Roaring success for first lit fest

FAMOUS FACE Singer Val Wiseman signs a CD for fan Fraser Thomson.
FAMOUS FACE Singer Val Wiseman signs a CD for fan Fraser Thomson.
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Hundreds of people descended on Spen to celebrate the first North Kirklees Literary festival.

The festival, which took place last weekend, based at Red House Museum, was organised to celebrate the rich literary history of the area, including its links to the Brontë sisters.

Organiser David Pinder said: “It was a shot in the dark to organise a literary festival in North Kirklees. We thought it was a good idea but until we ran it, we didn’t realise how popular it would be.

“Because of the enthusiasm of the people who came, and the quality of the speakers, we are determined to do another one next year.”

Jazz singer Val Wiseman was a hit with her concert at Whitechapel Church, presenting a tribute to the Brontë family in a series of songs based on their poetry and characters from their novels.

Prof Ann Sumner, Brontë society executive director, gave a lecture discussing the relationship between the Brontës and the railway.

She said she was honoured to be the inaugural speaker and she very much enjoyed being at Red House.

Church warden Tom Pinder said the church, where Patrick Brontë’s niece Rose Ann Heslip is buried, was the perfect venue for the event. “The concert was absolutely riveting. Val Wiseman has a beautiful voice and she is a very accomplished artiste.”