• Jane Shemilt: Saturday 27 April 11:00 am

  • 30 Years of Thornbury Eisteddfod: Celebratory Concert Sunday 28 April 4:00 pm

  • Fiona Warin; Losing the Plot: Monday 29 April 1:00 pm

  • Diana Hendry: Tuesday 30 April

  • Mark Thompson's Spectacular Science Show: Wednesday 1 May 10:30 am

  • David Ceesley; Milk, Coal and Any Old Iron: Wednesday 1 May

  • Mark Smith: Thursday 2 May

  • Recital by Marienella Phillips: Friday 3 May 11:00 am

  • Painting in Acrylics a Workshop by Michael Long: Saturday 4 May 10:30 am am

  • Thornbury Camera Club Exhibition: Friday 26 April to Friday 3 May

Daytime Shows 2019

Jane Shemilt - Saturday April 27th at 11:00

Author Jane Shemilt in conversation with Liz Wilkins.

While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a post graduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol university and went on to study for the MA in Creative writing at Bath Spa, gaining both with distinction.

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Jane was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbitt award, the Lucy Cavendish fiction prize and the Edgar Award for Daughter, her first novel.

Daughter was a Richard & Judy pick in 2014 and was the bestselling debut novel published that year.

She and her husband Steve, a Professor of Neurosurgery, have 5 children and live in Bristol.

Liz Wilkins is a past Artistic Director of Thornbury Arts Festival.

Saturday 27th April - 11:00 am in Cossham Hall.



Anniversary Celebration Concert - Sunday April 28th at 18:00 SOLD OUT

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2019 is a double celebration for Thornbury Arts Festival as we mark the 30th anniversary of the Thornbury Eisteddfod, set up in 1989 by Daphne Ashton who at the time was Deputy Artistic Director. Its aim was  to encourage young musicians in the area.  In the past 30 years thousands of aspiring singers and instrumentalists have participated in this inspiring local event and many have gone on to make music and the theatre their career.

This concert will celebrate both anniversaries and will feature past participants who now work in the industry, those who are working hard at college or conservatoires and promising talented performers  who have taken part in recent Eisteddfods.  The Speech and Drama section, which became part of the Eisteddfod in 2001, is also represented in this celebration. 

Sunday 28th April - 6:00 pm in the Armstrong Hall.


 Supported by The Anchor Inn at Morton




Fiona Warin: Lost the Plot - Monday April 29th at 13:00

Fiona Warin, Allotment Officer for Cheltenham Borough Council, takes a humorous look at the history of allotments.

We travel from William the Conqueror to today, via the plague, famine, the poor laws and wars.

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After various adventures in Gloucestershire villages, including applying for an allotment herself, she now finds herself in charge of hundreds of plots.

Fiona brings a variety of fun props to illustrate this very entertaining story.

Monday 29th April - 1:00 pm in Cossham Hall.



Diana Hendry: The Return of the Native - Tuesday April 30th at 13:00

Former Artistic Director, Diana Hendry, in conversation with writer/broadcaster Sarah LeFanu, talks about the early days of the Festival and reads from her new book of poems, The Watching Stair.

Diana Hendry 3Diana has published six poetry collections including The Seed-Box Lantern: New and Selected poems. Her short stories have been widely published and broadcast and she has written more than 40 books for children. Harvey Angell won a Whitbread award and The Seeing was shortlisted for a Costa award.

She lives in Edinburgh where she has held several distinguished posts including Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Edinburgh University.

Sara LeFanu is a biographer, anthologist and writer of short stories. She was Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival from 2003 to 2009. She was responsible for the very popular Poetry Taxi and brought many foreign writers and their translators to Bath. She now lives in Bristol and is a Bristol Writing Project Associate.

Tuesday 30th April - 1:00 pm in Cossham Hall.



Mark Thompson’s Spectacular Science Show - Wednesday May 1st at 10.30

You think Science is boring? Think again; this is science like you have never seen it before.

