The 1980 Festival took place in the autumn, like the first festival. No snow this year.
There was an even more ambitious full line-up, with 38 events. The professional events often had capacity audiences but the finances skated on thin ice.
Now well established, the Festival attracted Julian Lloyd Webber, the cellist brother of Andrew Lloyd Webber, to perform. Star performers also included the popular performance poet of this age, Roger McGough. The BBC’s Any Questions team came to the Wetherby Methodist Church Hall with David Jacobs in the chair. The local MP, Michael Allison, Minister for Northern Ireland at this time of the IRA Hunger strike, spoke at the Festival Service.
The Art Loan Scheme grew from strength to strength. It had queues outside the Library door on the first day. Half the pictures were spoken for in the first few days. There was a Jigsaw Jamboree in the Town Hall.
There was an evening of Gilbert & Sullivan, and the Cambridge Buskers cheered people’s spirits. An Armchair Tour of Britain was given by the Camera Club, and international mime comedian, Bob Berky the Clown, entertained crowds of children in the afternoon and many more adults in the evening.
The Ballet Peter and the Wolf was danced by the London Alexander Roy Ballet Theatre. There was a series of film nights and the RSPB also showed films at the High School.
The Early Music Duo demonstrated ancient musical instruments such as the shawm and hurdy-gurdy. Theatre Roundabout put on a performance of Pride and Prejudice and St James’ Players performed the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.
The Wetherby High School Drama group ingeniously contributed a larger than life Punch and Judy show which managed murder and tension, with live music, evocative scenery and masks made by the sixth form. The acting was never ‘wooden’ even if the puppets were.