Completed events 2022

Here are some events you may have missed in 2022.



  • Saturday 19th March 2022, 10.00 am - 12 noon (Zoom event)

    Workshop: 'One Art - Repetition - the essence of poetry' with Anna Saunders

    Joining acclaimed writer and poet Anna Saunders for an online workshop, we used the recurrence of sounds, syllables, words, phrases, lines, and stanzas to create intoxicating and compelling poems. Looking at poems including ‘One Art’ by Elizabeth Bishop for inspiration, we wrote our own memorable pieces in which we used repetition to create poetic intensity, receiving valuable feedback from Anna. “I loved running the Workshop today. What a lovely group, and some amazing poems written during the Workshop.” (Anna Saunders)

  • Thursday 24th March (12.30 for 1.00 pm lunch)

    'Around the World in 80 Days' with Sue Ablett

    Due to illness, the planned talk by Tony Conder did not take place.  Instead, Festival Chair, Sue Ablett, took the audience on an entertaining and informative journey ‘Around the World in 80 Days’. A perfect day for a Holland House event. Stunning gardens, a lovely lunch, great company, and a talk that went down really well. ‘ Thank you so much for your talk. It was brilliant. As was the whole event.” (Terry and Annis Baldock)

  • Friday 15th April

    'An Afternoon with the Bard of Barnwood'

    Raphael’s Restaurant (Hampton Ferry) was the venue for this sell-out partnership event. We enjoyed a delicious Raphael’s afternoon tea in the company of The Bard of Barnwood, Margaret Daniels, who has been entertaining audiences for years with her amusing poems and anecdotes, mostly based on her own life. A truly wonderful performer and a fabulous afternoon in a glorious riverside setting. “A perfect afternoon.  Margaret’s poems were so well observed and very funny.  Raphael’s laid on a great afternoon tea.  And on a lively sunny afternoon there is no lovelier venue ” Chris O’ Connor. “Thank you so much for organising such an enjoyable event at such a beautiful location. The tea was great as was the audience! Very proud to have been part of the Festival.” Margaret Daniels.

  • Wednesday 11th May 7pm

    'Poetry Evening/Open Mic'

    Following an incredibly popular and successful poetry open mic event last year, we were delighted that Anna Saunders and Beth Brooke were back again to host an event of poetry readings and open mic slots. There were three poets reading – Anna Saunders, Robert Peake and Matthew MC Smith, and twelve open mic slots of three minutes each.  The theme of the event was ‘Freedom’, interpreted in any way the poets wished. “What an incredible evening – such talent (from the guest poets and the open mic contributors). Some amazing poems and readings. Glad to say we will be doing this event again next year!” Sue Ablett, Festival Chair.

  • Tuesday 17th May 7pm

    'The Trouble with Trivia' with Rob Hemming

    A delightful evening’s entertainment at a relatively new Evesham venue Cornmill Yard. A delicious two-course supper was followed by speaker, Rob Hemming, who entertained us with an amusing account of the challenges he faced on entering and appearing in multiple television quiz shows – including ‘The Weakest Link’ and ‘Mastermind.’ ‘We had a great time last night. Wasn’t the food amazing! Rob’s talk was very interesting. He is always such a good speaker. Thanks for organising the event and for organising the Festival generally. These things always take so much work and you do a wonderful job.’’ Janet.

  • Wednesday 1st June via Zoom

    'History of Royal Jubilees' with Christopher Joll

    Jubilees are a very British phenomenon, ranging from the Golden Jubilee of King George III to the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.  In this talk, Christopher Joll covered the history of Jubilees and then focussed on the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.  This involved the largest parade of mounted troops ever seen in London, and had to address the problem of Queen Victoria’s immobility! This was a talk in collaboration with Mirthy ( An excellent, informative, really well presented and very enjoyable talk – with lots of positive comments from the audience.(Sue Ablett) 

