Earth, Sea And Sky

Earth, Sea And Sky – Paintings by Philip Bennett.

A personal view

For two centuries our understanding of the English landscape has been shaped and conditioned by those great works of the 18th Century landscape painters. However, developments in the visual technologies over the past two decades have made looking and seeing on a micro and macro scale available to each and everyone of us. We are a very sophisticated visual society, and it can be said with certainty that we all perceive the world around us in very unique and individual ways.

Gigging the Blues Away

The ever-growing Leek Blues & Americana Festival is returning this autumn – and once again the Foxlowe will be one of the many venues across the town which will be hosting gigs.

First up will be the UK public premiere of the blues film Sidemen: Long Road to Glory (12A) on Tuesday October 2. Admission £5.

Then The Guy Tortora Band will be performing at the Foxlowe on Wednesday October 3. Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Guy Tortora is currently based in London. He is a guitar player of some accomplishment and a distinctive songwriter. He will be joined for this Foxlowe gig by Dave Luke and Chuck Micallef.

Then on Sunday October 7, there will be an amazing selection (FXLW Anericana) of some of the finest local, national and international Americana acts taking to the Foxlowe stage. The line-up is: Adam Coxon & Rick Ford, The Rye Sisters, Mean Mary & Frank James, Fine Lines, Lissy Taylor, and Strange Blue Dreams.

Wristbands £10 for 16 year olds and over.

Free admission for under 16s.

For further information about, and to purchase tickets for all Leek Blues & Americana gigs, visit

Talks Programme – 2018


We have a regular programme of talks by local speakers on subjects of topical or local interest.

Autumn talks for 2018 are Leek’s Silk Heritage by Cathryn Walton on Wednesday, 19th September; Foxlowe: Launch of the Heritage Lottery Project by David Bell on Wednesday, 17th October and Leek: a Historic Pub Crawl by Neil Collingwood on Wednesday, 21st November.

All talks start at 7:30 pm.

For full details of all the talks, see the online Calendar (What’s On), which can be sorted by category (e.g. Talks).

The lecturers in this programme ‘gift’ their talks to Foxlowe, for which we thank them.

Admission is free, with a Bucket Collection, also for Foxlowe, for which we thank you.



ST13 Sept-Oct 2018

An on-line copy of ST13 (No 53) is now available.

Follow the links for the full text:

ST13 COVER Sep – Oct 2018

ST13 INSIDE Sep – Oct 2018


Funding success for the Foxlowe

Foxlowe Arts Centre has received a National Lottery grant of £100,000 for a two and a half year programme of urgent repairs to the Foxlowe building, together with a programme of heritage and arts activities designed to tell the story of Foxlowe and its inhabitants over 250 years. With support through the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus critical additional support from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Staffordshire County Council, this project will address the urgent need to make the most vulnerable parts of this Grade II listed building properly and completely watertight: stopping further deterioration, eliminating rot in the 18th century roof, removing failed cement render trapping damp and replacing with lime render, and repairing copings, rainwater goods and rotten windows.

In an exciting collaboration with Leek and District Historical Society, Borderland Voices, Buxton and Leek College, and Northern International Theatre, this project will tell the story of Foxlowe and its occupants over two and a half centuries – wealthy private owners, a Red Cross hospital, a key textile Trade Union, a night club, and now an Arts Centre; and of their influence on local culture and society.

Building on previous arts and heritage activities, we will use community arts outreach to pioneer new access to heritage, and media from theatre to visual arts to revitalise archives and showcase original research. Further details of this will be launched in the Autumn.

Commenting on the award, Foxlowe Trust Chairman Chris Thompson said: “This is great news. The Heritage Lottery award is an endorsement of Foxlowe: both as a significant part of Leek architecture, and as a place that can bring people together to share and celebrate their history and culture.

“There is still a huge amount to do to restore the interior, to make the building accessible for all, and to improve the performance space.  But that’s for the future.  Meanwhile we depend on the goodwill of hundreds of volunteers and the regular financial support of our 250 pledgers to keep us going.  We are continuing to fundraise, and I am sure National Lottery support will help give other funders the confidence to back us.”

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, added: “We have been delighted to support Foxlowe Arts Centre to carry out urgent repairs and engage new audiences with this much-loved local landmark. Thank you to the National Lottery players who have made it possible.”

