Date Posted: 28th September 2018

Spoken by a young lad of 9 yesterday seeing his first original drawing by Percy Kelly.

The 2-day Artfest WHEN PERCY MET NORMAN opens at 1pm  (by our MP Sue Harman) today at the Settlement in Maryport.  The Maryporters have pulled it off!  For the first time in decades there is an exhibition of art and poetry on the newly painted pristine walls of the lovely Georgian building on the cliff top including the view Kelly painted from Castle Hill – The Motte – just over the wall.

There have been 2 pre-opening days for local schools when we could give them time and the response which has been heart warming (and exhausting!)  Many have been working on projects about Percy and Norman and their work is also on display. Hopefully they will come back with their parents.

This is a real community project. It is all about bringing people together. It brought Percy and Norman together in 1959, nearly all the paintings and drawings have been loaned by generous local people, there were volunteers yesterday working in the overgrown garden, people making tea, lots of talk and exchange of ideas and for the next 2 days it will all be shared with local people and some who are travelling a long way to take part. And everything is free (apart from the Saturday evening talk when wine and canapés will be served)

I managed to get  my new book HAVE A HUMBUG delivered in time for its launch today at 5.00 pm. Derwent Pencils have been busy packing the goodies that are included and it has been well received by the schools. It is a non profit making enterprise and I am getting copies into every local school. My reward is to see children getting involved with art and being creative.

You can purchase it in local bookshops and galleries and on line It is a lovely gift for children, grandchildren and will keep them occupied for hours. An adult was heard to say “I’m not giving this away!” yesterday. It is lavishly illustrated.

I’m off now to lead a Kelly trail round Maryport. It is a fabulous sunny day. We have fitted another in at 12.30 tomorrow. These too are free but you have to book.