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Box office success for BrinkFest

Published Wednesday 3rd of October 2012 12:05:01 PM

An arts festival at Wisbech Grammar School featuring big names from the worlds of poetry, archaeology and crime fiction has attracted an attendance of nearly 1000 people.

Pupils and visitors to BrinkFest 2012 were treated to a reading by the award-winning poet, Wendy Cope, and the great grandson of Alexander Peckover, Antony Penrose, presented a play, �A portrait of space�, about his father, the surrealist artist, Roland Penrose.

The �Time team� archaeologist, Dr Francis Pryor, met the crime writer, Elly Griffiths, for the first time. The novelist, who lives in Brighton, writes about a forensic archaeologist who lives on the north Norfolk coast and she has publicly acknowledged her debt to the distinguished discoverer of the Flag Fen bronze age site near Peterborough.

The arts correspondent of the �Eastern Daily Press�, Ian Collins, the author of the monograph, �John Craxton�, which has an introduction by David Attenborough, travelled from London to speak on the key figure in post-war painting.

There was also a series of presentations and practical sessions given by members of the academic staff, and Mr Brian Payne, chairman of the Wisbech Society, spoke on the Rev Jeremiah Jackson, who was headmaster of the Grammar School from 1802 to 1824.

Past pupils who have made a name for themselves in art and sculpture � James and Theodore Gillick, whose pieces were featured at the Chelsea Flower Show in May, together with Richard Burton � exhibited some of their work and the school�s swing band performed on the final afternoon.

The festival finished on a high note with a concert of Georgian music, �Trills and frills�, which was performed in period costume and reflected the historical setting of the Brink.

The headmaster, Mr Nicholas Hammond, said: �This school has existed to provide education for Wisbech for over 600 years. BrinkFest, the school�s first ever arts festival, was a fantastic cultural opportunity for the whole of Wisbech and we were delighted to welcome so many members of the community to the presentations by nationally known speakers, as well as the concert and the practical sessions.�


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