Farnham’s third Literary Festival begins tonight (Friday) with a wide range of events to cater for all interests.

Author Bob Cryer will launch Farnham Literary Festival at Farnham Town Hall on Friday, March 1 with an entertaining insight into the life of his father and comedy legend, the late Barry Cryer. 

Barry Cryer was well known for being a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue but that’s not all. In this highly personal talk from the heart, Bob Cryer will share family material and give his own personal reflections on what it was like to live and work with a comedy icon. 

Farnham Castle
Farnham Castle (Iain Lynch)

On Wednesday, March 6, it’s History Day at Farnham Castle. Author Louise Morrish will talk about Secret Women: The Female Agents of the SOE. This will be followed by lunch in the atmospheric castle.

After lunch, author and top selling female historian Dr Alison Weir will conclude History Day with her talk titled Six Tudor Queens: The Wives of Henry VIII. Dr Weir will give an overview of the wives of Henry VIII and the facts behind the fiction. Her talk will include new research which she carried out for her series of books about the queens, plus a few surprises. 

Dr Weir said: “I’ve been interested in history since the age of 14 when my mother marched me into a library and told me to choose a book. I picked the rather lurid Henry’s Golden Queen and devoured it in two days! I then moved onto real history books to find the truth behind what I had read.

“I am really looking forward to attending Farnham Literary Festival. Festivals are great for bringing communities together and are a safe place to toss about ideas. There is always so much wonder and enjoyment at festivals and plenty of opportunities to engage and chat with authors. If you have never been to a festival before I urge you to give it a whirl and see if your appetite is whetted.”

Farnham Town Council offices in South Street
Farnham Town Council offices in South Street (Daniel Gee)

Also on March 6, chef and television presenter Ching-He Huang will be at Farnham Town Hall to talk about her early food influences. She will introduce her latest cookery book Wok for Less in which she describes creative ways to make meat, fish and seafood go further, along with inventive veg packed dishes. 

Councillor Kika Mirylees, lead member for community said: “We have so many exciting events planned for this year’s Farnham Literary Festival which runs until March 10.

“On Friday, March 8, we have arranged an enchanting evening celebrating the rich tapestry of LGBTQi voices through the magic of poetry and readings and on Saturday, March 9 we have a self-guided audio ghost story walk. There are also writing workshops, panel discussions and author talks, and more. Have a look at the programme and you’ll find there really is something for all ages and interests.”

Farnham Literary Festival is organised by Farnham Town Council with sponsorship from the Bush Hotel and Moonflower publishers. There are over 40 events, many of which are free. To see the full programme and booking details, visit www.farnhamliteraryfestival.co.uk