Ta daaaa! Berwick’s annual celebration of words – written, spoken, performed – is complete after four days and 22 events. The Festival team is delighted to have welcomed local, national and international audiences to Zoom webinars, live events at the Maltings Theatre and to a livestream at local venue the Radio Rooms.

Thank YOU

Thank you so much to every single speaker, interviewer, host, volunteer and audience member. It wouldn’t be a festival without you. And it’s not all done and dusted just yet…

Festival Box Set: catch up on wonderful events

Most of our sessions are available on our YouTube channel. Pop over and catch up on any events you missed or would like to watch again. It’s all free (although we always appreciate your support and you can donate here)

There’s a brief round up of the Festival below, essential thank yous and nice photos taken for us by Sarah Jamieson of Pictorial Photography.

Poet Joseph Coehlo ‘visits’ seven local first schools

We’re super chuffed that award-winning poet Joseph Coehlo delivered a wonderful interactive online poetry session for seven local first schools. The children enjoyed a fun-filled online hour where Joseph shared poetry, writing tips – including how to write a one-word poem – and launched a poetry writing challenge.  Joseph returns online to Berwick in November to talk to the schoolchildren about their achievements.

Some of Joseph’s books

What the boss says…

Our chair Michael Gallico says: ‘The feedback we’re receiving is a wonderful endorsement of the hard work put in by the Festival’s small group of dedicated volunteers. Headline events were particularly successful in terms of audience numbers – with poets Hollie McNish and Simon Armitage, historian William Dalrymple and former PM Gordon Brown all proving big draws. It was delightful to be back at the Maltings with Simon Armitage and Dyad Theatre Productions’.

Timely, topical, fascinating

Our Friendly Festival in a Walled Town has a knack of tuning into the zeitgeist across a range of topics and genres – politics, history, poetry, the environment. Many sessions drew together strands and themes that affect and concern us in today’s world: Vicky Allan and Anna Deacon explored the healing and inspiring qualities of trees and the natural environment; Michael Taylor debated the British establishment’s startling resistance to the abolition of slavery; Alwyn Turner took a tour of some of the small events and quirks of fate that have changed history; Gavin Francis gave a moving account of being a GP during the pandemic – and considered its ongoing and lasting impacts on society and the NHS; and Bloodaxe poets Heidi Williamson, David Constantine and Tishani Doshi gave readings touching on themes of memory, grief, time and place.

Thank you wonderful sponsors!

Thank you to our marvellous sponsors: Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council, Berwick Trades Union Council, the Community Foundation, Greaves West & Ayre, Robert J Hales Ltd, Horncliffe Memorial Hall, Kreative Technology Ltd, Premier Building and Restoration, MT Richardson Ltd, and Simpsons Malt.

See you next year!

Dates for next year’s Festival are 13-16 October 2022 – here’s to seeing you all in Berwick!

Jackie Kaines

I have excellent fun moving words of all shapes and sizes around to create blogs, articles and all sorts of interesting other wordy things.