Sillitoe Day 27 October 2012

The Alan Sillitoe Committee is a voluntary organisation committed to raising awareness of one of Nottingham’s most prolific writers by putting on a series of events, the proceeds from which go towards a statue fund. Sillitoe Day is the biggest event in our calendar and falls every two years.

Our second Sillitoe Day is of particular significance as 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. It is also the 125th anniversary of Raleigh, the workplace of Sillitoe’s fictional anti-hero Arthur Seaton. The Committee will also be celebrating being one of 53 organisations commissioned to produce content for a new multimedia platform called The Space, and will launch the ‘Sillitoe Trail’. This is a unique Mobile Phone App that creates a literary walk through Sillitoe’s debut novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, visiting five key locations on its journey.

Sillitoe Day will be split into two sessions. The morning session (11-1) will see the launch of the Sillitoe Trail Mobile App which will be presented by Paul Fillingham and I. Paul has captured the 1950s aesthetic of the project through some beautiful visuals. He’s also the tech monkey, creating the Smart Phone App and generating the QR Codes etc. I’ve edited together the written content; selecting the writers and creating the narrative.

The morning session will examine five key locations from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Old Market Square, The White Horse, Raleigh, Trent and Goose Fair) with commissioned writers Al Needham, Derrick Buttress, Pete Davis, Ann Featherstone and me. There will also be videos from Alex ‘MotaMouf’ Young and Andrew ‘MulletProofPoet’ Graves and a short film from the British Film Council Collection called How a Bicycle is Made.

The afternoon session runs from 2 – 5 and is a more general celebration of Sillitoe’s work. It includes the launch of The Open Door, republished by Five Leaves; Sam Derby-Cooper will be showing his short film Mimic, based on Alan’s acclaimed short story, and the wonderful Frank Abbott will be previewing his special remix of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning . 

We’ve got two keynote speakers. Michael Eaton MBE will be exploring Sillitoe’s Nottinghamshire, basing his talk on the book of the same title that Alan produced with photographs from his son, David. William Ivory will be in conversation with Neil Fulwood about social realism, fresh from the success of his wonderful play Diary of a Football Nobody which is currently showing at the Playhouse. Closing comments will be from David Sillitoe.

Sillitoe Day has also given us the opportunity to bring in two organisations who we treally admire. The Bookcase is an independent bookshop from Lowdham run by Jane Streeter, who was a long term pen pal of Alan’s. Eva from In Spades Design will also be selling her beautiful line drawings of Nottingham locations (my favourite is of the old Players factory) as well as mugs with quotes from Nottingham based culture (‘It’s thirsty work falling down stairs’)

Please support us by coming along and spreading the word. And if you can’t make it, get out a Sillitoe book from the library or download our Sillitoe Trail for free from The Space (available 27 October).

Twitter: We are using #SillitoeDay

Article on Sillitoe Day in LeftLion