In May 2019, Pencil Point was relaunched at St Mun’s Primary School by Mr Semple (Literacy Co-ordinator-Cowal), Mr Clark (Digital Lead, Argyll and Bute Council) and Mr McLaughlin (one of the council’s Modern Apprentices). At the beginning, Mr Semple encouraged pupils participating in the Pencil Point event to think about the different types of writing and the tools required to be a good writer. He then read Edwin Morgan’s “Glasgow 5 March 1971” to the children and their teachers – this was to become a valuable source of inspiration as Mr Semple revealed what was going to happen next.
Mr Semple had organised for the pupils to go on ‘a secret adventure’. This involved walking from St Mun’s Primary School to Holy Trinity Church on Kilbride Road armed with iPads. Pupils were instructed to take as many photographs as possible. At least one of the pictures was going to be used as inspiration when the pupils returned to their classroom settings.
On arrival at Holy Trinity Church, pupils and staff were greeted by Christine McIntosh – a former English teacher at Dunoon Grammar School. She spoke briefly about the church and its history and then pupils were given the opportunity to wander freely with their iPads. Some pupils even got the honour of climbing the stairs to the bell tower where Mrs McIntosh rang the bells.
A fascinating collection of images were captured on the day and then children – with the support of their teachers – produced some wonderful pieces of writing for this blog! There are poems, descriptions and imaginative pieces for you to enjoy.
It just goes to show that all our children need is a little inspiration…
Scroll down to read the latest pieces of creative writing; you can also view posts from each school by either clicking its name in the menu on the right, or by clicking on its logo below.
Hello, my name is William Walter Hart and this is my story. If you have been to Holy Trinity Church then you will know that there is a plaque on the wall. It has my story on it but not the full one. That is why I am here: to tell you the missing parts. So sit back, relax and I will tell you my story.
When I was young I had a fascination with boats. From the mast to the cabin it all interested me. My father Declan Hart was a sailor and he delivered all the cargo and food to the cities near Dunoon while my mother Jennifer Hart was a maid.
For my 12th birthday my Dad took me to see a boat yard. I was very grateful to my Dad for taking me there.
When I got back home my Mother had prepared a delicious meal for my Dad and me.
When I was fifteen my Mother and Father took me to Holy Trinity Church for the first time. I thought that the church was absolutely beautiful. We went to church every Sunday and I loved it but my favourite part was always the singing. Every time I sang it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It also made me feel like I was glowing. So when a lady asked me to join the choir, I gladly accepted.
When I was twenty I got my first real job: I got a job on a boat! I sailed to many places and by the time I was twenty six I had nearly sailed around the whole world. Of course, I still went to church when I could as well. But one day, the 25th October 1900, it all changed. That was the day I died. I had been sent on a very treacherous journey to Nova Scotia. My boss had warned me that the weather was going to be dangerous but I thought it would be fine so I gathered everything I needed and sailed away from Dunoon.
When I got closer to Nova Scotia a storm was brewing. I got flung off my bed by a wave hitting my deck. I drowned shortly after when the boat capsized.
My body washed up on Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia and was spotted by some locals.
So that’s my story. I hope you enjoyed it but don’t worry. I may be dead but that’s okay because when one life dies, another one begins.
There was a dark, dark wood with a dark, dark river. It had a story behind it. Now I am going to tell you the story.
A long time ago a man was going to be the first man to enter the dark, dark river. This man wanted to find something which would make him rich. This man was called John but his nickname was Mad For Money.
So John started to venture up the riverbed but all that he was finding was green slime. Then he came to the bent corner. Locals said that people had been killed there before when walking past. John didn’t believe that.
He continued. Suddenly someone grabbed him and pointed a gun at his head saying, “How dare you enter my river!” Then the man shot John’s hand and shouted, “Go home and never come back or else…”
As the ancient strings of the old bell tower ricochet off the hardened wood a melodic tune – that is heard for miles – induces hope into passers-by enticing them to come in to the great nave of this old church.
Outside flowers sway in the gentle breeze, the century old gravestones stand their ground as time takes its toll. The springtime birds chirp under the green canopy of leaves as the sunlight floods onto the grass covered ground, untainted life all around – from towering trees to the most delicate little daisy as the beautiful natural scene continues living and growing. The leaves rustle from the touch of little woodland animals as pinecones and acorns fall from their treetop poses indicating the start of a new Spring season.
And as rain starts to fall, the sunlight fades and the animals go back into hiding. The grass dampens and the flowers droop their heads as the rain pours onto the countryside. The mist envelopes the surrounding hills.
Eventually, the rain clears leaving just the magical white mist. It overpowers this peaceful scene giving it an almost sinister feeling.
Nightfall then arrives. The nocturnal animals wake from their daytime slumber and roam the grounds and, as the predators of the night seek out their source of food, the more passive creatures roam around in the darkness scavenging for survival.
As I looked out to see if the enemies were still there, one of our soldiers got shot. A massive battle broke out again. You could hear the gunshots whistling past your ear. Literally, you could feel the ground rumbling when the bombs went off. I sent my troops off to fight them.
Eventually, we had taken out most of them and my men returned exhausted. But trench warfare followed. I swear they threw grenade after grenade into our trench and took out half of my men. We fought for our lives. I got shot a couple of times so hid until the gunshots stopped. Everything then went silent.
Moments later I took another quick look over the top of our trench and all I saw was a massive cloud of black smoke funnelling towards our trench. It turned everything black. I could hardly breathe. Then everything stopped.
On an old, worn out, dark oak wooden door – with vertical cracked grain with little space between – there is a little padlock with the bold brand name “Sterling” painted black. An arc shaped, polished, silver shackle is attached to the door by a rusty metal loop, secured by four rust-covered flat-headed screws.
The vestibule behind has a white glossy door frame and cream coloured walls. The padlock’s polished shackle and case shines in contrast to the aged door.
The tired door has deep scratches and rubbing marks with rusted metal designs.
Neglected. A carpet of grass and weeds masks the stairs, leading to an unwelcoming mat. Rotting debris has taken up residence while one living weed stands alone.
A carved stone arch frames the painted black door. At the bottom of the aged door is a small padlock. Layers of algae cling desperately to the wall. Fern and moss are wedged in the crevices of the walls.
An uninviting intrusive weathered pipe runs along the well- preserved wall. The other wall had endured the worst of the weather where yellow and orange algae cascades over the discoloured bricks.
The ancient, unstable railing around the steps had rusted with overgrown grass winding its way around the base.