Site updated

The Flamstead Book Festival website has now been updated with news of a one-off special event in memory of our co-founder. Information about the 2018 festival has been moved into the “past festivals” tab.

Further information including ticket pricing and availability will be posted in due course.

Vikki Orvice Memorial Interview – Friday Oct 11th

Earlier this month, the Daily Mail serialised a poignant new book by the former Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas, entitled Love, Interrupted, which has now been published.

It tells of the devastating loss of his wife Gemma 18 months ago just three days after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and how he has coped with his grief as well as bringing up their son Ethan, who was just eight when Gemma died.

Now Books In The Belfry can announce that Simon has agreed to appear in a special one-off event at St Leonard’s Church on Friday October 11th in memory of our co-founder Vikki Orvice, who passed away in February of this year.

Simon will be interviewed by Vikki’s husband Ian Ridley about love, grief and his inspiring memoir in what promises to be a remarkable evening, both touching and uplifting.

Ticket prices and sales for the Vikki Orvice Memorial Interview with Simon Thomas will be announced in due course but for now please save the date – the evening of Friday October 11th – for a night not to be missed.

evening of Friday 11th October 2019

Site being updated

The Flamstead Book Festival website is currently being updated. Please come back in a few days once this has been completed.

Deeds not Words tickets sold out – but restricted view tickets now available

Tickets for Helen Pankhurst: Deeds not Words (Sat 1600) have now sold out.

Sorry; however restricted view tickets (on pews in aisles) will be available, on the door only, at half price – £5.00, with no voucher for tea/coffee, and subject to availability.

Last chances for advance booking

Advance booking for the Flamstead Book Festival ends shortly.

Online booking closes at 1200 noon on Thursday August 30th for the Thursday evening session, at 1200 noon on Friday August 31st for the Friday evening session, and at 0800 on Saturday for all the Saturday sessions. Note: the Friday and Saturday deadlines have been extended since the Grapevine post and the earlier one here.

The last chance for the Box Office in Flamstead, i.e. outside the Spotted Dog pub (in the church if wet) is Wednesday August 29th from 1000 to 1100.

Ticket sales in Redbourn Community Library will stop during the afternoon of Wednesday August 29th.

Subject to availability, tickets will still be available on the door during the Festival for all sessions except for Love Life and Laughter, the Gala Evening.

Love Life and Laughter tickets were back on sale – now sold out again

Following returns, tickets for the Gala Evening: Love Life and Laughter from the Shakespeare Revue Company were now back on sale – but have now sold out again. Sorry.

Gala Evening: sold out online; just 2 tickets left

Tickets for the Gala Evening: Love Life and Laughter by the Shakespeare Review Company have now sold out online.

However there are two tickets remaining that will be available at the “Box Office” outside the Coffee Dog, High St, Flamstead (inside the church if wet) tomorrow Saturday August 25th from 1000-1100.

First come first served.

Grapevine Post: Flamstead Book Festival Box Office

Sent out on Grapevine: 7th August 2018

FLAMSTEAD BOOK FESTIVAL – buying tickets in person.

England and Arsenal legend Alan Smith, best-selling novelist Sarah Vaughan, Helen Pankhurst – the great grand-daughter of suffragette leader Emmeline – and a gala music show are all heading to this year’s Flamstead Book Festival.

Tickets for the Festival on August 30-September 1 are still available online at but a box office will now be open to buy tickets in person at the following venues including the Scarecrow Festival:

1. Flamstead, Coffee Dog (café at the back of the Spotted Dog) every WEDNESDAY and SATURDAY from 1000 to 1100 until Aug 29th except on Sat Aug 19th.

2. Redbourn Community Library – during their opening hours. See for the address and opening hours.

3. At the FoSL (Friends of St Leonard’s) stand during opening hours of Flamstead Scarecrow Festival from August 17th to 19th.

Proceeds from Books in the Belfry 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 most of you 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. We look forward to seeing you there!

Book Festival Team

Schedule for ticket sales in Flamstead posted

Tickets for all Flamstead Book Festival events can be bought in person from August 3rd at the Coffee Dog, Flamstead. The schedule has now been posted on the Tickets tab, with more detail here.

Opening Hours for the Advance Box Office at the Coffee Dog Flamstead

Friday August 3rd: 0930 to 1030
Wednesday August 8th: 1000 to 1100
Saturday August 11th: 1000 to 1100
Wednesday August 15th: 1000 to 1100
Wednesday August 22nd: 1000 to 1100
Saturday August 25th: 1000 to 1100
Wednesday August 29th: 1000 to 1100

Tickets will also be sold at the Friends of St Leonard’s stand throughout the Scarecrow Festival in Flamstead from August 17th to 19th.

Tickets are also available online from this site.

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.