Mere Literary Festival
October 9 – 15
This year’s Mere Literary Festival is a packed program of talks and readings, films, poetry, a workshop and children’s event.
The annual festival began 21 years ago and is held to raise funds for the local Linkscheme charity which provides transport at times of need. ‘We raise about £2000 which means the shortfall between what is donated and the actual cost of the journeys,’ says Adrienne Howell, organiser of the festival.
This year’s event has a strong local theme with stories from Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset and authors including Geoff Pridmore, Philip Browne and Rachel Crowther ‘Authors do like coming to Mere because they can really interact with the audience,’ says Adrienne.
The finale of the festival is the announcement of the winners of this year’s poetry competition which has received 243 entries, 100 of which are from children.
Tickets for the ticketed events and programmes are available from Mere Library or book with the festival organiser on 01747 860475. www.merelitfest.co.uk
MONDAY OCTOBER 9
* Not the Red Baron: the writer, actor & filmmaker, Geoff Pridmore, talks about his biography of display pilot, Robin Bowes, killed in an aerial dogfight display at Stourhead Gardens in 1995. Grove Building, 7.30pm. Tickets, £6
TUESDAY OCTOBER 10
* Mere Historical Society morning talk: James Bradnock on Popham, a 16th century lawyer who made good. Grove Building, 10.15am for 10.30am, start. Donations.
* Community lunch + coffee-time talk: by Sue Evans on the compiling of Merely a Festival. Two- course lunch at The George Inn, noon for 12.30pm. £ 9.95, book on 01747 860427.
* The Unfortunate Captain Pierce & the Wreck of the Halsewell: Philip Browne on one of England’s most dramatic maritime disasters. Grove Building, 7.30pm Tickets, £6
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11
* And the Rains Came…: Joyce Lewis talks about her life as a missionary in Bangladesh as recalled in her recent book. Grove Buildings, 2.30pm. Donations.
* Not just Gertrude Jekyll: A talk by Christine Stones on women who have influenced garden design. Hosted by Mere Gardening Club. Grove Building, 7.30pm. Donations
THURSDAY OCTOBER 12
* Every Secret Thing with Rachel Crowther: The author talks about writing and her latest novel that was published in the summer. Grove Building, 2.30pm. Donations
* Film Show: Mere Film Shows & Wiltshire Moviola present Their Finest with a stellar cast including Bill Nighy, Gemma Arterton, Richard E. Grant & Jeremy Irons. Lecture Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £6
FRIDAY OCTOBER 13
* The Well-Beloved: the women in Thomas Hardy’s Life and Fiction: Peter Tait talks about his new book on Thomas Hardy. Grove Building, 2.30pm. Donations.
* An Evening with Brian Freeland: a long and varied career touring the world with theatre companies is described in Brian’s humorous autobiography. Grove Building, 7.30pm. Tickets £6
SATURDAY OCTOBER 14
* Poetry workshop: a practical workshop on writing poetry with prize-winning poet and writing tutor, Rosie Jackson. Grove Building, 10am–12noon. Cost £10; contact festival organisers
* Children’s event: author Michael E Willis takes children on an Egyptian Adventure, travelling back in time to the land of the pharaohs and pyramids. Library, 2.15pm Free
* Poetry in the Grove: reading of the competition shortlist. Grove Building, 2.30pm. Free
* The Life of Edward Thomas: readings by Mere Drama Society tell the moving story of poet Edward Thomas and his links with Wiltshire. Lecture Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £6
SUNDAY OCTOBER 15
* Award ceremony for 2017 Poetry Competition: poet Dawn Gorman, judge of the Open Section, gives a short reading of her work before announcing the winner.
The local section is judged by Jenny Wilding, curator of Mere Museum; the children’s section is judged by Angela McDonald who researched and wrote the history of the men of Mere who fell in WW1 and who are commemorated on the town memorial. Lecture Hall, 3pm. Book stalls from 2.30pm. Free