SEPTEMBER 11-12, 2021

Fun for all, whether you've read a Bayliss novel or not a word!

Rocky Neck Cultural Center and Rocky Neck walk

Rocky Neck is a small island in Gloucester Harbor connected to East Gloucester via a causeway. Bayliss lived there from 1968 until 1991 and wrote much of his fiction during that time. In the novels, Rocky Neck is “Mother’s Neck.”

  ROCKY NECK MEMORIES Talks about Rocky Neck in the 1950s-1990s by Liz Sibley Fletcher, George Sibley, and Mern Sibley,  who spent much of their childhood in this Gloucester presqu’isle. Their parents, Bill and Peggy Sibley, are fictionalized in GLOUCESTERMAN as the fisherman Wat Cibber and his wife, Teddi.
■  Guided walk, seeing Rocky Neck sites from the novels including the house where Bayliss lived.
■  Guided tour of the Gloucester Marine Railways (Bayliss’s “Simon’s Point Marine Railways”).

Ocean Alliance, used with permission  Bag lunch with glorious views of Gloucester Harbor from the former Tarr & Wonson Paint Manufactory, a historic building and key landmark on the Gloucester waterfront, now the headquarters of Ocean Alliance (the “Dogtown Net & Twine Manufactory” where Caleb and Lilian meet at night in the chapter “Stormcloud” in Gloucestertide).

Cape Ann Museum, downtown Gloucester

■  ROCKY NECK IN THREE DIMENSIONS: ART COLONY, MARINE RAILWAYS, AND THE RUDDER, 1950s-1990s* including a slideshow of vintage photos and talks by six women with rich memories and intimate knowledge of Rocky Neck’s history: Judy Walcott, who will provide a brief introduction touching on Bayliss and his writer friend Peter Anastas, who grew up on Rocky Neck; Sally Bradshaw and Suzy O’Hara Kadiff, daughters of the painters Robert Bradshaw and Tom O’Hara, who were active in the summer art colony; Viking Gustafson, former general manager of the Gloucester Marine Railways; Susan Baker and Paula Parsonswho ran the famous Rudder restaurant (Bayliss’s “Starboard Gangway”) on Rocky Neck for many years.
* “Rocky Neck in Three Dimensions” is a free program sponsored by the Cape Ann Museum, the Jonathan Bayliss Society, and the Rocky Neck Art Colony, Registration is required; register here

Father Smyth■  FATHER F. HASTINGS SMYTH AND THE SOCIETY OF THE CATHOLIC COMMONWEALTH Talk on Father F. Hastings Smyth by retired Anglican Bishop Terry Brown (joining the conference by Zoom from Canada), with an introduction by Liz Fletcher Sibley. (Bayliss’s character Father Duncannon is modeled on Father Smyth, leader of a high-church Episcopalian group that held socialist economic views. It was headquartered in East Gloucester on Ledge Road during the late 1950s.) A slide show and audio recording will accompany the talk.

Society Dinner - registration closed

Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay■  “Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay”: Diners will be introduced to this amusing renaissance play (which has a role in Bayliss’s Gloucestertide) by retired professor of English John Day.
■  Silent auction of items relating to Bayliss and Rocky Neck.
■  Buffet dinner.

Rocky Neck Cultural Center and Gloucester Inner Harbor

■  The funniest scenes in Bayliss's writing, with references to Rocky Neck and the Rudder restaurant.
■  Boat tour of the inner harbor with views of Bayliss sites from the water (weather permitting; register for conference early to be sure of a seat).

The conference will end before lunch on Sunday.

* “Rocky Neck in Three Dimensions” is a free program sponsored by the Cape Ann Museum, the Jonathan Bayliss Society, and the Rocky Neck Art Colony, Registration is required; register here


Registration for the conference is now closed.
Note: all registrants must indicate that they are fully vaccinated. For the most current information be sure to subscribe to JBS emails by sending a request to Feel free to email if you have questions about the conference. 

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Jonathan Bayliss Society, Inc. 

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