Death of north-west poet Janet Ramsden

entry picture

A long-standing, active member of the north-west poetry scene, Janet Ramsden, has died after a brief illness, members of Write Out Loud will be saddened to hear.

Janet died on 27 November in a Wigan hospice. For many years she was an active poet on the north-west scene, particularly in Bolton and Wigan. As well as performing, she helped to officiate at many Write Out Loud slams.

Janet was a warm and vibrant character who loved to laugh.  A taxi driver by occupation, she was modest about her own poetic skill, always seeking to improve and take on board critique.  In some ways she represented what Write Out Loud is all about – giving the man/woman in the street a voice, a platform, and a means to express themselves.

Although latterly Janet had retired from the poetry scene to concentrate on other areas of her life, she will be remembered by Write Out Loud members for her many qualities; the generosity she displayed in commenting, her lively contribution to the discussion area, and the warm welcome and encouragement she gave to all new members.

Janet was a great believer in the survival of the spirit. Let’s hope she’s listening now.  Below are a few out of the many quotes that appeared on Facebook, where a recent announcement was made. 

“Very sad to hear this. … She was always very supportive especially in my early days of writing and performing, she will be missed X”.

“Never met her but she offered me a warm welcome to Write Out Loud and always said something nice about my posts. Thank you Janet.”

“I only met her a few times but yes she was likeable, positive, and full of interesting and different perceptions.”

“I well remember Janet being one of the first to welcome me to Write Out Loud [online] and to comment on my efforts. Although we never met she came across as a warm and friendly person. Thank you Janet, and wherever you are, I hope you know that there are those who are thinking of you and missing you.”


◄ Year of the Red Wheelbarrow: but how was 2012 for you?

Performers wanted for International Women's Day event ►


Profile image

chris yates

Tue 8th Jan 2013 14:14

So sad to hear of Janet's passing away she was so supportive of all the poets at The Tudor, she was always welcoming and with a friendly smile, she will be sadly missed.

Profile image


Mon 7th Jan 2013 21:54

No - you are correct in that Cynthia. Janet was a spiritualist/medium. I suppose some people might combine those skills with counselling.

Janet was a people person. I think she would be very touched to read the comments people have left here.

Profile image

Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 5th Jan 2013 17:55

I was thinking of Janet over Christmas (you know the way your mind trawls as you are doing other things.) I, too, had live 'chats' with her, not often, but each time very enjoyable.Certainly not this past year, as I've also been very low profile. But, I thought of her. Had she not moved into psychology, into the field of counselling? Or have I a mix-up?

Profile image

Dave Carr

Fri 4th Jan 2013 22:06

This is very sad news. Janet was one of the first people I met at the Tudor in Wigan when I started reading at WOL. She was very friendly and supportive and had a warm sense of humour.

Profile image

Laura Taylor

Fri 4th Jan 2013 12:34

Aye, she'll be sadly missed. Was a real shock to see Isobel's note on FB about Janet - like many others, I have memories of her being really supportive to me when I first joined WOL.

RIP mate xxx

Profile image

Ann Foxglove

Thu 3rd Jan 2013 17:12

Sad to read this. I never met Janet in person but when she was around on WOL she always gave me encouragement; this was especially appreciated when I was new to the site. I looked forward to reading her poems too. An interesting and a warm character!

Profile image

Dave Bradley

Mon 31st Dec 2012 16:17

My comment is included above, so this is just to add to what I'm sure will be many voices saying how sorry we are to hear the news about Janet. She was missed already, having moved on from the poetry scene, and now there is no prospect of a return - very sad.

steve mellor

Mon 31st Dec 2012 15:13

Reading Winston's Haiku made me think back to my poem part-written for Janet (and 2 other WOL'ers who hopefully will also remember), which appeared (in a smiley voice) on WOL about 3 years, after I had known her for a short while

Pendle Witches

Pendle witches, come again,
To take revenge,
Charming and bewitching.
Centuries waiting to avenge
The mockery of trials
That brought about their end,
When, at Lancaster Assizes,
Their death sentence was penned.

Now, scores will be settled.
Vengeance will be wreaked
On unsuspecting souls
By this awesome clique,
The barb, their chosen weapon,
To craft a victim’s shroud,
Dispensing vitriol, and wit,
Writ, and spoke, out loud.

Profile image

Jeff Dawson

Mon 31st Dec 2012 15:04

As my comment included above said, Janet was so supportive of me entering a new world of poetry after a difficult time in my life. She was a very warm person full of encouragement, this is indeed sad to hear.

Janet attended a lot of events in Wigan and Bolton, although she would say to me 'I might not be able to get to Bolton this week Jeff, if I'm working (taxi driving) - no problem it was a pleasure to know you Janet & see you when we did X

Profile image

winston plowes

Sun 30th Dec 2012 21:58

As others have mentioned here.

Janet was an instant friend of the WOL on line community and to anyone who came to the many open mic events and met her. I have pasted in (below) a light hearted Haiku (with its original title) which I posted on these pages back in 2009. The fun comments that followed on were typical of Janet and her friends and I know that she would take this the right way if she read it today. We will miss her.

Haiku For Janet

Private hire arrives.
Dilemma of etiquette,
back seat or the front?

Win x

steve mellor

Sun 30th Dec 2012 19:54

I have to echo what Julian says about how easily we lose contact.
I met Janet on only a handful of occasions, but, from the beginning, she made you feel as if you'd known her forever.
An easy soul to be with.

Profile image


Sun 30th Dec 2012 18:54

I went to a couple of venues with Janet and can remember laughing and chatting with her. She was very supportive of me when I first entered the poetry scene and was always very encouraging.

I know that she had many interests to occupy her outside of the performance scene but I like to think that she might have come back to us one day, given the opportunity.

54 is no age at all - it really makes you appreciate the fact that you need to make the most of every day.

This news really upset me too.

Profile image


Sun 30th Dec 2012 16:55

Yes, shocked and sad to hear...
Though we never met in person - we did chat online several times.
I will always remember her generosity and warmth. xx

Profile image

Julian (Admin)

Sun 30th Dec 2012 11:32

I was shocked to hear of Janet's death. She was all the things mentioned above, and always generous in her support of other online poets. She was also curious and eager to learn and improve. She was a great timekeeper on the Wigan slams, too. What a sad loss. It reminds me just how easily we (I?) lose contact with others if we don't pay attention.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message