Big names lined up for new Bridgnorth literary festival

By Mark Andrews | Bridgnorth | Bridgnorth entertainment | Published:

A top restaurant critic, a television art expert, a novelist and a magazine editor will be among the speakers at a country estate's first literary festival.

Food writer William Sitwell, Philip Mould of the BBC's Fake or Fortune? and Harry Mount, editor of The Oldie Magazine are among the names lined up for the Upton Cressett literary festival, near Bridgnorth next month.

Novelist Jane Thynne, author of the best-selling Clara Vine series, will also be making an appearance, while former Country Life editor Clive Aslet will talk to artist Adam Dant about his work at Upton Cressett Hall.

Mr Mount, who is about to launch a book on the Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson, will be in conversation with eurosceptic Tory MP and owner of the Upton Cressett estate Sir Bill Cash about what the future holds for the new Prime Minister and Brexit.

Adam Dant, artist in residence at Upton Cressett Hall

Miss Thynne will give a talk entitled Nazi Women and Female Spies, detailing her fiction about the role of women in Nazi Germany. She will also talk about Hitler's intention to set up a UK headquarters in Bridgnorth as part of his invasion plan.

The festival, on September 7, is being organised by Sir Bill's son William Cash, who will talk about his new memoir Restoration Heart. Mr Cash spent two years carrying out painstaking restoration work at Upton Cressett Hall, which landed him a prestigious heritage award.

His wife, society milliner Lady Laura Cash, would also be opening up her studio to visitors.

William Cash's new book Restoration Heart


Mr Cash said ticket sales for the event would be limited to 200 as he wanted to ensure an intimate atmosphere.

"It will build on the success of the annual literary talks we have held at Upton Cressett over the past nine years," he said.

"The event is designed to be the antidote to some of those big festivals like Cheltenham and the Hay Festival.

Restaurant critic William Sitwell at Upton Cressett


"We want to return to how literary festivals were before they got too commercial."

Mr Cash said food is included, and there would be medieval costumed entertainment and music around the grounds.

The event starts at 10.30am, and runs until the early evening. Tickets are £12.50 if bought in advance on the website or £20 on the day, subject to availability.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.


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