Home: with Jan Carson and Anthony Toner
Apr
28
8:00 PM20:00

Home: with Jan Carson and Anthony Toner

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

Jan Carson and Anthony Toner offer a personal, playful and insight-filled duet right on the crossroads where music and words meet. Expect readings and songs from the artists’ own catalogues, but with some favourite selections from other artists added for good measure.

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. She curated the inaugural Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas in 2018. She specialises in running arts projects and events with older people, especially those living with dementia. The Fire Starters, her second novel, was published by Doubleday in April 2019.

Since the release of the hugely popular single Sailortown ten years ago, Anthony Toner has released a string of popular albums and played countless live performances, where his storytelling and engaging patter have become as much a part of the show as his music.

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Evening with The Tangerine
Apr
28
5:30 PM17:30

Evening with The Tangerine

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

The Tangerine is a Belfast-based magazine of new writing. It covers culture and politics, and is published three times a year. The Tangerine includes features, reportage, commentary, fiction, poetry, illustration and photography. This showcase event includes a selection of readings from writers featured since the journal debuted in 2016.

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Sky You Are Too Big: Poetry Reading with Maria McManus, Viviana Fiorentino, Nandi Jola and Anesu Khanya Mtowa
Apr
28
5:30 PM17:30

Sky You Are Too Big: Poetry Reading with Maria McManus, Viviana Fiorentino, Nandi Jola and Anesu Khanya Mtowa

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

Poets Maria McManus, Viviana Fiorentino, Nandi Jola and Anesu Khanya Mtowa present a special poetry reading exploring translations, language, cultural diversity and difference, inclusion, and the themes of belonging, dispossession, feeling lost, migration and seeking asylum. This reading was first staged in December 2018 to raise awareness of Larne House Visitors Group, a local volunteer group who visit detainees in the ‘Larne House’, here in Northern Ireland.

We will be raising money for two charities: Phone Credit for Refugees and Larne House Visitors Group.

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'Happy Arrivals' with Housing4All
Apr
28
4:30 PM16:30

'Happy Arrivals' with Housing4All

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

Housing4All is a group of asylum seekers trying to ensure that the human right to housing is realised for destitute asylum seekers in Northern Ireland. In the autumn of 2018, Housing4All designed their own human rights monitoring surveys to capture the experiences of asylum seekers in Belfast, monitoring the denial of their socio-economic rights. This short rehearsed reading that members of Housing4All will perform focuses on some of these issues in more detail, highlighting the difficult realities of the lives of people seeking asylum, safety, and sanctuary in Belfast.

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Be Our Guest: New Writing on Hillsborough’s Past
Apr
28
4:00 PM16:00

Be Our Guest: New Writing on Hillsborough’s Past

Admission: £6 / £5 concession | BOOK HERE

This event launches a new collaborative publication produced by Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and The John Hewitt Society. Five prominent Northern Ireland based writers have been commissioned to respond to five historical figures from Hillsborough’s past and have created new pieces of writing to animate the lives of these former residents. The publication also includes additional contributions by participants from a range of community groups who took part in workshops with the writers. The launch will include readings from each of the writers and a selection of readings by community participants. The writers included are: Jan Carson, Emily DeDakis, Maeve O’Lynn, Ian Sansom and Myra Zepf.

This project is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Community Relations Council. We would like to thank the Institute for Conflict Research for their support for this project.

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Afternoon with The Lifeboat
Apr
28
4:00 PM16:00

Afternoon with The Lifeboat

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

The Lifeboat is a poetry reading series and small press based in Belfast, run by Stephen Connolly and Manuela Moser. In 2018 they released three pamphlets, Chords of Inquiry by Anna Loughran, Plot by Joe Lines and Genuine Human Values by Susannah Dickey.

Susannah Dickey's poetry has appeared in Ambit, The Scores, The White Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Tangerine, Hotel and the anthology Why Poetry? (Verve Poetry Press, 2018). Joe Lines recently received a PhD in English from Queen's University Belfast, and his research interests include eighteenth-century literature of crime. Anna Loughran's poetry has appeared in The Tangerine and the 'Hour by Hour' edition of the Poetry Jukebox. She is currently working towards an MA in Poetry at Queen's University Belfast.

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Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford
Apr
28
3:00 PM15:00

Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Judy Crawford is a fully trained Blue Badge guide who has conducted walking tours around the entire village for over 20 years, and comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge. This walk will last approximately one hour, leaving and returning to the Visitor Information Centre, taking in the Castle, churches and Fort.

