The Words Pavilion at the Firle Vintage Fair
Come along and make your own notebook, print your own broadside, jot your own letter, share your love of books and enjoy fascinating speakers discussing everything from the moon to perfume, from England’s hills to utopian worlds!
Events and opportunities for making are all free to Firle Vintage Fair patrons on the day, unless otherwise noted.
Books by speakers will be available to purchase, along with other current and vintage books, notebooks and one-of-a-kind packets to inspire makers of all kinds
Friday 9 August
11:30am – Peter Owen Jones – Everest England
Peter Owen Jones’ revolutionary new book offers inspiration for a personal `Everest challenge’ without leaving England's green and pleasant land. Join Peter to learn about his ascents that added up to the same height as Mount Everest, on a road trip covering hand-picked hill-climbs in different parts of England.
Peter Owen Jones is a maverick 21st century priest, ecological thinker and champion of ethics who, as a celebrated BBC TV presenter, has explored the world’s vast pantheon of religious and spiritual ideas and distilled essential wisdom for contemporary modern life and business.
1:30pm – Cole Morton – The Light Keeper
What is it like to live right on the edge? Cole Moreton explores this in his debut novel, a story of hope and grief, love, faith and longing set in the Belle Tout lighthouse near Beachy Head, close to a four hundred-foot drop. Extracts from this mesmerizing book are combined with the remarkable real-life stories that inspired it, from the only writer ever to have been on patrol with the Chaplains there.
Cole Moreton is an award-winning writer, storyteller and broadcaster whose work appears on Radio 4 and in The Mail on Sunday, The Guardian and elsewhere.
3:30pm – Jo Fairley – Perfume – The Ultimate Time Machine
Who needs a Tardis when a whiff of a fragrance can whisk us through time and space to other places, bringing back memories of lost lovers, much-loved grandmothers, a wedding...? Jo Fairley, Co-Founder of The Perfume Society, shares techniques for turbo-charging scent's power to trigger memories – and also shares the secrets of building a wardrobe of vintage perfumes.
Jo Fairley is bestselling co-author of The Perfume Bible, co-founder of Green and Black’s Chocolate and co-founder of the Perfume Society
Saturday 10 August
11:30am – David Bramwell – The No. 9 Bus to Utopia
What would Utopia look like? Join the author and radio star for a tour of Utopias from England’s heartland to the far shores of the USA, and learn how communities try to solve the thorny issue of achieving the dream, from experiments with anarchy to a working time machine in the mountains of France.
David is a radio presenter and producer, host of Brighton’s Catalyst Club, filmmaker, journalist, and bestselling author. Rumours of a medical degree are said to be false, but David will accept chocolate hobnobs as payment for performing minor surgeries.
1:30pm – Firle Collections – New Discoveries and Extraordinary Developments
2018 marked the tercentenary of the birth of Thomas Chippendale, when one of the cabinets from his workshop, now at Firle Place was requested for inclusion in the celebratory exhibition held in Leeds. Following more than a year of research and a re-examination of the Melbourne Cabinets from Firle, Deborah – curator of the collection – is well placed to unveil amazing discoveries that changes the annals of English furniture history.
Deborah will be discussing the news with David Bomford, who recently retired from a fifty-year international career as a museum curator and conservator, with senior roles in the National Gallery, London, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
3:30pm (with introductory dance event from 3pm): Jacqueline Wilson – Dancing the Charleston
One of the world’s favourite childrens’ authors, with more than 100 bestselling books to her name, takes to the stage to talk about her latest book. Jacky will be preceded by a professional troupe offering a display dancing the Charleston – irresistible!
Sunday 11 August
11:30am – Lunar Pleasures
Dr. Alexandra Loske takes a tour of art, culture and science of our nearest celestial neighbour. In the 50th anniversary year of humans setting foot on another world, Alexandra will discuss how the Moon has inspired and influenced us for thousands of years.
Curator of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, Alexandra is an art historian and writer with a particular interest in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century European art and architecture. Recent publications include Colour: A Visual History and Moon: Art, Science, Culture (co-written with astronomer Dr. Robert Massey). She is also the editor of Frogmore Press, and edited the new anthology of lunar poetry, Pale Fire.
