Beneath the Beacon was a night of music and poetry held on Saturday 1st December from 7.30pm in St Mary’s Church. Performed as part of this summer’s celebration in Penrith it was only the second performance and was a collection of original songs, tunes and poetry inspired by local, historic characters brought to life by Dawn Hurton. She formerly worked in the county’s archive office and has produced an alphabet of hand-crafted figures and automata puppets based on colourful characters from Penrith’s (and surrounding area) past, including military figures, social reformers, eccentrics, notorious noblemen, and forgotten people whose lives were coloured by poverty and the harshness of the law.
The historical figures portrayed included Sarah Losh, Lady Anne Clifford, coffin-ship campaigner Samuel Plimsoll, the Yellow Earl, travelling player Charlotte Deans, suffragist Catherine Marshall and poacher William Graham to name but a few.
The array of songs and poems, which included ‘A Song for Sarah’ were written by a group of local artists and include poignant, uplifting and at times comical pieces. The performance was recorded and we hope will be issued as a CD in the near future.