William Blake is to be honoured with a trail

William Blake
William Blake

WILLIAM Blake will be to the fore in Felpham and Bognor Regis this weekend.

The famous poet is to have a trail through the areas launched in his honour on Sunday (July 21).

Enthusiasts of his works such as Jerusalem and Milton have combined in the Big Blake Project to ensure his place in the town’s history is fully recognised.

Events linked to Blake are taking place in five places to provide plenty of interest for all ages.

Felpham resident Rachel Searle is one of the Big Blake Project’s organisers. She said: “We are pleased with the way things are going so far. It’s now a case of waiting to see how the different events go.

“The brochure we have requested has gone down well. We have had a lot of support from businesses and many outlets have asked for copies.

“It’s good the town’s links with William Blake are being celebrated at last. We hope to build on what we have done in the coming years with schools.”

The project is a community initiative Rachel started with the Greener Bognor Network with funding from various sources.

It is intended to reveal the inspiration behind Blake’s ‘green and pleasant land’ as well as highlighting his creations and reflections and inspiring others.

William Blake (1757-1827) lived in Felpham in what is now Blakes Road for three years from 1800.

The first event on Sunday’s launch takes place at The Rife Community Orchard beside the A259 Felpham Way at its bridge over the Aldingbourne Rife. A lantern workshop, called Look out for our Tyger Tyger after Blake’s famous work, will be held there from 10.30am-12.30pm.

Next comes a trio of events at the Cloudhopper Gallery in the High Street.

They will start at 11am and see author Beryl Kingston, who has written about Blake, signing copies of her books until midday. There will also be a Blake pick and stick until 11.30am and a clay tiles workshop, for a small fee, until 1pm and from 2pm-4pm.

The afternoon’s activities begin at 2pm with a poetry workshop, until 4pm, and walk and chalk, until 3pm, at Jeneses arts centre in 
Linden Road.

The Blake Trail launch will start at 2.30pm at St Mary’s Church in Felpham Road and last for an hour.

The trail has 12 places of interest from Church Field to Hotham Park, the Georgian Ice House and Blakes Road.

It is a showcase for art and areas of natural beauty.

The walk will end at nearby pub, The George, where three events will be held into the evening. They are a rap workshop with Adam Turner (4.30pm-5.30pm), poetry slam (5.30pm-6.30pm) and an hour-long open mic from 6.30pm.