1:30pm – Crime on the Mind
Panel discussion with bestselling authors Dorothy Koomson, William Shaw and Ali Carter, chaired by Patrick Easter. How do these writers manage their plots, their characters, and their crimes? What drives them – and what drives their books? Bring your questions and learn from the masters . . .
Dorothy Koomson is an award-winning, global bestselling author whose novels include the Sunday Times bestsellers The Friend, That Girl from Nowhere, The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before, The Chocolate Run and My Best Friend’s Girl. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages with sales that exceed 2 million copies in the UK alone.
Before becoming a crime writer, William Shaw was an award-winning music journalist and the author of several non-fiction books. The Birdwatcher, set in Kent and Northern Ireland, was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year, and was hailed as “a contender for thriller of the year” in The Sun. His books have also been nominated for a Barry Award, the Golden Bullet, and the CWA Historical Dagger.
Ali Carter’s eclectic career has included stints in investment management, retail, technology. But a serious accident led to a reappraisal, a challenging pilgrimage, and a career as an artist and pet portraitist. In 2016 she was commissioned to write a trilogy of murder mystery novels for Point Blank, the crime imprint of independent publisher Oneworld. The second of these, The Colours of Murder, featuring amateur sleuth Susie Mahl, is just out.
Patrick Easter is the best selling author of five novels including The Watermen, shortlisted for the annual CWA Historical Dagger Award and an option for the film rights by ITV. A former senior Scotland Yard officer, Easter uses his experience - including a year on the River Thames - to give a sense of realism to his stories set in the Port of London. On leaving the police he worked for a number of years as an international journalist covering advanced satellite communications and traffic control systems from around the world.
3:30 – Joanna Neary - Character Breakdown
Join the popular comedian for her hilarious take on books and authors!
Joanna is a multi-award winning comedian, best known for her character comedy as seen on BBC, ITV, Channel 4, E4 and heard on BBC Radio 4 (Inner Voices), BBC Radio 3 (The Verb, 2017 and 2018), BBC Radio 6 (Out To Lunch) as well as an actress in BBC's Ideal, Armando Iannucci's Time Trumpet, and That Mitchell And Webb Look. 'Truly a triumph of British humour *****Three Weeks'. 'One of the most naturally funny stand ups around' – The Stage.
Make & Do
The Words Pavilion offers a place to inspire, to share, to make, and to do – a readers’ realm and a writers’ paradise – stop in and be a part of the vintage reading fun!
Daily: Book Bunting Readers Installation
We’d love to know your response to the Firle Vintage Fair Readers’ Query! Have your say with the Words Pavilion Book Bunting installation – just drop by and take a moment to jot your answer, and we’ll put it up for all to see!
Daily: Picture This
It’s only a paper moon – but it’s a great Instagram backdrop
Daily: Write This Moment
Have you forgotten the pleasures of letter writing? Let Sara-Jane Williams, Lady of Letters, help you rediscover how to jot a note, share a thought, connect with a friend, and enjoy the simple act of putting pen to paper. We supply the hand-printed stationery, the pens, the place, and even the inspiration, with Sara-Jane standing by to help you craft a delightful note for friends and loved ones.
Saturday & Sunday 10 & 11 August: Letterpress Live
Graphic designer Clare Somerville-Perkins brings her press to Firle. Enjoy her demonstrations of the fascinating, old-fashioned art of letterpress printing – and have a go at creating your own broadside! Suitable for all ages; no reservation necessary. Drop in, enjoy the demonstration – and leave with a piece of art you’ve printed! (There may be a small charge to offset printing costs.)
Clare will have a range of her popular handprinted letterpress broadsides available to purchase.
Friday 9 August & Sunday 11 August – Bookarts with Cecile Garcia
Create your own hand stitched mini notebook or join our drop-in bookmark making table with local textile designer Cécile Garcia. Cécile’s workshops have gained her a loyal following throughout the region.
Cécile makes colourful pieces with a nod to mid-century design and will have for sale a range of her handmade, printed textiles including bags, brooches, prints and books.
(Please note, mini notebook workshop places are limited, booking will be available on the day. A small charge will offset expenses for participants.)
Cecile will offer a range of her handcrafted textile and books for sale.