welcome  to wastie’s space

Idle Women and Judies

telling the story of women working on the canals during World War 2

Commissioned by Canal & River Trust

live performances available


Writer in Residence, Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster 2013

Memories of the carpet industry in poems, songs & monologues

Previous character roles


  1. -  Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Actor, Humourist  -

  2. -  Keyboard, Accordion & Recorder Player  -

  3.   -  Entertainer, Oral Historian & Facilitator  -

Spake Prapper

with Dave Reeves & Billie Spake Mon

Poet, singer/songwriter, keyboard/accordion player, actor, humourist and facilitator Heather Wastie grew up in the Black Country; in 2006 she moved to Kidderminster where she ran spoken word and music night, Mouth and Music for 4 years. She was The Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015/16.

Heather is well known for her interpretations of oral history. In 2013 she was Writer in Residence at the Museum of Carpet, turning people's memories into poems, monologues and songs which she now performs. This work was published in November 2015 by Black Pear Press under the title Weaving Yarns. In 2017 she was commissioned by Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust to compose a song cycle to celebrate the restoration of the Weavers’ Cottages in Kidderminster.

She has strong links with the history of canals. In summer 2016 she began touring a double bill of theatre, poetry and song, Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways, with writer and actor Kate Saffin (Alarum Theatre). In 2017 the company was awarded Arts Council funding to support a 15 week 50 show tour between April and August. After seven tours, the show is available for one-off bookings.

In 2018, Heather completed a poetry commission for The Ring project / Canal & River Trust in Worcestershire: The Muck and Shovel Brigade tells the story of the restoration of the Droitwich Canal and is now a 40-minute show which Heather is touring as part of Acts of Abandon (Alarum Theatre). Alarum’s current project is I Dig Canals, researching women’s involvement in canal restoration and campaigning post-war to 1970s.

In 2017 she was commissioned to write and perform poems for the popular Nationwide Building Society ad campaign, Voices Nationwide.

Heather has published seven poetry collections. The most recent, To the Future, Love Cropedy was published by Lapal Publications in October 2020. She has compiled and edited 2 books of Black Country reminiscences and completed commissions for the Canal & River Trust, Black Country Echoes, Birmingham LGBT choir Rainbow Voices, West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust, Apples and Snakes, Rights and Equality Sandwell's "Where's Our Spake Gone?" project and BBC local radio (a national project for National Poetry Day 2016). In 2016 she composed a series of songs for an English Touring Opera Turtle Song project in Wolverhampton with people who have dementia.

In 2019 she completed an extensive singing, songwriting and reminiscence project for people who have dementia with Arts Uplift near to her home in Worcestershire. Other collaborations include Brewers’ Troupe performance poetry company with poet Emma Purshouse and spoken word / squeeze box duo Jiggery Spokery with the late Dave Reeves (who bellows). Heather has also worked as a poet and actor for National Trust property Croome Court in Worcestershire.

See also  weavingyarns1.wordpress.com

Jiggery Spokery with Dave Reeves (who bellows)

Cheltenham Science Festival - photo Ali McK

Clik Clik Collective

Worcester Music Festival

photos - Geoff Cox

Idle Women of the Wartime Waterways


Photos:  Liz Evans, Colin Hill, John Pugh

Temperance Meeting, Clik Clik Collective

Worcester Victorian Fair

Voices Nationwide commission

Montserrat Carbonara

Comedy opera singer

Photo:  Olive Broadfield