Churchdown is to get own literature festival

Never mind Cheltenham – Churchdown is where it’s at this autumn for all things literary

A literature festival is coming to the village later this year thanks to a £2,500 grant from the parish council.

The Autumn of Authors event will see comedy writing duo Steve Skidmore and Steve Barlow, children’s author Caroline Lawrence and storyteller Clive Pig visit the Parton Road library in September.

The festival is the brainchild of Matt Stead, team leader at Tewkesbury and Churchdown libraries.

He lobbyed the parish council for a grant to help him put on the event in order to establish a love of reading for pleasure in children.

As well as visiting authors, the festival will also include creative writing sessions, poetry readings for adults and literacy workshops.

At a meeting last week the parish council agreed to use money from its events fund to cover the full cost of the festival.

Councillor Kay Berry said it was something the parish council was happy to support.

“Sadly we never get any authors visiting our library so it has turned to the parish council to pay for it,” she said.

“The money has actually come from the amount we make during our very popular annual fireworks night and it is quite nice as hopefully this kind of event will attract those who may not like the fireworks.

“I volunteer occasionally at the library and I know how worthwhile an event like this would be not just for children but for adults in the community as well.”

The aim is that every day of the festival an author would visit the library either to discuss their book or to host workshops or creative writing sessions.

There are also plans to open the festival up to local schools as well.

Churchdown resident Garry Whitehouse welcomed the idea.

He said: “Churchdown is a busy community and there’s always lots of things going on. But anything additional for children which helps them to learn is a good thing.

“The library in Churchdown is really good and it’s always really busy. Anything that helps education for adults and children is definitely recommended.

“Churchdown is a vibrant community full of children so this will have a lot of interest.”