Ilkley Festival

Ilkley is one of the longest running book festivals in the country. The location of this spa town nestled in the Yorkshire Dales, is a major attraction.
 
It also has a personal Post Office link for me. John Cunliffe, the creator of Postman Pat, lived here for many years and Tom Jackson, the lavishly moustached former General Secretary of the Union of Post Office Workers retired here to be a hugely successful antiquarian book seller.
 
My first engagement is at an Oldie Lunch at the Craiglands Hotel. These are jolly occasions that are usually held at Simpsons in the Strand but have recently branched out to adorn book festivals across the country.
 
After a splendid lunch three authors get ten minutes each to talk about their latest tome.
My old friend and ally across the Humber, Austin Mitchell is here to talk about his political memoir and Tessa Boase enthrals us with the story behind ‘Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather’, her latest delve into feminist history.
 
I dreamt of starring in the New Musical Express but have to make do with The Oldie.
My slot at the Kings Hall is at 8pm and my interviewer is Simon Ashberry, who plays bass guitar in his spare time and proves to be a deft and knowledgable host.
 
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