Literary festival celebrates success

LITERARY WALK Visitors enjoy the Wilfred Booker walk and talk during the North Kirklees Literary Festival.
LITERARY WALK Visitors enjoy the Wilfred Booker walk and talk during the North Kirklees Literary Festival.

The rich literary heritage of North Kirklees was celebrated at Red House Museum last weekend.

The first North Kirklees Literary Festival featured talks, music, walks and workshops inspired by writers with links to the area from last Friday to Sunday.

Prof Ann Sumner, the executive director of the Brontë Society, gave a talk on the Brontës and the railways, while Kirklees Council museums curator Katina Bill gave a talk on fashion in Brontë times.

Spen author and lecturer John Brooke spoke about his book Cruel Lives, on West Yorkshire epidemics during the 19th century.

Former Reporter Series deputy editor Margaret Watson spoke on the Dewsbury Reporter and its former editor Mr WW Yates.

Mirfield councillor David Pinder spoke on King Richard III, the victim of propaganda.

A Landseer painting of the Brontës was discussed by its owner James Gorin Von Grozny, and an Elizabeth Gaskell drawing was discussed by Liz Rye, who bought it during the 1980s.

Workshops, children’s activities and walks took place on Sunday.

And the festival also featured a Brontë tribute concert by jazz singer Val Wiseman at Whitechapel Church in Cleckheaton.

Coun Pinder said: “It was a shot in the dark – we didn’t know how popular it would be – but it was a great success.”