My poetry pal Andrew Sclater featured in this year’s awards with two poems: A Veteran of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) gives the Boys ice-cream and The Scotswoman who Married into the Home Counties. I love these poems so went to support him in the Queen’s Hall, Hexham.

I enjoyed listening to and watching poets of all ages from adolescence to adulthood. I particularly liked Isla Anderson’s performance of Sobriety. She was the only poet to go off page.

I entered the pre-performance drinks and nibbles looking for Andrew. I’d like to say I gate-crashed but in fact was welcomed by organiser John Halliday and his wife Clare. I was told to eat and drink so I did. I also sneaked back in at half-time for more juice.

John has run the awards since 2009. Next year Newcastle Uni’s Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA) will oversee the competition

Here’s my favourite Bail Bunting photo: Beware Bull

basil bunting