Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Sillitoe Day (and Evening)

22 October 12 words: James Walker
Join Billy Ivory, Gaffa, Sleaford Mods, and loads more for the bi/annual celebration of a Notts legend.


This Saturday means one thing: Sillitoe Day. Well, actually, it means two things as there's a Sillitoe Evening as well. It's an event that happens every two years courtesy of the Alan Sillitoe Committee and this year they've rammed it so full of Notts goodness you'll be as happy as a copper with a taser at aStevie Wonder gig. So what's going on then?    

Sillitoe Day

Nottingham’s favourite ex-dustman William Ivory will be discussing the film adaptations of Alan's work, their place in the British Social Realism movement, and Alan's influence on him as a writer with Neil Fulwood. Ivory has adapted DH Lawrence’s Women in Love as a television series, flirted in Hollywood with Made in Dagenham and delighted us as Eddie Ramsden in Coronation Street. So plenty of possible questions for the audience afterwards.  

Michael Eaton MBE is a dramatist and screenwriter who has been heavily involved with the 200 year celebrations of Charles Dickens, producing plays and documentaries for the BBC. He has written a letter in response to the book Alan Sillitoe’s Nottinghamshire in which Sillitoe reflects on the county of his birth, with accompanying photography from his son, David. Michael is Nottingham born and bred and so perfectly placed to evaluate Sillitoe’s view of his home city.  
The Sillitoe Trail is a literary walk commissioned by The Space which visits five locations from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Derrick Buttress takes you through the history of Old Market Square, Al Needham imagines where Arthur Seaton 2012 would be drinking now that the White Horse pub has been turned into a curry house, Pete Davis takes you to Raleigh via a short film and shares testimonies from ex employers, James Walker goes fishing down the Trent and wonders whether Arthur2012 would be able to find solitude in the digital age and Ann Featherstone takes us for a ride at the Victorian Goose Fair when there was more to worry about than a couple of angry Squaddies chasing you. 
There will be plenty of films and short documentary clips with Frank Abbott giving us a sneak preview of his mash-up of SNASM in which he splices together newly shot images and extracts from other films. We’re also delighted to be able to show Sam Derby-Cooper’s film version of Sillitoe’s acclaimed short story Mimic (see above). Arthur Seaton will also be making an appearance, casting his views on his home city in 2012. And we’ve even found time to launch the republishing of The Open Door and room for a bit of poetry. 
Price: £15 includes limited edition book. £10 (students, OAPs, benefits) £0 (Anyone cheeky enough to blag their way in through sheer cunning.) 
Tickets can be purchased directly from the Nottingham Contemporary Shop or online by following the link at or We recommend you buy from the Contemporary to avoid extra booking fees.
Twitter: use #SillitoeDay
Sillitoe Night
Is a free event being run in the Nottingham Contemporary Cafe and starts at 8pm. MulletProofPoet will host an evening of spoken word with attitude followed by music from the Sleaford Mods and Gaffa. 
Jason Williamson could have been crafted from the very hand of Sillitoe, as he displays all the characteristics of his finest anti-hero, Arthur Seaton. He is a front man with attitude, oozing with confidence and ready to take on anyone who dares cross his path. At times he’s led a controversial life, describing his past as ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning on crack’. Song titles such as ‘Tramp stamps and trendy bollocks’ or albums such as Wank are deliberately confrontational, intended to rile. But they are also brutally honest, unapologetic, telling it as it is. It is for this reason that he was asked to play the role of Arthur Seaton in the feature Seaton Rifles on The Space which will be broadcast at Sillitoe Day. But for the evening session he'll be strutting the stage with Andrew Fearn.
Gaffa are a proper local band. Their only recorded album ‘Neither use nor Ornament’ took its title from a derogatory local phrase. Above they perform 'Throw me to the Christians' filmed at a previous Sillitoe event. Back in the day their debut EP became an NME single of the week and led them to be described as ‘the Nottingham band’. But Sound got it right, pronouncing them ‘plain and simple – the band, full stop’. Their lyrics have been described as a cross between George Melly and Deaf School but whatever you make of these playful wordsmiths, you can guarantee they will pack the place out. So get in early.   
All proceeds raised go towards the Alan Sillitoe statue fund. To donate or learn more please visit the Sillitoe website

We have a favour to ask…

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion now