Phoenix cultural centre 014

A number of Woking Writers Circle members have strong links with the Phoenix Cultural Centre, which has moved much closer to its long-standing aim of creating a permanent live music and community arts venue in Woking. The Phoenix is relocating from its original base at a former shop in Goldsworth Road, where it has staged many successful events and a regular open mic night for several years, to the 1,000-capacity former Quake nightclub in the centre of Woking, to be renamed the Fiery Bird. So far, so good; but now the Phoenix needs the help of everyone in Woking who cares about a community arts centre for all – not just for live music   – in the town. They have launched a crowdfunder campaign  with the aim of raising £70,000 to make all that they hope for happen. What has all this got to with Woking Writers Circle? Well, members Greg Freeman and Peter Morley went along there in 2013 to find out more about it, talked to driving forces Elaine and Joe, plus sidekick Andy – pictured – and returned at regular intervals to read out our poems at the open mic nights. There we met Catherine Rogan, who was playing the img_1309ukulele with her band The Ukeaholics, pictured left. She asked about our writing group, where she is now a very active member. So active that she has published a novel and a collection of short stories – and launched the novel at the Phoenix. All that is an example of the cultural links  that the Phoenix have already facilitated in Woking. The have already done much to enrich the life of the town, putting on music events at Goldsworth Road, providing performers for events in the town such as Woking Food Festival, and staging a one-day festival in Woking Park. There should be more to Woking than ever taller office blocks. So dig deep, or spare whatever you can to help this great project – every little helps!

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