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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Smith is new Wordsworth custodian
Chris Smith
Chris Smith says he is relishing his new role
Former Culture Secretary Chris Smith has been named as the new chairman of the Wordsworth Trust.

The trust, based in Grasmere in Cumbria, owns a world-famous collection of the works of the poet William Wordsworth.

The trust has recently been awarded a 3m grant to extend its site at Dove Cottage, the once home of the poet.

Mr Smith says he is relishing his new role.

Literary collection

Mr Smith said: "What we have here is not just Dove Cottage and a very good museum, but a centre of real international excellence.

"This is one of the great literary collections and literary places that we have in Britain,

"Putting the Wordsworth Trust more firmly on the map and therefore Cumbria on the international map, is part of what I will be doing here."

More than 70,000 people visit the William Wordsworth museum every year.

Since it was founded in 1891, the trust has developed a museum, archive, store, library and shop.

The collection features about 50,000 items, including the letters and working papers of Wordsworth and other poets.

A spokesman for the trust said: "It is rare to find someone like Chris Smith who knows the world and is also a Wordsworthian."

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Chris Smith, Wordsworth Trust chairman
"I want to put Cumbria on the international map"

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See also:

03 Sep 02 | Entertainment
03 Oct 01 | England
17 Dec 01 | Entertainment
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