Skip to the content


Lithograph of a bird

The Story of Elizabeth Gould – An Extraordinary Bird Woman

Bird prints were quite easy to find in second-hand bookshops 50 years ago. Each had a title at the bottom giving the bird’s name iand on either side of the main title were the credits: “del”, short for delineavit, to indicate the artist who drew the image; “lith” – lithographit – for the draughtsman responsible for transferring the design to lithographic stone; and “imp” – impressit – for the printer. One name occurred more than any other in these credits – either as del or lith or, indeed, both – Gould.

Mytholmroyd in flood

Two Witty Uncles

Reality has always been bursting with dreamers whose hopes are enveloped in energy. Yes, it is possible to confront the things that can destroy us, but not without wisdom on our side. You must take a stand against desire. Only a prophet of the grid may bring forth this evolution of health.

Emily Davison

Emily Davison

A short presentation about political activist and suffragette Emily Davison, who was killed at the Epsom Derby in 1913 by the King's horse and buried in Morpeth.

Tante Marie recipe book


Food is often uppermost in our minds and perhaps even more so at the moment! The Lit & Phil's librarian goes on an entertaining short tour through some byways of the library's collection of older recipe books.

Japanese temple reflected in water

Haiku Competition winner

We were amazed and delighted to have 148 people enter and 455 entries to our first online competition. Thanks to our two judges, Ellen Phethean and Kathleen Kenny, we now have a winner and they have also selected five runners up.


The Great Fire

Although the current situation (May 2020) is difficult, at least the building and its contents are intact. That, however, was not the case after the great centenary celebrations of 1893 when it was only thanks to a postal worker on his way home that the building was saved.

Protester in Arab spring in Cairo

From the Arab Spring to the corona virus lockdown in Spain

From Epictetus to Erich Fromm. How there's nothing like a classic book to get you through a crisis.

Revisiting the Aesthetics of Imperfection

Everyone carries a metaphorical backpack through life wherein they collect the beautiful things along they way, but often also hold on to the burdens.

The beautiful things are sand roses, letters, best-loved books, and headphones so you can listen to Bach everywhere you go. Burdens are like the receipts and sweet rappers that accumulate at the bottom. They take up space.

The idea is to sort through your backpack regularly – this is an imperfectionist process of making compromises and responding to unpromising circumstances, which are an inevitable part of life. It is also a fundamentally spontaneous way of really ‘being where you are’. 

Pen portrait of William Shield

Who was William Shield?

A major force in the musical life of the North East and then London, he was a local lad who now has a whole annual festival in his honour.

For events, news & offers...

Sign up to our e-newsletter

(You can unsubscribe at any time)