If you’re just looking for instructions on how to follow the trail and a map of all the poems’ locations, click on ‘The Trail’ above.

Beth’s Poetry Trail can be found in the town of Belper, Derbyshire, as a permanent memorial to Beth Fender who founded the town’s first two poetry groups.

The Beth Fender Memorial Fund and working group was established to set up the trail in 2003, including members of the poetry groups, plus family and local community representation.

A poem – or extract of a poem – is installed at 20 sites around the town. Each poem has been interpreted in a manner appropriate to the poem and the setting, as far as possible. Poets represented include: Spike Milligan, Emily Dickinson, R L Stevenson, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Philip Larkin.

A free interpretation leaflet, which includes a map, guides visitors around the trail and can be picked up at Belper Library . Guided walks or a talk about Beth’s Poetry Trail can be offered to your Women’s Institute, church or other social group.

Beth & Belper, Tale of a Trail’ by Jean Sealey, which tells the story behind the development of the trail, is available to borrow from Derbyshire libraries.

An anthology of Beth’s poetry titled ‘Chain of Memories‘ was published in May 2017 and launched as part of the Belper Arts Festival; it contains information about Beth and all of her poems, with photographs and ‘memories’ from people who knew her; this book is also available to borrow from the Derbyshire library service.

Following an Open Mic Poetry Night celebrating the work of Beth Fender in June 2022, the ‘Belper Poetry Library’ was re-launched. You can visit and browse the poetry collection which is housed within Belper library, some of the books are available to borrow.

Latest news:

We have recently taken the Spike Milligan ‘Rain’ installation down and put it into temporary storage for safe keeping until a new home is found for it. This is because nearby windows had been vandalised and we couldn’t risk this happening to this beautiful glass artwork.

(January 2023)

Belper library