Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage

Staithes Festival has established itself as one of the friendliest festival on the coast – a must-go-to event in the regional arts calendar.

During the weekend some 100+ cottages in the village become temporary art galleries in a unique selling exhibition. Staithes heritage is also celebrated in fossils, fishing, historic photographs and film shows.

North York Moors, Scarborough Borough Council and Welcome to Yorkshire
Lobster

Glenn Kilpatrick www.whitby-photography.com

What's On

We are planning a great line up of talks, walks, workshops and events which will be listed here as they are confirmed. You can also keep up to date with Festival news on our Facebook page.

About the events:

Preview Evening

Preview Evening Friday 19:00 - 20:30

The preview evening is a taster of what is to come. Galleries open their doors to friends, family, patrons, villagers and anyone who wants to have a sneak preview before the full business starts on Saturday. Please take a walk around the village and meet the artists. You will be made welcome and may even be offered a drink and a little bite of something. There will of course be an opportunity to buy as well. As soon as it is dark Light Fantastic will illuminate the village and later you can watch the Outdoor Picture Show.

Figure Tableaux from Life by Ian Burke

Figure Tableaux from Life by Ian Burke Friday 20:00 - 22:00

A special exhibition by Ian Burke. In his own words: ‘This is the first use of figure composition I have attempted since my time at school over forty years ago. I have worked from still life subjects in the recent past and after a few courses at the Royal Academy I felt it was time to try some figure compositions. I like the idea that a tableaux is a picture of an event and the viewer has to come to the same visual conclusion about what is going on. With my pictures there is no definite answer, it is a kind of static people watching. This image ‘Whitsun Wedding’ is a large woodblock print based on drawings and photographs from observation.

Previewed on Friday and on show throughout the Festival and beyond.

Sunday School Venue[x]

Outdoor Picture Show

Outdoor Picture Show Friday 21:00 - 22:00

After dark bring your blankets and chairs to Kipper’s Corner for our own Cinema Paradiso - the popular outdoor picture show is projected onto the gable wall with live piano accompaniment. Repeated Saturday

Kipper’s Corner [Venue X]

Light Fantastic

Light Fantastic Friday 21:30 - 23:00

The Festival is pleased to welcome once again Mick Stephenson http://www.mickstephenson.net/ and Stu Langley http://www.stuartlangley.co.uk and the team to light up the village with their spectacular installations. Mick and Stu are both internationally recognised light artist who have created light shows and installations at home and abroad. This year Mick will once again be working with the children of Seton School in Staithes to make a special installation for the Festival and Stu Langley will be showing some amazing new works from his show ‘Amusements’ .

Simon Chapman: Boulby Ironstone Mine

Simon Chapman: Boulby Ironstone Mine Saturday 10:00 - 11:00

Simon Chapman, author, historian and industrial archaeologist, is the leading authority on the ironstone mines that encircled Staithes 100 years ago when the village had more miners than fishermen. Simon makes a welcome return to the Festival to talk about the subject of his monograph ‘Boulby Ironstone Mine’ and its lost community of Tin City.

Venue: Smugglers: Venue [X]

'John' the Sailing Coble

'John' the Sailing Coble Saturday 10:00 - 16:30

‘John’ one of the last traditional sailing cobles on the North East coast will be on the Staithe with members of the Coble and Keelboat Society on hand to talk about these unique boats.

Throughout the Festival

Venue: The Staithe [X]

Sailing Out of Staithes

Sailing Out of Staithes Saturday 10:00 - 11:00

This year’s heritage exhibition is about ‘Sailing Out of Staithes’. It will tell the stories in words and pictures of the triumphs and tragedies from the rich maritime history of the village.

