Inside Stories, Episode 9 [HMP Featherstone, March 2019]
“A frail fighting man with a heart full of hate, / And a head full of coke overcome by the weight
Of a soul full of sorrow, denial and pain / All I need is a promise, dear Lord not again.”
“Sean, our compere, opened proceedings bang on 9am, with a loudly hailed welcome to us all. He introduced Grace, our very own LGBT choir member, who related to all assembled in a voice, soft and quiet, but audible and serious, her experiences realising she (then a ‘he’) was different. All listened intently and at the end a genuine and enthusiastic round of applause was generously received by her.”
“Behind the obvious farce and wasted expense of these circumstances is the realisation that for some reconviction becomes an expectation – something fixed – a vision of their future that holds them in a vice and stops them moving on with their lives. In a perverse reversal of purpose, prison can serve as a refuge from the fundamental challenge of actually living.”
“Let it out, let it out / Take it day by day by day / Let it out, let it out / Take it day by day by day
Every song’s got a memory / Of someone who’s dear to me / Singing makes me happy
Keeps me away from the pain / Locked up in jail / I’ll soon be home again.”
“For the choir, the Christmas festivities kicked off on the morning of Tuesday 18th when individual members took turns to sing to the rest in their own individual ways. Such events create an air of excitement amongst the chaps and feelings of goodwill & anticipation abound – well they certainly abounded that morning. We all looked forward to the show.”
“There is something special about singing in a group of people with different backgrounds which makes you feel that you’re a part of something positive. I discovered how I can continue to enjoy these benefits after I leave prison, which in my opinion has made my sentence worthwhile: I can take something positive from this experience and that really matters to me.”
“You know, I just see myself coming back, again and again. I don’t really see it any other way…where I’m from, they know me as a thief. That’s just what I am,” he rocks on his heels; “I was let out 2 months ago, I went back home. I was in one of those hostels for a bit, then I was homeless, and then…”
“It’s easy to see why people break the rules in here like bringing in contraband and stuff like that it’s stupid but I guess they do it to feel something different in here other than depressed all the time. Every time you get no answer on the phone it cuts deeper than any blade could cut. It makes you want to cry.”
“The winter song – the one he is singing now – is subtly different to the feistier spring song that is more concerned with staking out territory and attracting a mate. This song is more melancholic, more liquid, more reflective and, in the absence of many other birds singing, more noticeable.”
You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the left hand side.
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.