Festival highlighting our literary connections

A TOP university academic is to open the area’s first-ever literary festival at Gomersal’s Red House Museum today (Fri).

Professor Ann Sumner, of the University of Birmingham, is to discuss the impact the railways had on the famous Bronte sisters.

She was recently interviewed on the subject for an edition of Great Railway Journeys due to be shown on the BBC in January.

Professor Sumner, also executive director of the Bronte Society, gives her talk at the Red House barn at 2pm.

It will be the first of many events over a weekend planned to showcase the district’s literary connections.

The theme this year is the Bronte sisters. Future festivals could focus on other links, such as Cleckheaton-born Mr Men creator Roger Hargreaves.

Another coup this year is art historian James Gorin von Grozny, who will reveal how he found a long lost portrait of the Bronte sisters.

It involves a bizarre mix-up at an art auction. Hear the full tale at 3.15pm in the Red House barn on Saturday.

Acclaimed TV script writer Julian Spilsbury known for Taggart and Casualty, leads workshops at the same venue from 1pm on Sunday.

Also on the bill is Kirklees Council museums curator Katina Bill with a talk about how fashion influenced the Bronte sisters.

Her illustrated lecture is at the Red House barn tomorrow (Sat) at 10am. Tickets for events cost £3 to £5.

Mirfield Town councillor Coun Pinder helped plan the literary festival with local Bronte expert Imelda Marsden.

Coun Pinder said: “It’s about putting North Kirklees on the

literary map. We hope it’s successful and our intention is to make it an annual event.”

Tickets are on sale from the Red House Museum in Gomersal, or anyone wishing to attend can pay on the day.

A full list of events, venues and times can be found online at http://northkirkleesliteraryfestival.org.uk.

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