Spinner’s Cottage was Beth Fender’s home for ten years, and was where the first of Belper’s two poetry groups was founded and met.
The house is a ‘Strutt’ terraced mill-workers house, on Mill Street, built at the end of the 18th century, in an area that is now part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.
We wanted to include a ‘poetry site’ as near as possible to Spinner’s Cottage and were delighted when the present owner gave us her permission.
This is the first of Beth’s poems to be in ‘her’ trail – at least one more will be included. The extract is the beginning of ‘From My Bedroom Window on a May Morning’, written in the cottage looking out towards the Chevin in 1996. The Chevin ias a well-known local hill, the name coming from the Celtic ‘cefn’ meaning ‘ridge’.
The plaque is in cast aluminium, by Leander Architectural Services of Doveholes, in the Strutt heritage green.
It is sited on the garden wall at the back of Spinner’s Cottage, at the top of Short Street. It was unveiled on June 10th by Adrian Farmer, co-ordinator of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.
This was a significant point in the poetry trail’s development, as it marks the approximate half-way point.