Where to see an Ashes winning cricketer, music-loving former MP, royal gardener and the woman behind TV's Vanity Fair

Gardening expert Jim Buttress
Gardening expert Jim Buttress

Sport, music, scriptwriting and gardening are the leisure activities trending at this April’s Books by the Beach.

The festival runs at various locations in Scarborough from Thursday April 11 to Sunday April 16.

Former England Cricket Captain Mike Brearley is on Saturday April 13 at 5.30pm. Mike captained from 1977 to 1980, winning 17 Test Matches and in 1981 he led England to one of their most famous Ashes Home victories.

He is now a writer and psychoanalyst and will be talking about his new book On Cricket – a collection of pieces written over 25 years.

Festival favourite Alan Johnson will follow Mike on Saturday at 7.30pm to talk about his new music memoir In My Life. Alan’s will transport us back to a world of coffee shops and dance halls with jukeboxes playing love songs and ballads. A glass of wine or beer is included in the ticket price.

There’s also a special classical concert on Thursday April 11 at 12.30pm which tells the story of Kathleen Ferrier with contralto Valerie Parker, pianist Tim Tozer and narrator Maria Billington. Donation on the door for this event.

Earlier on the Saturday at 3.30pm screenwriter of TV’s Vanity Fair adaptation, Gwyneth Hughes will be sharing the stage with former Head of BBC Radio Helen Boaden. They will be focussing on the cast of colourful characters and the pull of TV costume drama.

Spring is in the air and who better to give gardening tips than horticulturalist and holder of the RHS VMH medal of honour Jim Buttress. Jim is a BBC Radio presenter and his event promises to be humorous and entertaining. As royal park gardener, he will have a few tales to tell.

Heather French said: “I’ve tried to programme the widest variety of events this April in the hope there’s something for everyone’s taste. I love an event where you feel you’ve learned something new and enthused by the speaker, you can’t wait to read their book.”

Extra seats are available for Sir Michael Palin’s event on the Sunday at Scarborough Spa: 01723 821888 or www.scarboroughspa.co.uk
Tickets for all other events are available from Stephen Joseph Theatre on 01723 370541 and online.