Rushden poet receives Royal letters of thanks

A Rushden poet has received thank you letters from the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and princes William and Harry.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:59 am
Royal Poems: Rushden: Barbara Riches has devoted her spare time to writing poetry after encouragement from her late sister, Gillian. She has received letters of thanks fro her poems from HM The Queen, Prince Philip and Princes William and Harry. Wednesday March 1, 2017 NNL-170103-180927009

Barbara Riches, 80, sent poems to the Royals but says she never expected to hear back from them.

Mrs Riches said: “I’ve been writing poetry for ages and I thought I’d write a few for them.

“I never thought I’d get anything back from them but the Duke of Edinburgh and the two princes, William and Harry, wrote back straight away.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The Queen took a little longer but it was such a nice letter and you could tell the poem had been read.”

Mrs Riches, who turns 81 later this month, says she has written hundreds of poems and recalled how her obsession with writing first started.

She said: “I was out with my young son one day and he had a dirty nappy.

“When I took it out to put it among the rubbish I knocked the dustbin over and that was where it all started, I wrote a poem called ‘I’m a dustbin’.

“I must have done hundreds of poems since, I just love writing.

“If I think of one in the night I have to get up and put a few lines down.”

Mrs Riches added that she was encouraged to start writing poems by her late sister Gillian Bryant, who would be ‘so proud’.

She said: “My sister loved my writing and it was her who got me to think about doing it properly.

“I wanted to do something for her and she would be so proud of this.”