from Grapevine on 10-Jun-18: Flamstead Book Festival

From Flamstead Parish Council Grapevine on 10th June 2018


Tickets go on sale via the website tomorrow (MON) for this year’s Books in the Belfry which is back with a stellar line-up to help raise vital funds for the village church roof and other urgent repairs.

HELEN PANKHURST, the great-grand-daughter of suffragette leader Emmeline, headlines the 2018 Festival which will be held from Thursday August 30 to Saturday September 1 at St Leonard’s Church.

Helen will be talking on September 1 about her famous family, her work as a consultant on the film Suffragette which stars Meryl Streep as Emmeline and her new book Deeds not Words which is published to co-incide with the 100th anniversary of the suffragettes’ great victory which first gave women the right to vote.

And there will be a special gala evening of music, sketches and songs from The Shakespeare Review Company – comprised of West End performers including Flamstead’s very own CLIVE HAYWARD – to finish the Festival on a high note.

The Festival kicks-off on the evening of August 30 with an appearance from former England, Arsenal and Leicester striker ALAN SMITH. Smith’s autobiography Heads Up is out in time for Books in the Belfry but there will be the chance to quiz him on Arsene Wenger’s successor at Arsenal as well as the inevitable post-mortem on England’s World Cup results.

Best-selling novelist SARAH VAUGHAN promises an entertaining evening on Friday August 31 discussing how she got into writing and the success of her topical thriller An Anatomy of a Scandal. It has been likened to the novel Apple Tree Yard, which was recently televised, and if you liked that you will love her gripping page-turner.

Others appearing include top blogger KATHERINE SUNDERLAND who will host a workshop on improving social media skills and historical biographer CLARE MULLEY, making a welcome return after her popular session at the debut Festival in 2014; she will be talking about her new work The Women Who Flew For Hitler.

Cream teas will also be available in the church grounds on the afternoon of September 1whether you are attending sessions or not.

Tickets for all events are available on the Festival website as well as details of the programme and authors and where to buy tickets in person.

This year’s line-up follows in the footsteps of a long list of top names who have appeared since 2014 including Jane Hawking, Tony Parsons, Sophie Hannah, GBBO winner Edd Kimber, Dermot Turing and comedian Andy Hamilton.

It’s sure to be as popular an event as ever so make sure you book early and follow the Festival on twitter @FlamsteadBkFest or on the Facebook page Flamstead Book Festival.

Proceeds from the Festival have always helped support the Friends of St Leonard’s (FOSL) to raise funds for repair and restoration work on the roof and fabric to safeguard the village church and its unique medieval wall-paintings for future generations.

But as many are now aware the church needs hundreds of thousands of pounds spending on work to the roof, with the Flamstead Heritage Project set up to avoid the threat of the 12th century building actually closing; so this year organisers want to raise as much as possible. After all they need a Belfry to hold the Book Festival in.