  • Thursday 30th June 7.30pm

    Words and Music of Evesham

    What an evening of fabulous entertainment you missed!  Popular local singer/songwriter Colin Pitts, joined by local performer John Raphael, took us on a lyrical, powerful and often hilarious journey around Evesham. A brilliant opening event for our main Festival weekend at a perfect venue – The Studio Theatre, The Henrician. Absolutely brilliant – amazing musicianship from Colin. Amazing acting from John. From the start the audience was totally engaged, singling along to Colin’s choruses, and tears literally rolling down our faces with John’s performances. (Sue Ablett, Festival Chair)


  • Friday 1st July 10.30am

    Shaking the Family Tree' with Sue Ablett, Noelle Chambers and Galen Bartholomew

    In this fascinating talk, Sue Ablett, Noelle Chambers and Galen Bartholomew, all members of the Festival Steering Group and keen family history researchers, shared some of their individual discoveries.  We heard of rakes, rascals and riddles, family secrets that are better kept and ‘lost’ branches of family history, amongst many other things! This was an excellent presentation, full of useful signposts for research and examples of how intriguing nuggets are unearthed via unexpected ‘diversions’ along the way. It certainly whet my appetite for shaking my family tree! (Lynn Lucchese)

  • Friday 1st July 2pm

    It's Never Too Late with Jane Bettany and Helen Yendall

    Jane Bettany and Helen Yendall had been writing short stories for women’s magazines for over twenty years before success in writing competitions propelled them into exciting new careers as novelists. In this relaxed ‘interview’ style presentation, they shared their writing journeys, the inspiration for their books and a glimpse of what is to come next! This was so enjoyable, just like listening to two friends talking. Very inspiring. (Sally)                                       

    Thanks for inviting me to Evesham to be part of the Festival of Words – I loved every minute! It was wonderful to finally meet up with Helen and seeing Amanda was an added bonus. (Jane Bettany)

  • Friday 1st July 3.30pm

    'Close to Me' - In conversation with Amanda Reynolds

    Amanda Reynolds bestselling debut novel, Close to Me, was adapted for TV as a six-part series starring Connie Nielsen and Christopher Eccleston.  In a relaxed, honest and very open way, Amanda described her writing career, sharing the challenge of early days and the thrill of eventual success and international acclaim.  She told us how the TV production of Close to Me came about, how she enjoyed good collaboration with the scriptwriter and her view of the final production. A truly inspirational talk, warm, entertaining and full of supportive advice for any aspiring writer. Super. 

     I really enjoyed listening to Helen Yendall and Jane Bettany – writers on writers on writing. So informative and both books sound fabulous! (Amanda Reynolds)


  • Friday 1st July 7.30pm

    'Festival Quiz Night'

    Regular Festival quiz masters Helen Yendall and Chris Cherry returned with  questions on everything from poetry and song lyrics to book titles and the meaning of words. A fabulous evening of light hearted competition, good food and in the lovely setting of Raphael’s Restaurant! A must for 2023!
  • Saturday 2nd July 10.30am

    Workshop 'Writing Funny' with Fran Hill

    Writer and teacher Fran’s interactive workshop shared many of the secrets of successfully ‘writing funny’ – effective punchlines, amusing images, funny characters and much more. Her fun mini-tasks had us all laughing! I loved running my ‘Write Funny’ workshop for Evesham Festival of Words today. It was great to meet some lovely Twitter people for the first time! (Fran Hill)

  • Saturday 2nd July 11am

    Poems of the Sea

    We joined Linda Hart and Max Hunt from the Housman Society for a journey across the seas, beautifully spanning a thousand years of English poetry and beginning with an amusing poem from Housman himself. He told his brother that poems of the sea never refer to it’s most striking characteristic ie ‘It was wet!’ Such a lovely morning at the Evesham Festival of Words ‘Poems of the Sea’ event – I met great people who I’ll hopefully be collaborating with very soon. I felt like a celebrity and learnt that Lewis Carroll REALLY disliked the sea! (Rhianna Levi Worcestershire Poet Laureate)   

