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Return of Kirkbymoorside festival
KIRKBYMOORSIDE is gearing up for an impressive arts and history festival to commemorate the famous “Kirkbymoorside Entertainments” held 50 years ago by the town’s playwright, John Arden.
The Methodist Church and Memorial Hall will host the festival on Saturday, September 14, with everything from historical displays, a book launch, vintage stalls, musical performances from the ukulele band and Kirkbymoorside Town Band, original film of the 1963 entertainments and dramatic performances inspired by it.
The festival has been organised by Kirkbymoorside History Group and the Herbert Read Society, who wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a unique month-long event put on by the playwright John Arden and his wife, Margaretta D’Arcy.
In 1963, the couple lived in Kirkby Mills and put on a month of entertainments for local people in their own home, attracting renowned performers and artists including Liverpool poets Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri, Ryedale poet Sir Herbert Read, dramatist Arnold Wesker, novelist Stan Barstow and others. Many of the performers stopped by en route to the Edinburgh Festival.
John Dean, of the Herbert Read Society, said they have joined forces with the Kirkbymoorside Historical Society to organise the celebration, and more people are joining in and adding to its appeal.
They will be recreating the 1963 festival with a dramatic presentation in the Methodist Church, 2pm-3pm.
There will also be two screenings of a film made at the event in Kirkby Mills in 1963, with permission from the film-maker, David Naden, and John Mills’s son, Finn.
The beginning of the entertainments was marked on August 15 with a “poetry wall” covered with contributions by local children at the library, and a competition to create Kirkby Fest’s logo, which was won by Byron Marshall.
The day’s events on Sptember 14 take place in the Methodist Chapel and schoolroom and will include a display on Kirkby Mills by the Historical Society, the launch of “Boot Polish And Blanco” – a book of recollections of National Service, and the sale of the Kirkbymoorside calendar and Christmas cards.
The church will serve refreshments and a cake stall will be provided by Kirkbymoorside In Bloom. There will be an appeal for favourite recipes to be included in a Kirkbymoorside cookbook.
The Children In Distress shop will 3be holding a vintage stall, in time for the following weekend’s Wartime Weekend in Pickering, and the library will be running mask-making sessions for children in the church, 10.30am-11.30am.
Music will be provided by a ukulele band, which will perform before each of the films, and the Kirkbymoorside Town Band will perform at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall. Tickets are £5.
Businesses will also be getting involved with special offers during the festival.
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