A PREACHER turned poet has published a book of verse including poignant reflections on the sudden death of his baby son 25 years ago.

Bruce Simpson, 55, from Helmshore, created Verses Of My Life So Far over the past 12 months after entering a poetry competition.

In December, Bruce, who is a lay preacher with Accrington and Haslingden Methodist Circuit, wrote a poem called Accrington Brick, about the men from the town who perished at the Somme in 1916.

The poem was published and the success inspired him to create other verse and explore much more personal themes.

“My wife Anne and I lost our son Timothy to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in August 1986, he was just three month’s old,” said Bruce.

“I suppose I bottled up a lot of emotion and writing some of my feelings in verse has really helped me, even though it’s such a long time since he died.”

Other poems in the book reflect on Rossendale beauty spots including one called Up Musbury, about an area near Helmshore.

“I never set out to write a poem,” added Bruce.

“I get the inspiration at different times and just let the idea flow. I’ve always had an interest in poetry and the competition was the spark needed to rekindle it.”

Verses Of My Life is available for £7.50 by calling 01706 223306 or by emailing annebrucesimpson@sky.com.

A donation from each sale will go to FSID, a charity which researches the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.