Autumn Film Programme

Our new film programme starts on Tuesday, 11th September and the first film will be Ladybird (15).  The Children’s Matinee will be the hilarious Early Man (PG), but please note that this will be screened on a Tuesday afternoon (30th October), as was the previous children’s film.  The film will be preceded by a morning creative workshop at Haregate Community Centre from 10.30 to 12.30.  For details see the printed programme or the website entry for the film.

As ever, Foxlowe Films aim where possible to match films in the programme to other events in Leek.  This season, we are proud to be screening Sidemen: Long Road to Glory (12A) on the eve of the Leek Blues and Americana Festival. This film is an intimate look at the lives and legacies of three legendary bluesmen: piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, all Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf sidemen.

Later in the season we will be joining other groups in the town to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, a landmark event.  In the week following the 11th November, we will be screening The Breadwinner (12A), a film about an 11-year old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.  It’s a luminous tale about growing up in an ever-changing world of conflict and oppression, the strength of girls, and the power of stories to sustain hope through dark times.

The Wednesday documentary on the following day is A Bold Peace (UC), which outlines Costa Rica’s groundbreaking experiment undertaken over 65 years ago to improve the nation’s welfare by disbanding their army and redirecting national resources to public education and universal health care.  We are excited to be able to screen this film, as it does not appear to have been widely available in the UK, and, surprisingly, few people on this side of the Atlantic seem to be aware of the experiment, let alone that it was so successful.

Printed programmes are now available (the tickets are on their way) and the films are on both the website (Whats’s On) and the ticketing site.  A  downloadable copy of the programme is also available.

Qigong Classes – new dates

Brett Trafford Photography

Twice-monthly classes in the Rainbow Room on a Tuesday from 10.00am to 11.30am on the following dates:

11 September
9 October
23 October
13 November
27 November
11 December

Qigong is an ancient and powerful system of energy medicine from China:  it means ‘vital energy (Qi) cultivation (Gong).  It uses breathing techniques, gentle movement and meditation to cleanse, strengthen and circulate Qi.   Working with Qigong exercise will relieve stress, balance the hormonal system, release toxins and strengthen the immune system, as well as slow ageing and help accelerate healing.

£10.00 per class payable on the day, but please book in advance with Lindsay.

For more information, please contact Lindsay Trevarthen, Three Treasures Qigong on 07989-986672, email or visit

St. Edward’s C. of E. Academy Middle School

Like previous displays from St. Edwards, this exhibition is a visual delight.  It includes a colourful set of collaged Cupcakes, Black ink drawings of Beetles, a textile hanging and a photograph of a 4 foot Butterfly, which was unfortunately too large for the allotted space.

ST13 July-August 2018

An on-line copy of ST13 (No 52) is now available.

Follow the links for the full text:

ST13 COVER July-Aug 2018

ST13 INSIDE July-Aug 2018

Perfect Summer Garden (and Indoors) Party

The Great Get-Together in honour of Jo Cox, saw a perfect day with a fabulous diversity of music, singing, crafts, art workshops and fun.  Great food in the cafe, drinks in the bar and picnics on the lawn, plus a little light strawberry picking.

Highlights included classical music for babies in the marquee on the lawn, the full Peace through Folk choir, plus the Sisden Singers and Settle Voices who came all the way from Yorkshire to be with us.

There was also a Celtic harpist in the Cruso Room, plus many other musicians and singers in the informal sing-around sessions.  Also safe archery laid on for children – and that was just the daytime.

The free admission ‘ticket’ requested an in date packaged or canned item for Leek Food Bank. And these came in great quantity. Thanks to all who donated!

There was also a charity cash collection in aid of The Foxlowe Trust, UNHCR, War Child, Save The Children, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Tim Parry – Jonathan Ball Foundation For Peace, which has raised £190.02 so far.  Thanks also to all who donated to this collection.

Finally many thanks to Malc Hawksworth and Peace through Folk, who made this happen through many hours of organisation and perparation, also all the musicians, artists and crafts people who participated and the Foxlowe volunteers who helped in advance and on the day – a great collaborative exercise.

“While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again… is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”     

Jo Cox MP