Brian Lewis is launching a book by Pontefract participants in his Bus Pass People project.

Flying the flag for Ponte's more mature literary talents

Get your bus pass then start some art: that's what an artist still going strong at 79 is daring others to do

The ever-busy Brian Lewis goes live with the result of one of his many recent projects on Saturday March 12. The Tap & Barrel, on Cornmarket, Pontefract (opposite the old courthouse), is the venue for the launch of Pomfret: Pontefract Short Stories, a collection of tales created by 16 local writers and illustrators.

The event starts at 2pm (meet from 1.30pm) and the book is part of the Bus Pass People initiative, in which Brian and South Yorkshire singer-songwriter Ray Hearne – who both describe themselves as “over 60 years old” – are encouraging older people to put their talents to use in art, writing, publishing and crafts.

The aim is to change attitudes to arts and age, where older people are usually seen as the audience rather than the creators, through a National Lottery and Arts Council-funded project which is initially running in Pontefract and Rotherham.

Brian and Ray's belief is that since older people have more experience and have seen more of life and the world around them, they have a much wider range of material to draw upon. They have based the principles of the Bus Pass People on the names of the four ships in which Captain James Cook sought out new horizons: Discovery, Adventure, Resolution and Endeavour, and the resulting acronym DARE. Participants are invited to dare to show their skills and dare to be innovative, to turn on its head the oft-held perception that art is a young persons' game.

The Bus Pass People first got together in 2015 and so far between them have created everything from statues to computer animations to photographs to songs to wall hangings.

To find out more about the project, go to

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