Lottery bid to boost Felpham’s Blake links

Simon Mouatt, as William Blake, and Rachel Searle at Blake's Cottage ks1500383-1
Simon Mouatt, as William Blake, and Rachel Searle at Blake's Cottage ks1500383-1

A NATIONAL Lottery bid is to be made to boost Felpham’s links with William Blake.

An expression of interest for £40,000 of funding is set to be submitted next month to enhance the William Blake Art Trail which was launched last winter.

If it succeeds, the funding will pay to film scenes connected with the life of the poet and visionary for 12 new signs around the trail.

The scenes will be able to be viewed through QR codes on the signs which can be read by smartphones.

Rachel Searle, who founded the Big Blake Project, said the dramas would be performed by school pupils. A website would also support the signs and dramas.

The trail connects Bognor town centre and seafront to Blake’s Cottage and nearby locations he would have known.

Meanwhile the project has enlished TV and film director Nick Prosser, whose credits include EastEnders, to direct a two minute video to promote Blake.

Shooting for this will start next Tuesday. Blake is being played by associate professor in economics, Simon Mouatt. His daughter Daisy Mouatt, 20, will be made up as Blake’s wife, Kate.

Aldwick resident Simon said the idea was to promote the Felpham and Bognor area’s importance in Blake’s life.

“Blake is a national and universally recognised figure. What better person to be linked with than Blake? “Sir Richard Hotham (Bognor’s founder) is a wonderful character but he does not have the same recognition,” he said.

The short film will have a soundtrack of Blake’s most famous work, Jerusalem, sung by the choir at St Mary’s Church in Felpham close to Blake’s Cottage.

Blake lived there from 1800-1803 and the Big Blake Project is seeking to buy it.

Author Beryl Kingston, who has written about Blake, said: “At last, Blake is getting the recognition he deserves. But it has taken a long time.”

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