Scilly Sergeant to headline Isles of Scilly Festival

Posted on Apr 25th 2016
Life of a Scilly Sergeant book cover

Visitors to the inaugural Isles of Scilly Festival in May will have the chance to meet Scilly celebrity Sergeant Colin Taylor on 13th May when he presents quirky and hilarious tales of his life and work on the islands, and his forthcoming book, The Life of a Scilly Sergeant.

Colin’s posts for the Isles of Scilly Police Force’s Facebook page have captured the nation’s imagination with their amusing stories of everyday police work on this small, tranquil cluster of islands 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, with a population of just over 2,200. Describing itself ‘like Heartbeat but less frenetic’, the page has garnered a large following of more than 54,000 likes with stories that have gone viral, such as when officers were left puzzled by the presence of a fried egg at the scene of a shed break-in.

The talk will headline the Isles of Scilly Festival, a month-long celebration of local arts and culture running throughout May and featuring an eclectic mix of events, workshops, courses, demonstrations, talks and performances in the most unique of island settings. From the traditions of May Day to hands-on craft workshops, from the renowned gig racing championships to the popular Folk Festival, the Isles of Scilly Festival celebrates the customs and creative passions of a community shaped and inspired by its unspoilt surroundings.

“We’re delighted that Colin Taylor will be appearing at our first Isles of Scilly Festival to talk about the day-to-day trials and tribulations of a small-island police officer,” says Zoe Parry, Events Manager for Visit Isles of Scilly. “It’ll be one of many highlights in our packed programme of artistic workshops, literary talks and cultural experiences across the islands. The Isles of Scilly have been a source of inspiration to writers, artists and craftspeople for generations. We can’t wait to welcome new and returning visitors to Scilly to what will be a very special programme of events showcasing our rich and diverse creativity.”

The festival launches with a splash, with the 27th World Pilot Gig Championships, 29th April to 1st May, and the impressive spectacle of more than 140 hard-rowing pilot gigs. Throughout May, there will be a range of arts and crafts workshops led by local and mainland artists. The festival programme also features talks from authors living on or inspired by Scilly, photography workshops, art exhibitions, craft fairs and theatrical performances.

Highlights as well as Colin’s talk include the chance to join artist Sue Lewington, well known for her published sketchbooks of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, on a sketching walk. There’s also the opportunity to make the special low-tide walk between the islands of Tresco and Bryher, and enjoy a mid-channel pop-up seafood feast. Tresco will be hosting an Ale and Music Festival, and the month culminates with the annual Scilly Folk Festival, comprising some of the best folk music from Scilly and the south-west, and including lunchtime gigs, evening performances and informal sessions.

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