Poetry across town in memory of Beth

Poetry stone
Poetry stone

A TOUCHING trail of poems in memory of the woman who founded Belper’s two poetry groups has been completed.

Beth’s Poetry Trail takes in 20 locations around the town and includes work by comedian Spike Milligan.

Beth Fender

Beth Fender

The trail has taken seven years to complete and is a permanent memorial to Beth Fender, who died in 2002 from cancer. The 20th piece of the poetry jigsaw was completed by Belper-born carver, sculptor and engraver Anthony Downing, who carved an extract from Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road not Taken’ into a rock in the Park’s nature reserve.

Beth, who came to live in Belper in 1992, set up Belper Poetry Circle and Poetry People.

She has two poems on the trail. They are ‘Love Warms’, at Field Lane Convent, and ‘From My Bedroom Window’, on Short Row.

The other 17 poems are at Belper railway station, Chucklebutties Play and Party Centre, the Queen’s Head pub, Belper Library, the River Gardens, a bench at Strutt’s North Mill, Cluster Road, St John’s Church yard, Belper Parks nature reserve, Festival Gardens, Belper Market Place, Calders Corner, Belper Unitarian Chapel, and the Memorial Gardens.

Beth's Poetry Trial in Belper.

Beth's Poetry Trial in Belper.

Poets include Emily Dickinson, Philip Larkin and WB Yeats. Milligan’s poem is at Chucklebutties.

Glen Mulliner, from Poetry People, said: “When we started this project, there were only a small handful of poetry trails in existence in the UK. We have included a wide range of poetry and interpreted each poem in a way that is fitting to its site, so that they add something of interest as people come across them.”

Leaflets with a map and details of all 20 sites are at Belper library and Strutt’s North Mill.