The 51st Thornbury Arts Festival

Friday 24th April 2020 to Sunday 2nd May 2020

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For Booking Queries 07866 485151

Daytime Shows 2020

THEATRICAL LIFE DRAWING WORKSHOP - Saturday 25th April, 11:00am - 4:00pm

SHIRLEY SHARP: Drawing Workshop "A Sense of Theatre"

Thornbury artist Shirley Sharp, who has taught adults and children for many years alongside building her own art practice, leads this workshop.

It blends theatre with drawing by combining performance, movement and music to create an environment for participants to relax and draw the human figure. It is suitable for all abilities - accessible for beginners yet challenging for the more experienced artist.

Shirley Sharp

Shirley has a BA in illustration and an MA in fine art and the aim of all her workshops is to encourage a have-a-go attitude and to let go of inhibitions that hold people back from drawing. She will be on hand to offer guidance and encouragement to those who require it.

Materials will be provided but anyone who wants to bring their own is welcome to do so.

Participants should also bring their own lunch.

Saturday 25th April - 11:00am to 4:00pm in Cossham Hall.


CHEPSTOW GUIDED WALK - Sunday 26th April, 10:00am and 1:00pm

Guided Walk of Chepstow

Discover the fascinating history of the border town and ancient port of Chepstow in this walk organised with the help of the Chepstow Society.

The town is known for its Norman castle, which is set spectacularly on cliffs above the River Wye and was the first stone built castle in Wales, if not the whole country.Chepstow grew and prospered as a market centre for the farming community, with a busy port and shipyards adding to its importance in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

The walk will start in the car park beside the castle, taking a circular route down to the Wye bridge, along the riverbank to the old shipbuilding area, then up through the town.

The walk will also incorporate the Priory Church of St Mary, almshouses, the town gate and many other intriguing buildings.

Lasting for about two hours, the walk will be followed by refreshments at Tiffin, a local tea shop.

Sunday 26th April - There are two walks available at 10:00am and 1:00pm - Meet in Chepstow Castle Car Park.



FIONA WARIN - The Land Girls - Monday 27th April, 1:00pm

In 1942, with the country at war, food production was vital and had to be increased but with fewer agricultural workers available, some 80,000 women were urgently needed to work on the land. As well as ploughing and dairy work, the women who became Land Girls also carried out hedging and ditching, developed lambing skills and learned how to plant, cut and manage timber for a variety of industries. Their work was crucial to the war effort.

Fiona Waring 

Come along to a "recruitment" session when Fiona Warin appearing as head of the Thornbury branch of the Women's Land Army, will detail the different jobs to be done as a Land Girl, the uniform, the digs, the social life and more. Who knows, she might even offer you a job!

Fiona is allotment officer at Cheltenham Borough Council and makes a welcome return to Thornbury after giving a well-received talk on the history of allotments last year.

Monday 27th April - 1:00pm in Cossham Hall.


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JOHN RICHARDSON - Making Movie Magic - Tuesday 28th April, 1:00pm

Oscar-winning special effects supervisor and designer John Richardson has been involved in more than 60 movies, ranging from nine James Bond adventures to the Harry Potter series, Aliens, Superman, A Bridge Too Far, Straw Dogs and The Omen.

He has enjoyed a 50-year career in the film business, was Oscar-nominated five times and won the accolade for Aliens in 1986.

In creating the magic that flows through these films, whether producing futuristic gadgets or breathing life into creatures that amaze or haunt filmgoers, John holds a special place in cinema history.

John Richardson

He learned his trade from his father Cliff, a special effects pioneer, and by building on that work and pushing boundaries further, John not only produced a convincing end result but also ensured none of his stars were ever injured. He says: "The way films are made nowadays is so different to the way we used to work... I feel very lucky and very privileged to have had such amazing times."

Tuesday 28th April - 1:00pm in Cossham Hall.


