Literary lunch gets arts festival off to flying start

Speakers at Wetherby Literary Lunch, Debbie Taylor, Tim Leach and Amanda Owen
Speakers at Wetherby Literary Lunch, Debbie Taylor, Tim Leach and Amanda Owen

The Wetherby Arts Festival got off to a flying start last Friday with the Literary Lunch which was a total sell out.

The meal and service at the Bridge Inn, Walshford, was superb and set the scene for the speakers Debbie Taylor, Tim Leach and Amanda Owen.

Diners at Wetherby Literary Lunch

Diners at Wetherby Literary Lunch

Debbie started with fascinating background to her book which is based around the lighthouse where she currently lives.

Tim went second with a detailed insight into his historical novels set around the sixth century BC.

Amanda Owen was the final speaker. She kept everyone enthralled with her tales of how books had influenced her into becoming a sheep farmer through to her television ‘stardom’ and how she came to write The Yorkshire Shepherdess which became a best seller.

Among the subjects she covered along the way was a quick guide to DIY baby delivery.

Judging in the schools painting competition, part of the arts festival in Wetherby

Judging in the schools painting competition, part of the arts festival in Wetherby

John Wood, of Wetherby Arts Festival committee, said: “It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon with people providing really positive feedback to the festival committee.”

On display in the Morrisons windows in the Horsefair centre are paintings from the four Wetherby primary schools participating in the arts festival’s schools painting competition.

Judges Lavinia Croft from the Leeds Building Society, one of the festival sponsors and Ann Harman, a visitor from Canada and a keen amateur artist, had a hard time judging first, second and third in the two age groups.

Ann, who was visiting a friend here last year during the festival, enjoyed it so much she has made a return visit this year.

Bert, dog show winner at Wetherby Arts Festival

Bert, dog show winner at Wetherby Arts Festival

Lavinia said: “The standard is very high and judging is difficult.”

The winners finally chosen in the 5-8 age group were 1 Oliver Marsh (Crossley St School), 2 Alanna NiDuchon (St Josephs School), 3 Olivia Long (Deighton Gates School). In the 9-11 age group 1 Joseph Davis (Crossley St), 2 Olivia (St James) and 3 Lily (St Josephs).

Sunday afternoon stayed dry for the Wetherby Arts Festival Fun Dog Show.

There was a good attendance in all the nine events with the winner from each event going through to the best in show round.

The dogs were particularly keen to enter the sausage catching competition with many showing incredible talent.

The standard of entries in all classes was high but judge Bill Piggott finally chose Bert, a rescue dog, owned by Mr & Mrs Lewis, as the Best in Show.

On Saturday night, the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Martin Binks, performed a popular program in St James Church, which was full.

Craig Ogden was soloist in the Rodrigo - Concerto Aranjuez for guitar and gave a stunning performance.

On Sunday, Craig gave a sparkling solo recital in St Joseph’s Church which was thoroughly enjoyed by the full audience.