Much enjoyed my trip to Warminster in Wilts yesterday for the first Warmister Lit Fest. This was the initiative of a wonderfully enthusiastic and determined chap from the Army Education Corp called Captain Cooke (a rank to which he was destined, when he joined up as a boy soldier, as surely as Major Major) Attended a fascinating lecture on Human Potential and Parenting on Thurs evening and after all that food for thought, partook of a delicious supper at The Angel Inn, Upton Scudamore. Scallops and black pudding starter… ymmm.
The staff and students of The Avenue Primary School were very welcoming and appreciative. I think I met pretty well all of them in the course of the day. The really big surprise came when I was taken over to Warminster library to do some book signing at lunchtime. The children’s section had been turned into a dinosaur adventure park by a chap called Stephan who – entirely voluntarily – had laboured away since Christmas to make (out of chicken wire, polystyrene foam, papier mache, old kitchen cupboards and other recyclables) a massive tyrannosaurus head, crashing through the brickwork, a triceratops book-bin, a pteradactyl – and Harry looking down from a large bucket that was hanging from the rafters. “They haven’t got the funding,” Stephan explained, “so I put two or three hundred quid of my own into it…” The librarian declared him to be Warminster’s most public spirited man. Well, in the course of a conversation with Geoff Cooke earlier, it had emerged that he was prepared to subsidize the Literary festival to out of his own pocket – “just to give it a kick start”. Talk about resture your faith in human nature….!
I’ve managed an interview with Stephan and the librarian – and I’m hoping they’ll send me some pictures. Let’s see if I can put them out there for you.