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Berwick Literary Festival Blog

Wordsmiths, Mindshifts and Moving Pictures

By tricia Coxon / 22nd October 2017

Wordsmiths, Mind Sets and Moving Pictures Friday at BLF In a packed session at Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Mary Manley the founder of a treasured wordsmith sanctuary in Alnwick, aka Barter Books, gave a witty and informative account of the development of her second hand bookshop based in the old railway station. Mary talked about…

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Mary Manley, Barter Books and Mantras

By Wendy Errington / 21st October 2017

So, day one of my very first literary festival up in Berwick… and my first as a festival blogger. Score out of ten so far? Ten. The festival’s twitter account describes it correctly… it is small and friendly, with the bonus of not being in a tent and being in a historic walled town. I’ll add: with winding alleyways, stylish shops and…

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Ode on a Railway Station

By tricia Coxon / 19th October 2017

ODE ON A RAILWAY STATION? For over 50 years now I have arrived, and left, Berwick upon Tweed via the very wonderful railway station. The best in the world I tell the staff every time I buy a ticket. Maybe there is one better, Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore is another travellers delight.…

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Smorgasbord ~ My Festival Selection

By Wendy Errington / 18th October 2017

At the last count there are 28 events on the programme at Berwick Literary Festival from Thursday 19 October to Sunday 22 October… and that’s just for the adults. There are seven sessions for children/students and a By Invitation Only competition awards event. Events on everything from playwriting to poetry to prose to politics. Choosing…

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Berwick Literary Festival 2017 – Fun, History, Fiction, Poetry and Football!

By Mike Fraser / 4th October 2017

Berwick Literary Festival 2017 – Fun, History, Fiction, Poetry and Football! Ian McMillan and Tony Husband top the bill at this year’s festival (19th to 22nd October) with a fun, improvised history of Berwick, while the latter will also deliver a sad but also amusing account of his Dad’s dementia. There will be other participants…

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TWEED

By Hilary / 1st October 2017

TWEED There can’t be many of us, of whatever age, who haven’t worn an item of tweed at some time in our lives.  It can’t be beaten for warmth, softness and the subtlety of natural colours.  Growing up in the fifties, I saw it first in the form of a calf-length heathery purple and green…

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A Music of Speech

By Hilary / 27th September 2017

A MUSIC OF SPEECH  Forty years ago, in a valleys school, the class recited poetry by rote. Since the dumbness of misery fell he has remembered there was a music of speech and that once he had something to say. This moving verse by the Welsh poet Gillian Clarke (Collected Poems, Carcanet, 1997) recognises how…

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Bookworm Heaven

By Wendy Errington / 26th September 2017

What would you do, if you could do anything in the world? One of the things I answer is: open a bookshop, that has a coffee shop inside. It seems a fanciful dream, out of my reach. But Mary Manley, and her husband Stuart, thought and did just that in Alnwick, in 1991. They opened…

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Wandering in Berwick

By Jackie Kaines / 22nd September 2017

Welcome to the (updated) second part of my brief look at Berwick as the star of the Literary Festival (fitting, as a new film about Robert the Bruce, ‘Outlaw King’, was filming in the town when I wrote this in 2017). My last post encouraged you to wet your whistle and whet your appetite in…

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Eating and drinking in Berwick

By Jackie Kaines / 20th September 2017

For last year’s (2017) Literary Festival in Berwick I compiled a post about Berwick’s eateries. It was by no means exhaustive and was a personal take on eating and drinking in and around Berwick. As we approach the tourist season this year, I thought I’d update my listings. There’s also a post about wandering in…

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