Please note the tour may include steps and crossing busy roads. Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing suitable for all weathers!

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Migration: New to the Parish with Sorcha Pollak
Apr
28
3:00 PM15:00

Migration: New to the Parish with Sorcha Pollak

Admission £8 | BOOK HERE

New to the Parish: Stories of Love, War and Adventure from Ireland’s Immigrants chronicles fourteen personal stories of people who have come to Ireland for work, education, retirement, love and in some cases, out of necessity, forced from their homes by death and destruction, given context by succinct analysis of how world events over the past decade have played a role in the migration crisis.

Author Sorcha Pollak is an Irish journalist based in Dublin working for The Irish Times with a specific focus on migration and immigrant communities in Ireland.

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Workshop: Writing to the Image with Malachi O’Doherty
Apr
28
1:30 PM13:30

Workshop: Writing to the Image with Malachi O’Doherty

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

How do you write for an image or a series of images? Digital media now commonly combine images and text and it is important for writers and photographers to understand each other’s media, whether to provide captions or commentary for a series of pictures or to select pictures to illustrate or complement text. In this workshop, Malachi O'Doherty will take you through the editing of image sequences in slideshows and work with you on how to write for the pictures in such a way that text and image work together.

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Literary Lunchtime with Darach Ó Séaghdha
Apr
28
1:00 PM13:00

Literary Lunchtime with Darach Ó Séaghdha

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Darach Ó Séaghdha is an Irish writer, podcaster and Irish language activist. He is the author of Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a not so dead language, which won Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the 2017 Irish Book Awards. He runs the popular Irish-language-trivia Twitter account The Irish For.

'Motherfocloir' [focloir means 'dictionary' and is pronounced like a rather more vulgar English epithet] is a book based on the popular Twitter account @theirishfor. 'Motherfocloir' takes an irreverent, pun-friendly and contemporary approach to the Irish language. The author includes stories about his own relationship with Irish, and how it fits in with the most important events in his life. An event for all lovers of the quirks of language.

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Diversity: Lisburn Writers Club
Apr
28
1:00 PM13:00

Diversity: Lisburn Writers Club

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

A showcase of this group which meets locally to share their writing of short stories, poetry, drama, autobiographical and non-fiction work. They come from all backgrounds and places and have been meeting for several years. Some members have been published and have won national poetry awards. Come along and share our words.

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Myra Zepf -  Upcycling Irish Mythology: Rewriting Old Legends for New Times
Apr
28
11:00 AM11:00

Myra Zepf - Upcycling Irish Mythology: Rewriting Old Legends for New Times

Admission: £10/£8 concession | BOOK HERE

In this brunch-time lecture author Myra Zepf will explore the rich tradition of Irish mythology and its ever-changing narratives and forms, charting how they evolve and renew with each new era. She will share her recent experiences and the challenges faced as she worked on a new rewriting of the story of ‘Midhir and Etaoin’ for an upcoming book, balancing the preservation of inherited tradition with the pressing need to re-stitch the ancient tale for contemporary gender-balance.

Supported by Historic Royal Palaces

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Creaturely Poetry with Gail McConnell
Apr
28
10:30 AM10:30

Creaturely Poetry with Gail McConnell

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

Gail McConnell’s debut poetry pamphlet is Fourteen (Green Bottle Press, 2018). Her second pamphlet, Fothermather, explores the interaction between parenthood and queerness (Ink Sweat & Tears, forthcoming 2019). Gail is a lecturer in English at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of Northern Irish Poetry and Theology (Palgrave, 2014) and articles on modern Irish poetry. Gail is working on a book which features ‘Type Face’, a long poem published in Blackbox Manifold concerning the experience of reading a Historical Enquiries Team Report.

Participants are asked to please read the following short essay in advance of the workshop: ‘A Tremendous Fish’ by Mark Doty, available at http://poems.com/special_features/prose/essay_doty.php

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Wuthering Night: An Ode to Kate Bush with LARKS and Alana Henderson
Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

Wuthering Night: An Ode to Kate Bush with LARKS and Alana Henderson

Admission: £10 | SOLD OUT

Kate Bush’s music and lyrics embrace silliness alongside seriousness, channelling literary allusions as diverse as Emily Brontë, Hans Christian Andersen and James Joyce, to pop-culture icons like Elvis and Houdini. In this celebratory event, marking 40 years from the release of The Kick Inside, the debut album that introduced the remarkable ‘Wuthering Heights’ to the world, writers and musicians offer personal responses to the influences that pepper Bush’s music. A tribute to the extraordinary and revolutionary musical icon, by artists and fans alike.

