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Berwick Literary Festival Blog

A true aficionado

By Madeleine Ferrar / 20th October 2019

Simon Frith has been collecting records and going to gigs for over 50 years. He gave us an engaging insight into his life as a journalist-cum-academic. When asked by Sion (Mule on Rouge) whether – after all these years – he still enjoyed hearing live music, he replied, ‘There’s no experience like it for me.’…

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Tidekettle Papermaking Demonstration

By Madeleine Ferrar / 19th October 2019

This was a fascinating event, delivered by Lucy Baxandall of Tidekettle Paper. we learnt that it was the Chinese who invented papermaking, that papyrus doesn’t qualify as paper, and that it’s the Japanese and the Koreans who have taken papermaking to a whole new level. Lucy showed us how to make Japanese paper and gave…

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‘If you want peace, be ready for war’

By Madeleine Ferrar / 19th October 2019

Eric Thompson quoted from the Romans (above) in his preamble. He went on to read from his recent autobiography, in which he gave a personal account of his career in the Royal Navy, a career which culminated in his being in charge of Britain’s nuclear submarine base in Faslane. I arrived late to this event…

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What does honesty look like?

By Madeleine Ferrar / 18th October 2019

We have the privacy of access to our own minds, but what would it be like to give a truly honest account of ourselves? This was a theme Jessie Greengrass kept coming back to in her discussion with Nolan Dalrymple. Jessie studied philosophy at university but started to write fiction as she became increasingly less…

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The 2019 Berwick Literary Festival

By Mike Fraser / 17th October 2019

Award-winning writers, sex scandals, Vikings, Nazis, otters, criminals and Dirty Dancing – the 2019 festival has something for everyone! The 2019 festival begins with the annual Wilson’s Tales show and ends on Sunday at 4 PM when Max Adams discusses the Vikings who invaded Northumbria – have they been unfairly treated by historians? Between these…

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It’s not just about books

By Madeleine Ferrar / 14th October 2019

Just had the most delicious lunch at Cafe Tartine. I got talking to Michael Rath, their chef, at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival. He was there to meet his friend, the Irish author, Anne Griffin (‘When all is said’, Sceptre), and he invited me to visit some time. Strange – and wonderful – how one…

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Coffee morning

By Madeleine Ferrar / 13th October 2019

If you have time between events this Saturday, pop into the Bridge Street Gallery for a coffee. A group of exhibiting artists will be on hand to chat about their work from 11 – 1.00. A remarkable collection of artists’ books will also be on display. (Bridge Street Gallery is two doors up from ‘Slightly…

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Katy Brand

By Madeleine Ferrar / 9th October 2019

Katy Brand is promoting her book ‘I Carried A Watermelon’ in the Guildhall at 2 pm on Sunday, 20 October. It centres on her lifelong obsession with the 1987 film, ‘Dirty Dancing’. ‘The book is part memoir, part homage to a film that’s managed to somehow be a shaping force over me and all my…

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Better than half price

By Madeleine Ferrar / 8th October 2019

Katy Brand and Andrew Lownie are booked to appear in both the Guildford Book Festival (6-15 October) and our Berwick Literary Festival (not together, as a double act. That would be weird.) The good news is that a ticket to see Katy Brand in Berwick costs £6, while in Guildford it will set you back…

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Less than two weeks to go

By Madeleine Ferrar / 7th October 2019

And I am on my way to Guildford. It has often struck me as bizarre that Guildford Town Council continues to promote the town as the ‘home of Lewis Carroll’, (he died there), while just down the road from where I used to live on the Epsom Road lived PG Wodehouse. More recently Guildford was…

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