AN award-winning Dales arts group is to celebrate the conclusion of a successful lottery-funded history project with an evening in Grassington of live music and readings of new poetry and prose.

And, the event, says organisers, will show a side of Upper Wharfedale made famous by the books of James Herriot, while at the same time showcasing the area's many talented musicians, writers, photographers and artists.

The Upper Wharfedale Arts and Literature Society's (UWALS) 'presenting the past' project is an inter-disciplinary exploration of a unique archive of early 20th century photographs of the area of Upper Wharfedale.

More than 1,000 people enjoyed the Heritage Lottery Fund supported exhibition of photos and accompanying historical research over two weekends at Grassington Town Hall in May.

The musical and literary elements of the ambitiously multi-faceted project have included the production of a volume of original writing -‘Present in the Past’- and an album of original music -‘Glass Shadows’ - inspired by photographs in the collection.

A group of writers from the area experimented with various forms of narrative, verse and prose in response to the images, while a separate group of musicians researched early 20th century dance tunes in addition to creating original songs and soundscapes in response to the characters and landscapes featured in the old photographs.

Organisers say not only will the evening celebrate the social history and landscape of Upper Wharfedale - which they say reveals the real All Creatures Great and Small story James Herriot writer Alf Wight would recognise - but also reminds of the talented people that have made Upper Wharfedale their home: musicians, writers, photographers and artists.

Mike Stephenson, chair of UWALS, said: “This evening celebrates the rich variety and amazing quality of these elements of the project.

"Contributors have written stories, composed poetry, curated collections of traditional tunes and even produced a CD of completely original compositions. This evening of live music and readings gives us chance to showcase the incredible talent of our contributors and celebrate the achievements of the project.”

Presenting the Past: An Evening of Words and Music will take place at The Octagon, Grassington Town Hall, on Friday June 10 at 7.30pm.

Tickets, including wine and Yorkshire cheeses, are available via the UWALS website:, by contacting and, if still available, on the door on the night.

UWALS, aims to improve access to art and literature within the Upper Wharfedale area by the provision and support of lectures, performances, talks, workshops and other associated activities.