LOVERS of all kinds of literature flocked to a seaside town for a free weekend of poetry, writers’ talks, readings, storytelling and comedy.

Grange-over-Sands’ first ever Tidelines Literary Festival has been hailed “an amazing success.

Organised by mother-and-daughter team Jane and Jess Walmsley, of the Thornleigh Hotel, the two-day event attracted headline acts like BBC Radio 4 regular Kate Fox to the main stage set up in their shoreline garden at The Esplanade.

“We are overwhelmed by what a success we had,” said Jess. “We really are ecstatic and excited to see what’s next for Tidelines at Thornleigh Hotel.”

Perched on straw bale seating, visitors listened to the likes of Cumbrian author Katie Hale, whose debut novel My Name Is Monster has attracted glowing reviews from the likes of Chocolat author Joanne Harris; Radio 4’s Kate Fox, of North Yorkshire who delivered a “hugely funny, sharply observed” poetry set; and comedian Tony Vino, who delighted the Sunday evening audience with “a hilarious set” orchestrating them into a ballet/opera version of Camelot.

Faced by forecasts of heavy rain and near-gale force winds, organisers Jane and Jess still decided to push ahead with their event.

Jess said: “We had crowds laughing at our comedy and being inspired by our young poets’ collective. The sun shone down on us and, despite a short shower on the Sunday evening, we had a full beautiful rainbow to close the weekend.”

Astronomer Stuart Atkinson offered festival goers the chance to hold a Moon rock, and Cumbrian Young Poets were on hand to “typewriter busk” poems on any subject. National Youth Slam winner Matt Sowerby premiered his one-man act Kidz Theez Dayz ahead of his appearance at the Greenbelt Festival.

The Thornleigh Hotel garden featured an outdoor living room where visitors could sit and chat with a “human book” from the festival’s “living library” of volunteers with fascinating life stories to share for 20 minutes.

The Tidelines weekend also featured novelist Philip Caine; arts and crafts workshops; collective writing; and refreshments such as vegan burgers and Neville’s Nice Lollies, of Ulverston.