Whether it is the breathtaking bay, or tales of fisherfolk, Filey has been, and still is, a place of words. It has attracted Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens, it has offered narratives to local and national historians and inspired poets and artists. This is a culture that should, and will be, celebrated. That in essence is the inspiration behind the formation of the Filey Literature Festival.
The inaugural festival will take place over the weekend of Friday 22 May to Sunday 24 May 2020. The festival is being driven by Chris Lee, organiser of Filey Folk Festival, Jeannie Williams and Crescent based author and historian Dr David Pendleton. In a short space of time an impressive programme of speakers has been drawn up and the festival is beginning to attract the whole-hearted support local people. Venues have swung open their doors, community groups have offered time and support and businesses have provided crucial sponsorship.
Events will take place at the Evron Centre, Filey Library, Filey Museum, Tommy’s and Foords Hotel. Sponsors have stepped forward to underwrite events, which allows, not only the committee to sleep at night, but also vital confidence to go forward and book eye-catching speakers.
So who is coming to Filey next May? Top of the bill is the Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan. He can be heard weekly on BBC Radio 3 with his show The Verb. Ian has appeared on countless television and radio shows and is probably Yorkshire’s best known poet and entertainer. Also high on the bill is Amanda Owen, the Yorkshire Shepherdess; hill farmer, writer, photographer, public speaker and mother of nine. After featuring on the ITV series The Dales, Amanda has written three best selling books.
Aside from regional and national figures, many local authors and poets will be appearing at the festival. The Valley Poets from Scarborough, Hunmanby academic Dr George Sheeran, Filey’s premier historian Michael Fearon, Gristhorpe poet and playwright Wendy Pratt, Bonhommes Bar owner and author Wendy Rhodes, and murder mystery author Frances Brody, who used to work in a Filey shop.
Friday 22 May
Ian McMillan and Luke Goss
Evron Centre, 7.30pm
£12, tickets from Filey Post Office
Saturday 23 May
Evron Centre, Rooms 21/22, 2.30-3.30pm
£10 incl. cream tea, tickets available from Filey Post Office
‘Hannah Hauxwell: No Through Road
A play by Shelagh McKay and Karen McDonnell
Evron Centre, 7.30pm
£12, tickets from Mrs Bishop’s Doggie Deli
Sunday 24 May
Amanda Owen, the Yorkshire Shepherdess
Evron Centre, 7.30pm, £12, tickets from Mrs Bishop’s Doggie Deli