The Ledbury Poetry Festival is internationally renowned, and the aim of this project is to develop a poetry presence along the railway line, raising local awareness to the ‘poetry movement’ that has helped increase rail usage and greatly contributed to the town of Ledbury’s economic and social regeneration.
The festival takes place over ten days each July and is the biggest poetry festival in the UK, featuring poets from all over the world who often access the beautiful Herefordshire town by rail.
The Poetry on Platforms project will work with the Friends of the Dymock Poets to create a ‘poetry trail’ between Hereford and Worcester, culminating at Ledbury.
Central to the mission of this project is the celebration of the poetic heritage of the railway and its importance to the poetry festival today. Signage will be installed at stations between the two destinations, with each sign having station-specific heritage and poetry facts, as well as individual QR codes to link directly to an online poetry performance for passengers to enjoy. This signage will be displayed in specially designed planters so that the actual ‘communication’ is contained within a ‘thing of beauty’.
The first part of the project highlights the Dymock Poets legacy - a group of friends who lived in and around the area during the early 20th century and whose friendship was connected through poetry via the railways. The second part of the project looks at the connection between the present railway line and Ledbury Poetry Festival as the Hereford to Worcester line plays a vital role in bringing poets to the festival every year.
A true celebration of the railway’s vital role from 1910 to modern day in enabling connections for people and places with the outcome of many lasting friendships.