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Explore the strange and magical properties of matter with fireballs, fire tornadoes and explosive chemical reactions. Mark Thompson has been enthralling audiences for over 20 years with his fascinating journeys around the Universe.

Now he turning his attention to things a little closer to home. This is a show open to pre-booked school groups only and local primary schools have been invited to send a party of KS1 pupils to this exciting event!

Click here for a taster of what to expect Spectacular Science Show Video

Presented in association with Lakin McCarthy Entertainment Ltd.

Wednesday 1st May 10:30 am in the Armstrong Hall.

Tickets ony available to School Groups


David Cheesley: Milk, Coal and Any Old Iron - Wednesday May 1st at 13:00

Back in the 1950s nearly every household had their daily milk delivered. Also as virtually every home had coal fires they had coal delivered on a regular basis.

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As for recycling, anything that was useful was kept; if it was combustible it went on the fire and anything else went to the rag and bone man or in the dustbin. As well as milk, coal, bread, soft drinks and fruit and veg a host of other commodities were delivered on a daily or weekly basis.

In this presentation Dave Cheesley takes us on a trip back in time to the days when the streets were alive with street sellers, delivery vans and street entertainers.

The supermarket age killed off most of the street delivery sellers but with internet shopping we now have a new era of goods delivery.

Wednesday 1st May - 1:00 pm in Cossham Hall.



Mark Smith: The History of the Victoria Cross - Thursday May 2nd at 13:00

2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth, it is appropriate to celebrate her introduction of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry.

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Mark Smith is the retired curator of the Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich and an Arms and Militaria expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow.

Having started collecting medals at a young age, this hobby has become a life-long passion and he has amassed an extensive private collection.

Mark is a well-known expert on the Victoria Cross and will share with us the fascinating history and origins of this very special medal.

Thursday 2nd May - 1:00 pm in Cossham Hall.



Recital by Marienella Phillips - Friday May 3rd at 13:00

Welcoming in the merry month of May, Marienella Phillips (mezzo-soprano) and Bradley Parker (piano) will be performing an eclectic mix of songs in the Thornbury Arts Festival Lunchtime Series.

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With pieces from well-known opera, classical song and musical theatre, from W A Mozart’s Le Nozze de Figaro to Bernstein’s West Side Story, they invite you to join them as they serenade Spring.

Bradley ParkerIn the year celebrating 30 years of the Thornbury Eisteddfod it is especially pleasing to discover that Marienella was a participant in the event when she was at primary school!

Friday 3rd May - 11:00 am in Cossham Hall.



Painting with Acrylics Workshop: Michael Long - Saturday May 4th at 11:00

Michael Long grew up in Bristol and trained at the West Of England College of Art.

After work in design he eventually became the Senior Tutor in Graphic Design at Brunel College. He has also worked as a freelance book designer and illustrator, most notably the Mammal Evolution published by the Natural History Museum.


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He is a member of the renowned artist section of the Bristol Savages and has exhibited widely throughout the West Country. His bold, visually striking work is held in a number of art collections.

The subject of his workshop, his first in Thornbury, is Painting in Acrylics.

Please note there is a maximum number of 35 participants in this workshop.

Easels are not required but please bring the following: acrylic paints including titanium white, suitable brushes for acrylics, A3 mounting board primed with white emulsion (acrylic paper can be used but needs to be on a board), jam jar.

Saturday 4th May - 11:00 am in the Armstrong Hall.


Supported by Severn Vale Art Trail


Thornbury Camera Club Exhibition: April 26th to May 3rd

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The Thornbury Camera Club is also celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.

To mark the occasion an exhibition of work by the Camera Club will be held in the Exhibition Room at the Town Hall.

Friday 26th April to Friday 3rd May

Free Entry

Book Your Tickets Now

Click on the link to choose and purchase your tickets. You can also buy them by post using the booking form, or from our box office in Thornbury Town Hall from April 8th.