Throughout the Festival

St Peter’s Centre Venue [X]

Emma Stothard Wire & Willow Sculptor

Emma Stothard Wire & Willow Sculptor Saturday 10:00 - 17:30

We are delighted to welcome wire and willow sculptor Emma Stothard, who in previous years has created lobsters, dinosaurs and a family of elephants for the Staithes Festival. Fresh from gold medal wins at RHS Chelsea, Emma is creating for the Festival a life size polar bear made of white willow. Her inspiration is the 250th anniversary celebrations of Captain Cook’s voyages, in particular Cook’s final voyage in search of the North West passage where he encountered polar bears. Cook was not the first, a few years earlier, explorer Constantine John Phipps, the 2nd Baron Mulgrave, of the Mulgrave Estate at Sandsend was the first European to describe a polar bear. Look out for Emma’s bear on the southern breakwater along with smaller pieces around the village. If you would like to commission Emma, see more of her work or just drop in for a chat, she will be exhibiting in Seaview garage on the Staithe. Venue [X]

Throughout the Festival

Seaview Garage, The Staithe Venue [X]

A Few Feet Up

A Few Feet Up Saturday 10:00 - 17:30

Ever wondered what Staithes might look like for a seagull? For the first time, Same Difference Arts will be wandering the streets and the ginnels of Staithes with a tall periscope on their back inviting visitors to see what life is like a few feet up.

Throughout the Festival

Lobster Pots and Fisherman's Tales

Lobster Pots and Fisherman's Tales Saturday 10:30 - 16:00

John Cole from one of Staithes’ oldest families, still fishes out of Staithes, but will be ashore over the Festival weekend to demonstrate traditional lobster pot making while telling stories of a lifetime at sea.

St Peter’s Centre Garden [Venue X]

Staithes Family History Group

Staithes Family History Group Saturday 10:30 - 16:30

Come along and track your Staithes relatives with our genealogy experts who have records going back 500 years.

Throughout the Festival

Venue: St Peter’s Centre Venue [X]

Katie Ventress: Artist Blacksmith

Katie Ventress: Artist Blacksmith Saturday 11:30 - 12:30

This year the Festival has commissioned Artist Blacksmith, Katie Ventress to create a piece of work especially for the Festival which will be erected down by the harbour. Katie will talk about her inspiration for this piece and her career as a blacksmith. Born in North Yorkshire, Katie studied 3D Contemporary Craft at York College followed by a four year apprenticeship at Godbold Blacksmiths at Egton where she learned modern fabrication skills. A great deal of burns and blisters later, she set up as an Artist Blacksmith in her own right. ‘It is not glamorous or easy work, in fact its hot, sweaty and dirty, but the final products you can create are a direct result of your physical efforts and imagination, making it all worth while’.

Venue: Smugglers Venue [X]

Saturday Afternoon Concert

Saturday Afternoon Concert Saturday 13:00 - 15:00

Join us at the Lifeboat House for a lively afternoon concert. Joining the line-up are the ever-popular Men of Staithes choir bringing us their evocative songs of the sea along with Yorkshire singer songwriter Jack Parker who has made many appearances across Europe and the UK. His latest EP, Wild has been described as ‘a burst of fun, excitement and style, whilst retaining those emotional undertones that gently pull at the heartstrings’. Sixway is a jazz band made up of six talented young musicians including village lad Zak Parlby on tenor sax.

For more information on the line up click on the Music page.

Venue: Lifeboat House [X]

Sue Nichol Demonstration

Sue Nichol Demonstration Saturday 13:30 - 14:30

You may have seen Sue Nichol’s bold paintings of the coastline and her recent exhibition at the Staithes Gallery. During the Festival Sue will be exhibiting at her venue at Laura Knight’s Studio behind the gallery and will be holding demonstration drop-in sessions on both days.

William's Walk

William's Walk Saturday 14:00 - 15:30

Staithes historian Bill Hinchley will lead a guided walk along the highways and byways of Staithes. Learn the stories and the hidden history of our special village.

Start: 14:00 Meeting point at the top of the village [x}

Repeated again on Sunday.

Aonghus Gordon: Autism, Creativity and Engagement

Aonghus Gordon: Autism, Creativity and Engagement Saturday 14:00 - 15:00

Aonghus Gordon is an educationalist and social entrepreneur who in 1982 founded a Centre for Cultural Development a charity which went on to provide therapeutic education for adolescents who present challenges to teachers, the community and families.

The Trust’s unique method, Practical Skills Therapeutic Education, applies biodynamic agriculture, craftwork and social enterprise as a method. There are now eight centres for children and young people with special needs in England and Wales, with international collaborations.

