Julian and Margaret are relations of Constance Naden, poet, scientist, artist and philosopher who is buried at Key Hill Cemetery. There was a very successful campaign to restore Constance Naden’s gravestone and a rededication ceremony in May 2019.
We spoke to Margaret Hall in February 2020:
“We are related to Constance Naden through our grandmother, Mary Gwendoline Naden Rees, who was a younger half-sister to Constance. Obviously, we never met Constance (died 1889) but our grandmother had known her and was very fond of her. I remember her telling me what a gifted poet she was, and how the Prime Minister William Gladstone had said she was the finest woman poet of the Victorian age. There is in our family a letter from Oscar Wilde, so we know he was a fan as well! Julian and I were able to lodge some original papers at the Cadbury Library, which Clare Stainthorp was able to use in her recent book. We worked with Friends of Key Hill and Warstone Lane Cemeteries, as we planned the new stone, and went about raising the funds to do it.
I was at the unveiling of the new headstone with another brother David Rees. It was quite a moving little ceremony; we read some of Constance’s verse, and my memories of my grandmother. It was very rewarding to have about 30 people there, who had been involved in some way with the appeal for funds to replace the old broken stone, with something we felt more appropriate.”