Writer creates High Street Tale for Weston

8:57am - 17 February 2021

A new podcast and e-book, featuring stories from Weston-super-Mare writer and poet Rebecca Tantony, is to be released this week as part of the town's Heritage Action Zone scheme.

The Women of Number 11 is one of the seven High Street Tales commissioned for Historic England’s High Street Tales, a new weekly podcast series and e-book inspired by local high streets.

Rebecca, along with story tellers across the UK, has captured the everyday magic of the high street, working with local people to record ‘local legends’ and create a set of short stories about today’s high street. Each story has been narrated for a podcast series which will be released over the coming weeks, with the first episode launched on 10 February 2021 on Historic England’s website and all major podcast platforms.

In The Women of Number 11, writer and poet Rebecca Tantony used online conversations, and socially-distanced conversations as well as the sights and sounds of Weston-super-Mare to conjure the lives of the women across the ages.

Rebecca Tantony, author and poet, said: “'The Women of Number 11 aims to use space, time and interconnectivity, to highlight the value of the past and the possible futures of our high streets and the people who fill them.”

John Crockford-Hawley, Chairman Heritage Arts and Culture, from North Somerset Council, said: “These stories reflect the importance of place to individuals and highlights the vital role of the high street in people’s everyday lives. This future planned work offers a great opportunity to uncover Weston’s historic gems, connect with local people and showcase their passions around the place they call home.”

High Street Tales is the first project in a £7.4million Cultural Programme led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This programme of cultural activities is part of the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme, which is currently working to breathe new life into 68 English high streets including ten locations in the South West, from Poole in Dorset to Redruth in Cornwall. Other High Street HAZs in Somerset include Chard, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton.

The Cultural Programme features new digital and physical artworks inspired by the nation’s high streets. It aims to make high streets more attractive and vibrant places for people to spend time, work and live.