Following a successful living conference between the Hay Festival and Ruskin Mill Trust, Aonghus comes to Staithes to share the Ruskin Mill Trust’s unique method and its success both in the UK and abroad in working with young people developing practical and creative skills.

During the Festival weekend, a number of workshops will be available for anyone who wishes to try their hand at these innovative methods. More information to follow.

Venue: Smugglers [Number X]

Rosamund Jordan: A Pioneering Colony of Artists

Rosamund Jordan: A Pioneering Colony of Artists Saturday 14:00 - 15:00

Ros and Tom Jordan have been dealing in the work of the Staithes Group of Artists for over 40 years. Ros, a retired NADFAS lecturer presents a lavishly illustrated talk on the Staithes Group alongside a selling exhibition from their wide collection of Staithes Group artists.

Repeated Sunday

Venue: Memorial Hall, Cliff Road [Venue No: X]

Expressive Portrait Drawing with Ian Burke

Expressive Portrait Drawing with Ian Burke Saturday 14:00 - 15:30

Ian Burke, painter, printmaker and head of art at Eton College will once again run a drawing workshop. Ian explains ‘we will draw in charcoal and pencil attempting not to make a photographic copy of a person but to get to the character and personality of the sitter. This is not an academic formula but hopefully a way to achieve an individual interpretation of the chosen subject. All materials supplied, beginners welcome. This workshop can be booked through Staithes Gallery T: 01947 841840/07972 012464 £15 Repeated Sunday.

Busking on the Staithe

Busking on the Staithe Saturday 14:45 - 16:15

Enjoy a relaxing break on the Staithe and let Jack Parker, Dire Staithes, Sarah the harpist and assorted buskers entertain you.

The Staithe [Venue X]

Andy Blackford: Um Bongo & Other Poems for Children (and Adults)

Andy Blackford: Um Bongo & Other Poems for Children (and Adults) Saturday 15:30 - 16:30

Award winning poet Andy Blackford will read a selection of his poems for children with a few ‘comic’ ones for grown-ups too. He will include a rendition of the famous Um Bongo jingle and ‘some other advertising abominations in verses from the last century’.

About Andy: After university I recorded and toured Europe with Spreadeagle, the band I formed at Oxford, mostly supporting Genesis and Lindisfarne. I then worked as a music journalist, record company executive and professional skateboarder before becoming a copywriter and creative director in advertising. I’ve published 22 books for kids, two novels, a biography of The Animals and books on the Northern Soul scene, skateboarding, ultra-marathon running and scuba diving. I’m currently training for ordination in a Buddhist order and I work as a prison chaplain.

More poetry readings on Sunday.

Venue: Viking Cottage, Seaton Garth [x]

Sue Willmington: My Life as a Costume Designer

Sue Willmington: My Life as a Costume Designer Saturday 15:30 - 16:30

Sue Willmington lives locally, but has worked just about everywhere else you can think of, designing costumes for some of the most prestigious opera companies in the world.

Opera lovers are almost certain to know her work, even though they may not know her name. Amongst her many credits as a costume designer are Norma at English National Opera, Owen Wingrave at the Aldeburgh festival and the Edinburgh Festival, Boheme at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Simon Boccanegra at Welsh National Opera and the National Theatre in Prague, Der Rosenkavalier at the Bolshoi Theatre, and La Rondine at La Fenice, Venice.

Born in Scarborough, Sue studied Fine Art at Maidstone College of Art and Theatre Design at the Motley Theatre Design School and has not looked back since. As well as designing costumes for opera, Sue has worked in musical theatre (Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Super Star & Showboat) and plays with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre. This year she was commissioned to design the costumes for Romeo & Juliet and Richard III at the pop up Rose theatre in York. During the festival, Sue is exhibiting at Bethel on the High Street, but will be talking at Smugglers about her varied and fascinating life with some of the world’s best known opera companies and the directors that have helped to make them famous.