  • Saturday 2nd July 1.30pm

    Talk and Tour: Evesham Abbey Site

    Despite the rain, we gathered to hear the latest news on the restoration of the iconic Evesham Abbey site – the dreamchild of Barrie Baldelli, Chairman of the Abbey Trust. At the information centre we enjoyed a brief history of the Abbey and learned about the exciting work of community officer Natalie and her engagement with local schools. On site, it was wonderful to see  the massive transformation underway – the beautifully restored ‘soft topped’ walls and the open space of the Cloister and Nave. Thanks to Barrie and Natalie for bringing local history to life in such an engaging way.  The information centre itself is well worth a visit and the development of the Abbey very impressive. I’m really looking forward to visiting again when the project is completed. (John) Thank you to everyone who braved the rain for out talk and tour of the Abbey site. (Evesham Abbey Trust)

  • Saturday 2nd July 3pm

    An Afternoon with Housman: ‘Leaving, Greeting and Lasting in Last Poems: ' with Gregory Leadbetter

    Last Poems was published to much acclaim in 1922, with Gregory’s talk one of a number of events celebrating the centenary of Housman’s second volume of poetry.  Published poet and Professor of Poetry at Birmingham City University, Gregory is invited to give numerous public readings and lectures every year, both in this country and overseas.  It was a pleasure to hear him speak so eloquently and read a selection from Housman’s anthology – so expressive and engaging. This  was a joint Evesham Festival of Words and Housman Society event. This was a perfect venue for this occasion – poetic ambiance for a  poetry reading event. (Ann Albright)
  • Saturday 2nd July 7pm

    'Killing Gandhi, Dante's Divine Comedy and India at the Crossroads' with Vaseem Khan

    In his brilliant talk, presented in such a warm and engaging way,  bestselling and award winning crime writer Vaseem Khan took us on an exhilarating journey, from the last days of the Raj to the heart of modern India. We travelled to Bombay in the 1950s, the setting of Vaseem’s Malabar House novels, finally arriving in modern day Mumbai where his Baby Ganesh Agency series is set. Along the way we learned more of Indian independence, the life (and death) of Ghandi and the horrors of partition. A wonderful  evening in which the essence and colour of India truly came alive!

    A Fabulous event at Evesham Rowing Club with award-winning crime novelist Vaseem Khan. Such an interesting talk about India and his novels, which are all set there. We  thoroughly enjoyed it! (Helen Yendall)

  • Sunday 3rd July 10.30am

    Travel Writing with Simon Whaley

    We packed our bags for a trip of a lifetime as we explored the world of travel writing with author and photographer, Simon Whaley. With lots of travel publications available for reference, Simon helped us see what would be good to include in an article – and what to leave out! Another terrific workshop. Simon is really knowledgeable, with an impressive list of publications. Interesting and entertaining. Another superb event.(Terry Baldock)

    Thanks to everyone at my travel writing workshop this morning for  Evesham Festival of Words. A great bunch of people with lots of travel writing ideas! Hope to see them in print soon! (Simon Whaley)

  • Sunday 3rd July 2pm

    'The Mitfords, Their Times and Their Friends' with Diana Alexander.

    What an excellent talk from Diana on this truly extraordinary family – six Mitford sisters and their brother Tom.  Full of anecdotes and insight gained from becoming a close friend of Pamela Mitford, this was a fascinating account of their lives, their eccentricities (a pony in a 3rd class railway carriage and keeping a chicken on a piano just two of many) and countless famous associates (from Hitler to the Royal Family). A true story of  flamboyance and notoriety, extreme political beliefs and high society – the ‘Mitford Bandwagon’ continues to this very day. A marvellous and thoroughly entertaining insight into the lives of the Mitfords – jaw dropping at times and hilarious at others. Fabulous. (Lynn Lucchese)

  • Sunday 3rd July 6.30pm

    'Remarkable Women' with Derek Taylor

    A fabulous evening and very fitting tribute, dedicated to the memory of Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn, local author and founder of Evesham Festival of Words. The evening began with a fascinating talk from Derek on the late 17th Century traveller Celia Fiennes – a woman centuries ahead of her time! Following the reading of poetry dear to Lindsay, the choir, Vale Connection, rounded off a wonderful evening with beautiful acapella pieces. Tonight was fabulous – a wonderful tribute to Lindsay. (Sue Ablett, Chair, Evesham Festival of Words)


