First literary festival for the Deepings

Some of the festival organisers: from left - Helen Morgan, Judy Stevens, Ann Taylor and Phil Dilks.
Some of the festival organisers: from left - Helen Morgan, Judy Stevens, Ann Taylor and Phil Dilks.
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The people of the Deepings showed their love of books when they battled to retain their library.

They continued to show it in the year since Deepings Community Library opened by borrowing a total of 24,793 books, making it the county’s busiest community library.

Now, a handful of bookworms and the people who came together as a group when the library was under threat of closure are organising a first – Deepings Literary Festival, which takes place at the end of April.

Featuring talks by well-known authors such as Louise Doughty, Erica James and Alison Weir (all sold out), as well as a special ‘read-dating’ to showcase local authors, the event is a celebration of books and the written word.

One event, Lincolnshire Letters Aloud!, is also a tribute to the written word of the famous and less than famous of Lincolnshire, as well as being an acknowledgement of a dying art form, letter writing.

That takes place on Sunday, April 30 (7pm) at Deeping St James Priory Church, and will be accompanied by music from Intermezzo String Quartet.

Other events during the festival include a chance to meet author Alison Bruce on Friday, April 28 (2.30pm) at the Iron Horse in Market Deeping (a few tickets left) and a performance the same day (7.30pm) by local folk band Pennyless at The Deepings School.

On Saturday, April 29 (10am) there is a chance to meet author and historian Gill Blanchard at Deepings Community Library.

On the same day festival-goers can hear about murder and magic in the Middle Ages with a talk by Karen Maitland (10am) at Coronation Hall, Halfleet, Market Deeping.

At the same venue on the same day (11.30am), best-selling novelist Martin Davies will be giving a session on book covers, and at 2pm Lynn Knight will be talking about social history.

Nearby at the Green School, Christopher Vine, who writes books for children who love trains and engineering, will be setting up a model railway combined with a picnic all Saturday (talk 10am to noon and picnic train from 2-4pm).

Also on Saturday, children can meet The Travelling Talesman at Deeping St James Priory Church (1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm) and that night (7.30pm for 8pm) there is a black tie dinner, An Evening with Gyles Brandreth, at The Deepings School.

There is a sold-out tour and tea at John Clare’s Helpston cottage, though there are still tickets for afternoon tea at The Bluebell at Helpston on Sunday, April 30 (4pm), with poet Stuart Henson and folk duo Sheepish Grin. – tickets through Stamford Arts Centre.