm. We’ve negotiated 8 outdoor performance slots of 15 mins just for you. Music, poetry, funny skits and comedy is what is needed. Remember its family friendly so nothing naughty or rude. Outdoor performing is hard work but people at the fair are friendly and fun.

All money raised will go to our two new projects, the performance and poetry cafe and a marketing pilot to find out what book groups want to read.

Interested? Email us at and tell us what you’d like to perform and which day.

Become a member of Big Up Words


Big Up Words is a small, but growing, unincorporated organisation based in Andover, Hampshire. We aim to support people in the local area to have FUN WITH WORDS, provide word-fuelled activities, support local writers and generally encourage the development of word-related talent.

In the last two years we have run 14 word-fuelled events in Andover, and there are more planned for 2014.

Annual membership costs £10

We need your support. Your membership fee will help us run our events.

Benefits of membership for you include:

  • Help with promotion for you and your own word-related event or product.
  • Free entry to selected Big Up Words events.
  • A special value deal for entry into our poetry competition.
  • Display and promotion of your book or other word-related product through the Travelling Book Fair, run at Big Up Words events wherever possible.
  • Review of your books or products and promotion by Big Up Words on social media.

To join Big Up Words, please contact us using the link above and ask for an application form




Steampunks, pirates and poets party.


A fundraising event for Big Up Words On Thursday 27th February 2014

Upstairs at THE GLOBE, High Street, Andover at 7.30 pm

Readers and Poets open mic (limited places, pre-book to avoid disappointment)

Performances by Syd Meats, Mr Carrot and Blind Barbara Blunderbuss, Steampunk games, Prizes for creative costumes, The Travelling Book Fair, Live Music

Entry £5 (readers and poets £3, free for members of Big Up Words)

RSVP and open mic bookings by email to