The 2012 Festival programme is here!


A programme with full details of this year’s festival is now available from David’s Bookshop, The Letchworth Tourist Information Centre, or by downloading here 2012 festival programme.

Please be aware: There is a change to our published programme. 

Unfortunately Gavin Knight cannot attend the Orwell Prize debate, however we have a worthy replacement in Gwenton Sloley.

This Year’s Events…

*Thursday 20th September 7.30Orwell Prize evening at The Ballroom Spirella Building Letchworth.

The four speakers will be …

* Chair – Katriona Lewis, Operations Manager, The Orwell Prize.

* Stephen Armstrong,  the author of Road to Wigan Pier Revisited. He writes for the Guardian, the Sunday Times, GQ, Elle, Wallpaper and the New Statesman, as well as showing up on Radio 4 whenever they let him.

* Dr Michael Sayeau  is on the Board of trustees for the Orwell Archive at UCL. He is a lecturer of English whose own work includes an examination of the everyday in modern literature.

* Gwenton Sloley was a character in Gavin Knight’s novel Hood Rat which was shortlisted for The Orwell Prize. He’s a former gang member from Hackney who left prison, turned his life around and now helps children in poverty to stay out of gang crime. He is also the author of From the Streets to Scotland Yard.

Please note: Gwenton replaces Gavin Knight who is unable to attend the debate.

Jacqueline Crooks is the director of Befriend a family who work with children living in poverty within Westminster. She is also a published writer.

The title of the debate is ‘Poverty then and now: Orwell and his successors.’

Before the debate starts we will be auctioning a 1937 edition of Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier.

Tickets at  £5 are still  available from David’s Bookshop , on the door, or from


*Saturday 22nd September 7.30. David’s Bookshop, Letchworth.  

Jack Common and George Orwell in Wallington. A talk by Keith Armstrong, author of  Common Words and the Wandering Star; the biography of Jack Common, a friend of George Orwell who helped run the village stores in Wallington during his visits to London. Jack Common’s son, Peter, who lived at the cottage during Orwell’s absence, will also be at the event. Tickets will be available from from David’s Bookshop, early booking is advised.


*Saturday 22nd September 1pm.

La Concha Wine Bar, Station Place, Letchworth.

A Homage To Barcelona – a Celebration lunch recalling Orwell’s time in the Catalan capital.

*Giant Paella  * Tapas dishes  * Spanish music

Price £12, please book in advance at the bar.



*Sunday 23rd September 2.30 Orwell Guided Walk around Wallington. Included in this tour is the cottage where Orwell lived, the church where he married and ‘Manor Farm’,  the inspiration for Animal Farm. The walk will last about an hour followed by teas in the village hall. Please note; the cottage is not available to visit, as it remains in private ownership but can be viewed from the road. However the Great Barn will be open to those on the tour, thanks to the generosity of the farm’s owners.

Please be advised that building work has started on the church roof, we will have access but strictly under the supervision of the guide, Dan Pinnock. We are also pleased to announce that a crew from the BBC TV programme ‘Flog It’ will be in attendence during the walk.

The tour, led by local historian Dan Pinnock, is free and there is no need to book in advance. Meet at Wallington Village Hall at 2.30.

There is plenty of free car parking in the village, either opposite the village hall or on the grass verge by the road.

For further details and how to find Wallington click here.






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