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 was the first of Beth’s poems to be in ‘her’ trail – the other one being ‘Love warms the cold morning’ situated on Field Lane. 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 is 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. It was unveiled by Adrian Farmer, from the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.
Special note for visits to see this plaque: Short Row is a narrow ‘dead-end’ and we are concerned for the local residents to protect the privacy and quiet nature this little street has. Please be considerate when going to look at the plaque – only visit alone or no more than two people at a time and please only pause briefly to read the extract of the poem that is on the plaque. Thank you