Cash boost for Whitby’s Eskdale Festival - and new Alice in Wonderland class

Goathland School pupils speaking at last year's Eskdale Festival of the Arts. Picture by Paul Atkinson: PA1810-7p
Goathland School pupils speaking at last year's Eskdale Festival of the Arts. Picture by Paul Atkinson: PA1810-7p

Preparations for the Eskdale Festival of the Arts 2019 are well under way – and North Yorkshire County Council is hoping to offer some financial support through the Locality Grant scheme.

Last year, entries in music and drama were up by 10% and 8% and a profit was realised for the first time in three years.

The National Choir Day was busier than ever with 18 choirs taking part.

Dave Bradley, Festival Chairman, said: “Much of our success is down to the generous donations from local businesses and charities as well as grants from NYCC.

“County Councillor David Chance has given us tremendous support over the last two years and if you combine this with the enthusiasm of my committee and all of our volunteers, you can understand why our festival is doing so well.”

Cllr Chance, who has provided £690 from his locality budget, added: “I’m very pleased to be able to continue to support the festival.

“It’s wonderful to see that this great opportunity for artistic expression is going from strength to strength.”

In 2019, the additional funding will be used to offset transport costs for music centre bands across the county who will be participating in the Band Day competition on March 9.

The rest of the funding will be used to pay for two minibuses to transport students from village schools who are participating in the Lewis Carroll Prepared Poetry Reading Class – a new class inspired by the Alice in Wonderland garden in Whitby’s Cliff Street.

Mr Bradley said: “Lewis Carroll visited Whitby on six occasions and members of the Whitby in Bloom group approached me to devise a new class which would encourage young people to read Carroll’s poetry and I was happy to accept their advice.”

The festival committee is also offering £50 of poetry books to each school which manages to gain a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in this

class.

The closing date for festival entries is January 14 and late entries will not be accepted.

The programme for 2019 is:-

March 5 & 6 – Speech and Drama

March 7 & 8 – Secondary Music

March 9 – Band Day

March 11, 12 & 13 – Primary Music

March 16 – Boyes Gala Concert

April 13 – National Choir Day