Upgrade to Poets' Walk steps to mark civic society's anniversary

View from Poets' Walk in Clevedon

A view from Poets' Walk taken by Antony Baker. - Credit: Antony baker

Clevedon Civic Society is hoping to mark its 50th anniversary this year by honouring the town’s connection with world- famous poets. 

The society is planning to upgrade the flight of steps leading to Poets’ Walk by adding a line of poetry to each step. 

Each step will have a line of poetry from In Memoriam A H H by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The poem commemorates the return of Arthur Henry Hallam for burial at St Andrew's Church following his death in Vienna in September 1833 at the age of 22.  

Arthur Hallam was the grandson of Sir Abraham Vth Baronet of Clevedon Court and a friend of Tennyson. 

The poem became nationally famous as the public responded to its themes of talent and friendship cut short. By the time the railway reached Clevedon, people were flocking to visit the memorial to Arthur Hallam in St Andrew's Church. 

Visitors came to see the grave and there was even a sign at the railway station saying 'Alight here to visit the grave of Arthur Hallam'. 

John Tranter, chairman of Clevedon Civic Society's conservation and planning group, which is spearheading the steps improvement plan, said: “We hope that this will resonate with present day residents and visitors, some of whom may wish to find out more about the history of the town and others who will be moved by the experience of reading these evocative lines in the landscape of the Severn Estuary which inspired them.” 

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The group also wants to reinstate the nearby woodland bank to the right of the steps and reduce the number of signposts at the bottom. 

Money for the scheme will come from funds accumulated by the Civic Society, mainly generated by its members writing, publishing and selling books of local interest. 

Mr Tranter added: “With the increasing emphasis on the use of our green spaces, this project is timely, especially so as it forms part of the coast path which we hope will soon connect Clevedon and Weston. 

“It is therefore most important for us to mark this 50th anniversary with a project of some cultural significance to the town which will last for some time to come.” 

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