Packedprogramme for Wigtown festival
The history, culture and environment of Galloway will be celebrated in discussions, poetry, literature, music and ice cream at this year’s Wigtown Book Festival.
The event, which takes place from September 22 to October 1, is packed with revelations about one of the country’s largest but least-known regions.
Ted Cowan, Glasgow University’s emeritus professor of Scottish history and literature, will speak at a special event called “Galloway in the World”, which reveals how this area of south-west Scotland has exerted a global influence.
Prof Cowan, below, will also be speaking at a separate but closely linked event called “Treasured: The World of the Galloway Viking Hoard” where he is joined by council archaeologist Andrew Nicholson to discuss one of the greatest finds ever made in the country.
The hoard, discovered by a metal detectorist after being buried in Galloway’s soil for 1,000 years, contains an astonishing array of Viking Age treasures from across Europe to Byzantium and has been awarded to the National Museum of Scotland despite a campaign to give it a permanent home in the region.
History will combine with mystery at the festival at “On the Trail of Merlin in a Dark Age” when Robin Crichton explores whether the pagan wizard Merlin of Arthurian legend was real and spent time in Dumfries and Galloway, and if he dueled with St Mungo.
And there’s a chance to get out there and experience the otherworldly for yourself with a Mostly Ghostly nighttime tour of Sorbie Tower. The 16th-century tower house is steeped in tales of strange lights and the spirit of a lady in grey.
One of Wigtownshire’s most famous sons, Paul Laverty, who wrote the screenplay for the Ken Loach movies Carla’s Song, My Name Is Joe, Sweet Sixteen and I, Daniel Blake is among this year’s special guests. The former human rights lawyer will be at the festival to introduce a special screening of I, Daniel Blake and to deliver a talk on art, activism and roots.
There’s the chance to hear about a book in the very place that inspired it when Shaun Bythell, owner of The Bookshop, launches “Diary of a Bookseller” (complete with anecdotes about eccentric customers and truculent staff) amongst the establishment’s mile of shelving and stock of 100,000 volumes.
Poetry takes precedence when BBC Scotland’s poet in residence Stuart A Paterson celebrates “Looking South”, his first full-length collection for 20 years, which takes inspiration from the people and language of south west Scotland.
One of the region’s, and Scotland’s, most renowned landscape photographers Allan Wright will present an illustrated talk entitled “Galloway” in which he offers stunning fresh perspectives of its towns, habitats and heritage.
The festival is also delighted to be able to offer entertainment and chat from the Bookshop Band, including Talking Breakfast chat shows where they will play music and talk to special guests while the audience enjoy coffee and pastries.
Just to prove there’s something for every possible taste, the festival is also offering visits to the farm run by Cream O’ Galloway where visitors can find out about its innovative approach to dairy farming and animal welfare.
For festival details visit www. wigtownbookfestival.com.
of The Arches anthems will be brought back to life at Colours Classical, a unique evening combining dance floor anthems with the 60-piece Scottish Festival Orchestra.
We have FOUR PAIRS of tickets to giveaway for this must see celebration of club classics from 1995-2015 taking place on Friday, September 29 at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow.
Special guest DJs Danny Rampling, Seb Fontaine, Tall Paul and The Arches legend Judge Jules will perform with the Scottish Festival Orchestra and The Tron Community Choir to put a new spin on some of the biggest and best dance tracks.
The legacy of one of the world’s most iconic venues will live on at The SSE Hydro with a soundtrack that defined an era that time will never forget. HOW TO ENTER Correctly answer this question for your chance to win:
Musicians Members of the Galloway Violin Studio