  • Friday 8th July 7.30pm

    'Once Upon A Song'

    A wonderful evening of great music, beautiful voices, and the stunning setting of Bengeworth Church, a real highlight of our extended main festival weekend.  EODS performed an enchanting array of magical songs in a family friendly concert, featuring much loved songs from the musicals that were inspired by fairy tales and literature.  Fabulous! Wonderful evening. The Church is a perfect venue.  Lovely to have a glass of wine.  Lovely friendly atmosphere.  (Mary Brotherton)

  • Wednesday 3rd August, 7.00 pm

    'My Year with Flying Scotsman' with David Parker

    Flying Scotsman will be 100 years old in 2023. The award winning television programme maker, David Parker, was lucky enough to spend 12 months filming the rebuilding of Flying Scotsman, and made two television programmes about what many regard as the world’s most famous steam engine.  But the year was anything but a bed of roses.  In this fascinating talk David showed clips from both programmes and revealed the ways he found to weave the story of Flying Scotsman’s one hundred year history with its year long rebuild, and how he overcame the many problems that bedevilled the rebuild and almost torpedoed the TV programme. “David Parker did us proud last night. It was a great event.” (Galen Bartholomew). “Such great images and stories, and David is a fabulous story teller.”(John Gibbons)


  • Friday 19th August, 12.30 pm

    'Herbert Austin and the Longbridge Story' with Julian Hunt

    We met once more in the delightful surroundings of Holland House for a Friendly Lunch, followed by e a fascinating talk, ‘Herbert Austin and the Longbridge Story’, with speaker Julian Hunt.

    Julian’s talk traced the rise of Herbert Austin from obscure beginnings in rural Buckinghamshire, through the pioneering days of the motor industry, to the development of Europe’s largest single-site car factory on the edge of Worcestershire.  He considered some of the social consequences of this expansion together with the contribution made by Longbridge to military production in two World Wars, concluding with some thoughts on the squandering of Lord Austin’s legacy in the post-war years. “Another great Festival event. Perfect venue. Fabulous lunch. And a brilliant talk.” (John Gibbons)


  • Sunday 11th September, 2.00 pm

    'Raising Agents' with Mikron Theatre Company

    We were delighted to welcome Mikron Theatre Company back to Evesham with their play, Raising Agents, celebrating 100 years of the Women’s Institute. In the face of falling membership, with stakes higher than a five tiered cake stand, a battle ensued for the very soul of Bunnington WI when a new member re-brands them the ‘Bunnington Bunnies’.  They’re hopping.  

    Beside the River Avon, in the lovely setting of Raphael’s Restaurant garden, we were treated to a fabulous high energy performance, full of fun and musicality. A most enjoyable afternoon and soooo WI! (Joyce Davey)


  • Wednesday 12th October 7.30pm

    'A Life in the Arts - Much Laughing and a Few Tears' with Chris Jaegar

    Chris Jaegar is a highly-experienced writer, musician, actor and director, with a lifetime of working in the Arts. With this incredible and impressive array of work experience, we knew that we would be assured of a truly memorable talk – and we were not disappointed! This was a rattling good journey through his time as a folk agent, saviour of Worcester’s Huntingdon Hall and Swan Theatre – and so much more! What a fabulous talk from Chris this evening. A colourful account of opportunity and huge challenge seized in service of the Arts. (Lynn)
  • Friday 4th November

    'Canal People' with Tony Conder

    250 years ago the canal age began.  Since then people have worked boats and carried cargo, managed and maintained the waterway.  Speaker Tony’s talk highlighted the variety of work on the canals, the role of women and marriage, and peered into all aspects of living on the working waterways. Tony is a firm festival favourite and we were delighted to welcome him back to this joint Evesham Festival of Words/Holland House Friendly Lunch event. “A great final event for EFoW 2022 – wonderful photographs and stories, and a great speaker. Holland House the ideal venue. Look forward to hearing from Tony again soon.” (Sue Ablett, Festival Chair)


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