Venue: Smugglers [X]

A Talk with John Cole

A Talk with John Cole Saturday 16:30 - 17:30

The Coles have been fishing out of Staithes for 500 years but John Cole may be the last of the line. Join us in St Peter’s as John chats with Grant McKee and reflects on a lifetime at sea.

St Peter’s Centre [VenueX]

Swinging the Lamp

Swinging the Lamp Saturday 17:00 - 18:30

The remarkable true story, told in music, words and song, of the toughest job in the world, as seen through the eyes of a Hull trawler skipper. Swinging the Lamp is a remarkable piece of storytelling by Gordon Meredith and Richard Avery, based on the autobiography of Jim Williams. It is punctuated with well known and well loved songs of the fishing industry by a host of song writers, including John Tams, John Connolly, Linda Kelly and performed by Pete Fletcher.

Venue: Kindly Light, Wesleyan Chapel Venue [x]

Outdoor Picture Show

Outdoor Picture Show Saturday 21:00 - 22:00

After dark bring your blankets and chairs to Kipper’s Corner for our own Cinema Paradiso - the popular outdoor picture show projected onto the gable wall with live piano accompaniment. A repeat of Saturday’s show.

Kipper’s Corner [Venue X]

A Few Feet Up

A Few Feet Up Sunday 10:00 - 17:30

Ever wondered what Staithes might look like for a seagull? For the first time, Same Difference Arts will be wandering the streets and the ginnels of Staithes with a tall periscope on their back inviting visitors to see what life is like a few feet up.

Throughout the Festival

Aonghus Gordon: Autism, Creativity and Engagement

Aonghus Gordon: Autism, Creativity and Engagement Sunday 10:00 - 11:00

Aonghus Gordon is an educationalist and social entrepreneur who in 1982 founded a Centre for Cultural Development a charity which went on to provide therapeutic education for adolescents who present challenges to teachers, the community and families.

The Trust’s unique method, Practical Skills Therapeutic Education, applies biodynamic agriculture, craftwork and social enterprise as a method. There are now eight centres for children and young people with special needs in England and Wales, with international collaborations.

Following a successful living conference between the Hay Festival and Ruskin Mill Trust, Aonghus comes to Staithes to share the Ruskin Mill Trust’s unique method and its success both in the UK and abroad in working with young people developing practical and creative skills.

During the Festival weekend, a number of workshops will be available for anyone who wishes to try their hand at these innovative methods. More information to follow.

Venue: Smugglers [Number X]

'John' the Sailing Coble

'John' the Sailing Coble Sunday 10:00 - 16:30

‘John’ one of the last traditional sailing cobles on the North East coast will be on the Staithe with members of the Coble and Keelboat Society on hand to talk about these unique boats.

Throughout the Festival

The Staithe [Venue X]

Emma Stothard Wire & Willow Sculptor

Emma Stothard Wire & Willow Sculptor Sunday 10:00 - 17:30

We are delighted to welcome wire and willow sculptor Emma Stothard, who in previous years has created lobsters, dinosaurs and a family of elephants for the Staithes Festival. Fresh from gold medal wins at RHS Chelsea, Emma is creating for the Festival a life size polar bear made of white willow, as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of Captain Cook’s voyages, in particular Cook’s final voyage in search of the North West passage where he encountered polar bears. Cook though was not the first, a few years earlier, explorer Constantine John Phipps, the 2nd Baron Mulgrave, of the Mulgrave Estate at Sandsend was the first European to describe a polar bear. Look out for the polar bear on the southern breakwater along with smaller pieces around the village. If you would like to commission Emma, see more of her work or just drop in for a chat, she will be exhibiting in Seaview garage on the Staithe. Venue [X]

Throughout the Festival

Staithes Family History Group

Staithes Family History Group Sunday 10:30 - 16:30

Come along and track your Staithes relatives with our genealogy experts who have records going back 500 years.