ANDREW CANNELL - American Garden meets English Landscape - Wednesday 29th April, 1:00pm

Andrew, who spent his childhood roaming the Isle of Man countryside, graduated as top trainee from RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Wisley, going on to work for the RHS for a further two years.

He then joined the National Trust at Woolbeding Gardens in West Sussex, renowned for its colour-themed planting schemes and romantic landscape, as senior gardener. In 2015, excited by its ambitious plans, Andrew became head gardener at the American Museum in Bath - the only museum outside the USA devoted to American history and decorative art - leading a team of three dedicated gardeners.

David Cannell

In September 2018 the museum opened the £2 million New American Garden and changed its name to the American Museum and Gardens. Andrew co-ordinated the planting of more than 15,000 perennials, grasses and shrubs, many of which are native to the United States. His talk outlines the challenges of installing such an ambitious landscape in a relatively short period of time.

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


TERRY STEVENS - Tyntesfield: Progress and Discoveries - Thursday 30th April, 1:00pm

This talk from Terry Stevens gives a brief history of the North Somerset house, which had been bought in 1844 by William Gibbs for his growing family and is now in the care of the National Trust.

The audience will hear how restoration work is progressing and also learn about the treasure trove of objects discovered during extensive inventory research, which is still continuing. An initial estimate reckoned there were possibly 40,000 items to be listed but the total now well exceeds 50,000 - ranging from paintings to ornate furnishings.


Gibbs had remodelled the original regency house into a grand Gothic structure and each of the following three generations left their mark on Tyntesfield. It is regarded as one of the last great Victorian houses to have survived with virtually all of its contents intact, making it a great source of information about the life and culture of the time.

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


DAVID SLATER - Wildlife Personalities - Friday 1st May, 1:00pm

Award winning wildlife photographer David Slater has been taking pictures of the countryside since he was 14, developing with it a passion for the natural environment and its wildlife.

He has completed photographic commissions for conservation groups in places such as Costa Rica, Malaysia and Philippines, realising his ambition to work close to nature and pursue adventure. That adventurous streak has seen him working on active volcanoes, running photo safaris to Africa and getting close to animals.

David Slater

David, who lives in Chepstow, is also an extreme rock climber, with skydiving, white-water rafting and bungee jumping among his other exploits.

This talk, based on the title of his book, features some of David's famous photos used in the publication and includes the tale of how his vision to connect with animals and grant them more rights ended up with him in a US court being sued by a wild monkey! It is a story that went around the world.

Friday 1st May - 1:00pm Cossham Hall.


WILL HARDING - Senior Animator at Aaardman Animations - Saturday 2nd May, 1:00pm

Will has been with Bristol-based Oscar winning animation studio Aardman since joining in 2004 to work on the film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

His long list of credits now include Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death; The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists; Creature Comforts USA and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon. He has also worked on various commercials and museum exhibitions.

Will's job is to make the puppets, characters and models that are used in animation, among them eccentric inventor Wallace and his canine companion Gromit, Piella Bakewell and Lady Campanula Tottington, as well as the Pirate King, Cutless Liz and Mr Bobo.

Will Harding

In this talk, he takes the audience behind the scenes to show how it is done.

For those who want to enjoy seeing some of the Aardman characters, Farmer’s Llamas and A Grand Day Out, will be screened afterwards. 30 mins each with a short interval, children of primary school age or under must be accompanied by an adult

Saturday 2nd May - 1:00pm Cossham Hall.


SCREENING OF "THE FARMER'S LLAMAS" and "A GRAND DAY OUT" - Saturday 2nd May, 2:30pm

Following our event with Will Harding, Senior Animator at Aardman Animations, we are screening two of the company's short features; "Farmer's Llamas" and "A Grand Day Out"

These films are both 30 minutes in duration and there will be a short interval between the two.

Children of primary school age or under must be accompanied by an Adult.

Saturday 2nd May - 2:30pm Cossham Hall.


Grand Day Out

Farmers Llamas

Day Time Shows 2020