Hitchin care home resident, 87, pens limerick book for cats cause

PUBLISHED: 17:01 24 March 2019

Rita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOO

Rita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

An 87-year-old Hitchin woman has written a limerick book to raise money for rescued and homeless cats.

Rita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOORita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOO

Rita Holroyd, who lives at Westbourne Care Home in Bedford Road, penned ‘One Hundred & Sixty-Two Limericks’ to support Cats Protection, with the book now on sale in the charity’s Hermitage Road store.

Her daughter Stella Holroyd spoke to the Comet about the book, saying: “The limericks are wide ranging in topic, but tend to be about eccentric people or ridiculous situations.

“My mum started writing limericks more than 30 years ago.

“She was a regular reader of the Yorkshire Post newspaper when she lived in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and they ran a weekly limerick writing competition.

Rita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOORita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOO

“That’s when she started writing the limericks which she submitted to similar competitions ran by the Daily Mail and the local radio station.

“She continued to write limericks and has now written more than 200.

“She decided to make them into a book when a friend told her how good they are and that she really should get them published.

“She also liked the idea of selling her books at the Cats Protection shop in order to raise money to help rescued and homeless cats.”

Rita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOORita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOO

The 81-page book – with illustrations by Stuart Witham –contains two humorous five-line poems with a rhyme scheme per page.

Among the limericks included in the book are: “A flexible fellow called Fred.

“When he slept in a folded up bed.

“Without any trouble.

Rita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOORita Holroyd with her book of limericks. Picture: DANNY LOO

“Would bend himself double.

“And fasten his feet round his head.”

Another reads: “A goldfish whenever he drank.

“Would swim upside down in his tank.

“He’d almost explode.

“After one for the road.

“And on several occasions he sank.”

The book has been very well received, according to Stella.

“The reaction to the book has been very favourable. People have praised it,” she said.

“My mum’s granddaughter read some of them out to her class and the teacher, who found the book very enjoyable and funny.”

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