Oxford

Wantage to host its first Betjeman Literary Festival

  • 20 June 2011
  • From the section Oxford
John Betjeman
Image caption The week-long festival will include more than 30 events

An Oxfordshire town will host its first Betjeman Literary Festival in September.

Author and Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman lived in Wantage for several years.

A number of his poems and a children's book Archie and the Strict Baptists were said to be inspired by his time living there.

Organiser Jim Mitchell said he wanted to celebrate Betjeman's association with Wantage.

Mr Mitchell said he also wanted to boost people's interest in literature.

'Lovely town'

"Having lived here for more than 30 years I have become increasingly fond of the town and interested in its history.

"Our dream would be to emulate the Hay Festival, by welcoming people from all over the UK and abroad," he said.

The week-long festival will include more than 30 events and 20 guest speakers.

They include Colin Tudge, Tim Pears, Sir Max Hastings, Alexandra Harris and Pam Ayres.

Councillor Charlotte Dickson, mayor of Wantage, said: "I hope the Wantage Betjeman Festival will be a great success. It will give visitors a chance to see what a lovely town this is."

The festival takes place from 11 to 17 September.

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