About Trev

I've never defined myself by my paid work. Often the important work I've done has been outside of paid employment, especially in the early days. Later, as a creative writing tutor and arts / education development worker for WEA (Workers' Educational Association) and Leeds University Adult Education, it gets nearer.

Trev began writing song lyrics at school - later writing full songs after learning guitar - writing one with Pete Waterman in 1970 before Pete was well known. Moved into performance and spoken word, organising gigs, venues, festivals and editing Hobo Music and Arts Magazine and Workshop in Coventry in the years before the Two Tone breakthough. Many of the archives relate the Music scene in Coventry.
In 1980 moved to Teesside to do his degree and co-created a lively Creative Writing infrastructure, teaching creative writing in communities, organising performance venues, literary festivals, Outlet magazine and much more. In 1990 we made a BBC2 Open space programme about the work.

Here are two sketches of my involvements -

The first by Broadgate Gnome - a Coventry based alternative magazine of the early 70's who published an album of my songs from remastered cassette recordings in 2007 - Songs From the Coventry Underground - Gnome Label. This is what they say -

"Songs from the Coventry Underground - Is a collection of the earlier songs from poet and performer Trev Teasdel. It is very apt that he should feature at the very beginning of our Retro-Cov platform.

This is the guy that played an important role in the development of Coventry's musical consciousness. He kept an alternative voice alive with the production of Hobo magazine that continued the trail from where the fading footprints of the Gnome could still be identified. Taking over the booking of live bands at the Arts Umbrella, he continued the policy that allowed many of the new local bands an airing as well as bringing in some excellent but not often seen names from outside of the City.

He also created one of the cornerstones of the Coventry Music scene, with the inception of the open jam sessions at the Holyhead Road Arts centre.

He left Coventry to study and has since been as active as ever, with an impressive workload of teaching new writers, running poetry magazines and venues from his Teesside home while still writing and performing his own material.

But that's not the only reason for choosing his work for this release. He is a master craftsman of his artform. His lyrics are carefully honed with the occasional surprise. The working of the words "under the Speenhamland scheme" into the lyric of Captain Swing, written some 20 years before the arrival of Billy Bragg, is phenomenal and deserves a place in the record books.

Aside from that, his work reverberates with the angst and expectations that many living in Coventry at the that time will have felt. Often written on long walks home up the London Road after the last bus, or in teabreaks while working at the GEC. The collective lyrics paint a picture of youthful exhilaration and myradiacl inspirations with echoes of revolt. Some might suggest that they could have been written in and about any city in those times. No they could only come from one place....Our Coventry.

17 tracks on Songs From the Coventry Underground - Shortly After Midnight / Well I Don't Know / The Phoenix / The Isolate / Mrs Stress and Strain / Just Before Dawn / A Lotta Rain is Fallin' / Throw Down My Pack / Scarf / A Teardrop in the Tees / Tonight (Loneliness Surrounds me Like the Dark of Night / Back in Winter Town / With Someone Nice Like You / Captain Swing / Shortly After Midnight (Early version) / Postcards of China / Visions of a Brighter Day." Digger Dave - Gnome Label


The second is by Andy Croft - Who was then (in 1993) a lecturer in Literature for Leeds University Adult Education in Middlesbrough. It's in the form of an open reference but gives a good synopsis of the work I was involved with at the time and which relates to the content of some of my websites.
" I first met Trevor after I moved up to Cleveland in 1983, at a poetry reading at
the Dovecot Arts Centre (which Trevor helped to organise) in aid of Friends of the Earth. Since then I have worked very closely with Trevor, through Teesside Writers’ Workshop, the editorial collective of OUTLET magazine, the Middlesbrough mbranch of the WEA and the Write Around Committee, For the past 5 years Trevor has taught a number of highly popular courses on the Leeds University’s programme of Creative Writing Classes; he was recently a consultant member of the support group for the University’s UFC-funded research projectinto Creative Writing and Adult Education in Cleveland.

But these are only a few of Trevor’s many contributions to the literary life of Cleveland; his application form, I think, should indicate something more of the range and scale of his commitments. Without Trevor's determination and energy neither OUTLET not Writearound would have happened in Cleveland. Any history of literary activity and literary provision in Cleveland over the last ten years is very largely a history of Trevor’s many initiatives. I have no hesitation therefore in supporting Trevor’s application for this post; in effect he has
been Cleveland’s ‘Unofficial’ - and unpaid—Literature Development Worker for over a decade now.

Writearound is justly famous for it’s continuing commitment to a sense of locality and community, to the amateur writer and the ‘untrained’ reader. And this is due in large part to Trevor’s influence; although he has been too busy to be involved with the work of the Writearound committee the last couple of years, we have always been conscious of the principles which Trevor helped to establish at the heart of the festival. Through Writearound—and through so many other projects—he has always advocated widening the opportunities for
ordinary people to access their imaginations, their own experiences, their own literary culture. Trevor was involved, for example, in the first local Mushaira (Urdu poetry gathering) and his teaching has included work with Redcar Mind, Landsdown Rd. Centre for the physically disabled, Community Arts creative adult literacy scheme, Age Concern; and he has also been involved in establishing creative writing courses at HM Prison Holm House in Stockton.

Trevor is a well known, well liked figure among local writers groups (many of which have grown out of his Creative Writing classes). But his reputation and his involvements run much wider—in the worlds of local rock music, photography, adult education and community arts.

Trevor could never be accused of having a narrow idea of literature, its audiences or its producers. His wider personal contacts, his many good working relationships and his many contacts in the wider world of literature are an invaluable asset. I have the greatest respect for Trevor as a teacher of adults, knowing how thoroughly he prepares his creative writing classes, how much of himself he gives to his students. He adopts a professional and thorough approach to everything he does, energetic, diligent, good at working in a team, easy to delegating and quick to accept responsibility. 

Trevor has worked tirelessly for many years, and very long hours for the cause of writing in Cleveland. And along the way has taught himself a wide range of skills—from editing and teaching, through the technical aspects of publishing and production, to dealing with the press and making funding applications. Trevor is an excellent communicator, a good talker and a good listener, a useful member of any committee, his contributions to discussion always to the point and made with ready humour. His also a lively performer of his own poetry, though he would be the first to admit that he has neglected his own writing this last few years as he has worked so hard for the writing of others.
Dr. Andy Croft (1993)

Open Space - Outlet Magazine

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