COLUMN: Comedy, vintage tea and art event set for festival


By Viv Scott

It is well-known that laughing is good for you and Belper Arts Festival will see an evening of hilarity when “Three Men in a Bowtie” come to No 28 The Market Place.

Don’t be surprised if they are not what they seem – they are a musician, a BBC

journalist and a farmer - and one of them is a woman! They come from Shropshire boasting that they are still crazy after all these years of entertaining people.

They’ve performed in places ranging from Opera Houses to cowsheds and they’ve also been on BBC Radio 1 and 2. So for a good laugh turn up at No 28 on Friday, May 16.

Tickets are on sale at The Cherry Orchard in the Market Place and via the arts festival website.

May 24 to May 26 is Open Houses weekend and No 28 is again a venue, showing beadwork, bookbinding, papercraft, paintings, pottery, local books and knitted accessories.

And anyone is invited to tinkle on the upright piano which has seen many years of service playing for Salvation Army events and still has a mellow tone, so please pop in if you can.

On Sunday, May 25, you can enjoy a Vintage Tea of traditional tea-time food served on old-fashioned china, on embroidered tablecloths with musical accompaniment.

In its fourth year, the weekend invites you to peep inside houses and perhaps sit down and have a cup of tea while enjoying the displays and talking to the artists.

This year we’ve got some interesting venues to visit. Just out of the town centre is an interesting garden on Sandbed Lane and those who explore further will be rewarded by two houses on Jubiliee Court and two more in the Belper Lane area.

Sheila Guyatt’s house on Over Lane is crammed with good things.

And joining us this year is Linda Wain the wildlife artist in her studio on Blackden Close. Entry is free to all the venues with no obligation to buy.

Our leaflet is available at the library, cinema and

local shops and our website is I’ve been organising Open Houses since 2011 with my friend, the artist Sheila Guyatt, who was inspired by her experience of Brighton’s Open Studios to start a similar event in Belper. Sheila and I would like your feedback, so if you’re planning to visit Open Houses this year, let us know how you got on. Thanks!