Bonvilston Bookmakers








Over Easter, artist and poet Francesca Kay delivered two workshops on the art of bookmaking to a group in Bonvilston in the Vale of Glamorgan. The group are organised and supported by the charity Age Connect, which seeks to address issues of isolation in rural areas. The Vale of Glamorgan is comprised of many ‘ribbon communities’, such as Bonvilston and Ewenny, where people live in detached housing spread over a large area. Transport issues mean that individuals, especially elderly people, are at risk of being cut-off from the wider community.

In partnership with Age Connect and Barry Library, SWLDI provided a new and creative way for older people in the Vale to get together and socialise; at the same time introducing writing and paper-based crafts as a possible creative past-time for the future. Over the two days, twenty-four clients and volunteers made their own notebooks and booklets out of card, thread and paper. The first booklet was a memento of a chosen theme or sentiment: one lady chose to write hers on her experiences of pressing flowers. The second booklet was inspired by the spring, using William Wordsworth’s famous poem ‘The Daffodils’ as a starting point for deeper, more personal impressions. These were decorated with old botanical illustrations; home-made paper; pieces of crochet; stickers; drawings; personal names and fragments of poetry.


This innovative fusion of crafts and writing means that poetry becomes accessible to those individuals who may have been put off by the idea of writing on its own.

 For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.