Vital Valley

Cathy Grindrod

Close-up of the poem.
Cathy Grindrod with her poem.

One of the best views in the Derwent valley is the setting for the latest addition to Beth’s Poetry Trail, in Belper. Derbyshire poet Cathy Grindrod’s poem ‘Vital Valley’ has been added to the railings in Calder’s Corner at Bridgfoot, overlooking the river, the horseshoe weir and the mills. Cathy said “I am delighted to have my poem included in this unique poetry project; it looks wonderful and blends in to the industrial landscape very well”

Cathy Grindrod is a Derbyshire poet with four published poetry collections, the latest being Laureate Lines (2007), which contains all her poems about Derbyshire written during her tenure as the first Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2005-2007. A fifth poetry collection is due for publication in 2009. Cathy’s most recent project was with VIVA East Midlands Orchestra and the National Trust, writing the libretto for an oratorio about the life of Bess of Hardwick, More Glass Than Wall, which involved collaboration with composer James Redwood and work in 6 Derbyshire schools, culminating in performances at Derby Assembly Rooms and Hardwick Hall. She is currently starting a new role as Consultant to the Derbyshire Mental Health Reading Project, and also attempting to write a novel!

‘Vital Valley’ was commissioned by Derbyshire County Council, Cultural & Community Services Department, for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site’s Public Art Strategy pack. It has been cast in aluminium, painted grey, and the black lettering hand-painted at Leander Architectural Services in Doveholes, Derbyshire. The poem has been carefully sited so that it is possible to take in the view of the valley whilst reading it. Sponsorship towards this poem has been received from Derbyshire Community Foundation, Amber Valley Housing and Belper Historical Society.