Throughout the Festival

Venue: St Peter’s Centre

Expressive Portrait Drawing with Ian Burke

Expressive Portrait Drawing with Ian Burke Sunday 11:00 - 12:30

Ian Burke, painter, printmaker and head of art at Eton College will once again run a drawing workshop. Ian explains ‘we will draw in charcoal and pencil attempting not to make a photographic copy of a person but to get to the character and personality of the sitter. This is not an academic formula but hopefully a way to achieve an individual interpretation of the chosen subject. All materials supplied, beginners welcome. This workshop can be booked through Staithes Gallery T: 01947 841840/07972 012464 £15

Jack Barber: The Art of Digital Design

Jack Barber: The Art of Digital Design Sunday 11:30 - 12:30

Come and explore the boundaries between art and design. Together we’ll discuss how one informs the other and how both are affected by the technological advances we experience. During the talk we’ll produce an interactive digital artwork using data harvested at this year’s Festival. I’ll also give you lots of suggestions for tools, software and resources which might help you take your first steps in digital design or start tinkering with digital technologies. No experience necessary - I promise to cut the jargon and talk in plain english!

Andy Blackford: Poems After 'Gap Year'

Andy Blackford: Poems After 'Gap Year' Sunday 11:30 - 12:30

Andy Blackford will read some of the poems he’s written since the publication of his collection Gap Year, written in collaboration with John Foggin that won the Sentinel Poetry Book Prize a couple of years ago.

About Andy: After university I recorded and toured Europe with Spreadeagle, the band I formed at Oxford, mostly supporting Genesis and Lindisfarne. I then worked as a music journalist, record company executive and professional skateboarder before becoming a copywriter and creative director in advertising. I’ve published 22 books for kids, two novels, a biography of The Animals and books on the Northern Soul scene, skateboarding, ultra-marathon running and scuba diving. I’m currently training for ordination in a Buddhist order and I work as a prison chaplain.

Venue: Viking Cottage, Seaton Garth [x]

Sue Nichol Demonstration

Sue Nichol Demonstration Sunday 13:30 - 14:30

You may have seen Sue Nichol’s bold paintings of the coastline and her recent exhibition at the Staithes Gallery. During the Festival Sue will be exhibiting at her venue at Laura Knight’s Studio behind the gallery and will be holding demonstration drop-in sessions on both days.

Chris Toth: Mined Over Matter

Chris Toth: Mined Over Matter Sunday 14:00 - 15:00

We are pleased to welcome back Chris Toth, a research scientists at the Boulby Underground Laboratory and whose popular talk on dark matter is lively and entertaining. For non-scientists Chris’s talk makes physics accessible. He will introduce us into the mysterious behaviour of the universe, the ever elusive substance know as dark matter and the work being conducted 1.1km below your feet in Boulby mine to find it. No prior physics knowledge required!

Venue: Smugglers [x]

William's Walk

William's Walk Sunday 14:00 - 15:30

Staithes historian Bill Hinchley will lead a guided walk along the highways and byways of Staithes. Learn the stories and the hidden history of our special village.

Start: 14:00 Meeting point at the top of the village [x}

Rosamund Jordan: A Pioneering Colony of Artists

Rosamund Jordan: A Pioneering Colony of Artists Sunday 14:00 - 15:00

Ros and Tom Jordan have been dealing in the work of the Staithes Group of Artists for over 40 years. Ros, a retired NADFAS lecturer presents a lavishly illustrated talk on the Staithes Group alongside a selling exhibition from their wide collection of Staithes Group artists.

A repeat of Saturday’s talk.

Venue: Memorial Hall, Cliff Road [Venue No: X]

Tea Time Concert & Farewell

Tea Time Concert & Farewell Sunday 16:00 - 18:30

We wind up the Festival with this popular tea-time concert at the Lifeboat House. We will introduce the White Sail trio who meld a glorious harmony of vocals, guitar, mandolin, Celtic harp and more with songs about love, life, the land and the sea with a wonderful mix of contemporary and traditional music.

Staithes’ very own Dire Staithes will entertain you with a lively set to get you singing along. To wind up the show the Alligators are back for the third year running with a spirited collection of originals and covers for the Festival’s final fling.

The Men of Staithes choir need no introduction, our much loved village choir will wind up the festival with their traditional hymns and songs of the sea. In what has now become a tradition, they will lead procession from the Lifeboat House to Bethel to bid farewell to another Staithes Festival.

For More information on the music click on our Music page.

Lifeboat House [Venue X]