A look back at this year's Thornbury Arts Festival by organiser Jackie Jackson.

Thornbury Arts Festival celebrated its Golden Anniversary in style with record-breaking ticket sales and many sell-out performances.

Miles Jupp came for the opening night – but nearly didn’t because of a serious rail delay -so the committee had several anxious hours. This tied in with the stories told by Diana Hendry , one of the early Artistic Directors who came to reminisce in a nostalgic lunchtime event, sharing her memories of similar near disasters in her time with the festival as well as her poetry!

Fortunately Miles arrived at the eleventh hour with his interviewer James Kettle and in common with all of the other performers entertained and delighted the appreciative audiences.

We were so fortunate to have Kate Humble, Richard Coles and David Starkey all of whom not only captivated the audience with their various subjects but were also happy to mingle and chat after the show.

This also was a feature of the musical events which were superb.

Show of Hands, who first came in 1997, turned in an amazing evening of their individual and harmonious brand of folk music and The Temperance Seven went down a storm.

Their musicianship, humour and engagement with the audience was legendary and probably the most talked about event of the festival!

Liza Pulman, accompanied by Joe Atkins brought the festival to a flower-filled finale, her glorious voice bringing tingles to the spine.

The lunchtime events were a joy and very popular, with talks about allotments, milk deliveries and medals giving great pleasure to capacity audiences. Mark Smith was astounded to be shown a rare WW1 bronze plaque brought in by a local resident – it made his day and hers.

In many ways it is these personal touches which make Thornbury Arts Festival so accessible and appealing. These daytime events, along with the talk by local author Jane Shemilt, the fantastic science show for schools by Mark Thompson and the fascinating art workshop by Michael Long added immensely to the success of the celebratory festival.

It was also very important to focus on local talent which was the bedrock of the early festivals. RockPipes gave a stirring performance on the first Saturday with their fusion of Celtic and Rock music which had everyone wanting to dance. The evening was a tribute to the great range of talent which is nurtured in this very musical neighbourhood.

The Celebration Concert on Sunday was at the heart of this milestone Festival, giving thanks to so many people who have helped and supported TAF over the 50 years. The concert was dedicated to Sue Harbottle who had been associated with the Festival and particularly the Eisteddfod over many years and who sadly died a week before the event she had helped to organise. The concert also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Eisteddfod and featured past performers who have gone on to make music and the arts their career, those who are working hard at college or conservatoires and promising talented performers who have featured in recent Eisteddfods. The standard of performance was stunning and demonstrated just what an inspiration the Festival and the Eisteddfod have been in giving local young people a platform for their talents, especially as Northavon Youth CommunityTheatre was also started by TAF.

One performer, Marienella Phillips, had already been booked for a lunchtime recital before it came to light that she too began her singing experience at the Eisteddfod. The concert was charmingly compered by Andy Clarke, TV producer and food and wine writer, who was a memorable NYCT actor and an Eisteddfod winner in his day!

The Festival would like to thank Junior FR choir, Joshua Milton, Flora Clapham, Taya Green and Yuhang Jiang, Aaron Holmes, Castle School Chamber Choir, Peta Maurice, Chris Yapp, Third Harmony, Timothy Mitchell and Marienella Phillips for giving their all at a very significant and heart-warming event.

The Festival now needs fresh hearts and minds to take it forward. If you came to any of these events and enjoyed them, please give thought to how you can help to take Thornbury Arts Festival into its next 50 years.