Martin Dimery’s Highlights:
We’ve had some remarkable rock and pop acts and The Coral and Scouting for Girls proved to be two great examples in the same year.
The Moscow Drug Club, a gypsy jazz style band, proved so popular we moved them from Rook Lane to the Cheese and Grain to accommodate demand.
Above all, we loved the Singer’s “Casting the World” exhibition and events, celebrating the bi-centenary of Frome’s great metal casting founder J W Singer.
From the humble beginnings in his shop on the very premises our Festival office now occupies in the Market Place, Singer expanded into casting some of the nest sculptures of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including “Justice” on the Old Bailey and Boudicca on the Embankment in London.
Frome Festival Posters
Twenty years is quite some time ago and I don’t have many recollections of stand-out moments, memorable events or funny stories. As well as designing the 2001 Frome Festival poster, there were many other spin-off events that I designed, such as the flyer for the ‘Frome Film Festival’ organised by the ‘Reel People Film Society’ in Kilmersdon.
Other projects included the festival’s ‘Elgar and Verdi Summer Schools’ and the numerous amount of ads, in various sizes for virtually every magazine and newspaper across Somerset and beyond.
After the first year it was obvious that with the amount of work involved, I needed to find an illustrator or someone to design the poster. And as it so happens, Sholto who I had commissioned some years earlier had recently moved to Frome.
So, voila! I would come up with an idea and a scribble and Sholto would translate my idea into a great illustration. I doubt he ever thought he would still be doing them 20 years on!
The Festival Office
When I first moved to Frome, I started a Creative Writing Course with Alison Clink, and through Alison, joined the ‘Words at Frome Festival Committee’ with Crysse Morrison, and John Payne amongst others.
In 2011, I organised the ‘Writers and Publishers’ day, at the library, as a volunteer. In 2012, John Payne told me that there was a job going in the office and I joined the Festival team as an administration assistant, under Creative Director Martin Dimery, and trustee Fred Rolfe.
Throughout the years my responsibilities have increased and almost ten years later, I am now the Festival Manager, working behind the scenes, collating everything for the brochure and publicity. One of my most notable contributions to the Festival was initiating the relationship between the Festival and GWR.
After an initial phone call, they started by including us in their Heart of Wessex line-guide. They now support the Festival each year, printing off and putting up Frome Festival Railway posters in railway stations, in a 30 mile radius of Frome.
The Frome Festival is such a great annual event in our town, I can’t believe it’s our 20th Anniversary already. It just wouldn’t happen without the support of the whole community. Each year, I love popping into the Open Studios and the Hidden Gardens. It’s so nice to see some beautiful venues and gardens which aren’t normally open to the public, and of course amazing plants and works of art!
Beverly Jones, Frome Festival Manager