Culture Chats: Rebecca Tantony

Bristol-based writer Rebecca Tantony has been commissioned by Literature Works to explore the story of Weston-super-Mare’s High Street as part of High Street Tales.

During December and January, Rebecca will be collecting stories, memories and anecdotes from people in the town about the role of the High Street in their lives. Rebecca will research online and in person, celebrating the high street in town life, present and future.

We had a chat with her to find out more:


Tell us 3 things about yourself

I am a poet which means I love understanding the world through storytelling, language and what it is to magnify both the ordinary and extraordinary all at once.

I have a cat named Onion, who has the mannerisms of a dog.

I have an obsession with the ocean and secretly wish I was a mermaid. Not so secret anymore.

When you think of Weston, what comes to mind?

Chips and mushy peas on the seafront. The mushy peas always make me feel like I am eating something healthier than I actually am. All the schools, colleges and places of learning in Weston. I have taught creative writing in a couple of them and have always really enjoyed being there. Going with my brother and Dad to the Tropicana as a child and feeling like we were on holiday somewhere far, far away.

What’s your wish for Weston

I would love to see the Tropicana back. I miss that big old pineapple.

From where will you collect stories about Weston for High St Tales? 

I am currently having conversations with local residents- on the phone, via zoom and face to face, collecting their stories, memories and anecdotes about the role of the high street in their lives.

What will you do with them?

I will be writing a piece of fiction, not about any single story, but inspired by all of them in some way. I’m particularly excited by the notion of belonging and what it means to be a part of the everyday places we live. Throughout my life, I have spent a lot of time in Weston-super-Mare and I aim to create something full of celebration, triumph and pride.

How can people get involved in High St Tales?

I would love to hear from you. If  you are interested please contact me via email before 11 December or pop into The Sovereign Centre between 10:30am and 12:00pm on Wednesday 9 December, where I will be meeting people face to face for an informal chat (socially distanced) at the Winter Wonderland.