Cellist and singer Alana Henderson weaves pop, folk and classical elements to craft a sound which is strikingly unique. A two-year stint moonlighting as Hozier’s touring cellist saw Alana travelling the world, with a homecoming bringing the release of a single ‘Let This Remain’ in 2017. 2019 sees Alana back with a new EP, her trademark cello bolstered with shimmering electronics and slide guitar.

LARKS is the new project from Fiona O’Kane. She draws influences from rhythmic Electronic based beats, infused with Indie & Alternative sensibilities, all the while keeping her sincere, heartfelt lyrics as strong as ever. In February 2019 LARKS released a cover of the Kate Bush classic Running Up That Hill in her second collaboration with Arvo Party.

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The River Mill Readings with Janice Galloway
Apr
27
6:00 PM18:00

The River Mill Readings with Janice Galloway

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Janice Galloway has authored award-winning novels, short stories and books of non-fiction, including Clara, All Made Up, and her ‘anti-memoir’ This is Not About Me. Her first novel, The Trick is to Keep Breathing is now widely regarded as a Scottish contemporary classic and was republished in 2018 as a Vintage Classic. Her collaborative work includes a range of texts for typographers, visual artists, sculptors, musicians and videographers. Her latest book, Jellyfish, is a collection of short stories inspired part by David Lodge’s statement that: “Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.”

She lives in Lanarkshire with her husband, best friend and other animals.

Supported by The River Mill

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Creating a Space with Esther Mogada, James Gitari and Macy Stewart
Apr
27
4:30 PM16:30

Creating a Space with Esther Mogada, James Gitari and Macy Stewart

Admission: £10 | BOOK HERE

Today’s world can seem like a hard place to make it as an artist. Hear first-hand how these creatives forged their own creative paths.

Creating a Space is a company run by Esther Mogada and James Gitari, based in Blick Studios, Belfast. Creating a Space works in film-making, photography, music production, video production and events management, showcasing creatives through interviews and film. They recently worked with Womenfolk for The Time is Now panel.

Macy Stewart is a fashion & portrait photographer based in Holywood. After leaving school she studied with Mastered: London, a 10-month accelerator course offering access to mentoring and personal insight from industry experts.

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Reading with Wendy Erskine and June Caldwell
Apr
27
4:30 PM16:30

Reading with Wendy Erskine and June Caldwell

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Compellingly dark, with depictions of longing loneliness laced with dry humour, coupled with caustic takes on the state of society, this is an afternoon of fearless fiction from two startlingly talented short story writers. Perfect if you like your fiction on the far side of surreal.

Room Little Darker, June Caldwell's acclaimed collection of short stories, was published by New Island Books in 2017 and Head of Zeus in 2018. Her debut novel Little Town Moone is forthcoming from John Murray in 2020.

Wendy Erskine’s debut collection of short stories, Sweet Home, was published by The Stinging Fly Press in September 2018 and will be published by Picador in 2019.

Chaired by Susan Tomaselli.

Susan Tomaselli is founder and editor of gorse journal. She is former co-editor of 3:AM Magazine and editor at 3:AM Press. She has written for The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Stinging Fly, Bookmunch, CultureNI, and contributed to Little Black Book of Books (Cassell 2007), The Beat Anthology (Blackheath Books 2010), and We’ll Never Have Paris (Repeater Books 2019), amongst others. She is currently working on a novel-in-essays, Traces, on memory, trauma, technology, and failure.

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Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford
Apr
27
3:00 PM15:00

Heritage Walking Tour with Judy Crawford

Admission: £8 | BOOK HERE

Judy Crawford is a fully trained Blue Badge guide who has conducted walking tours around the entire village for over 20 years, and comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge. This walk will last approximately one hour, leaving and returning to the Visitor Information Centre, taking in the Castle, churches and Fort.

Please note the tour may include steps and crossing busy roads. Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing suitable for all weathers!

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Publishing Panel with Tramp Press, Penguin Ireland & No Alibis Press
Apr
27
2:30 PM14:30

Publishing Panel with Tramp Press, Penguin Ireland & No Alibis Press

Admission: £10 | TICKETS AVAILABLE AT DOOR

Wonder what a ‘slush pile’ is? What do literary agents really do? This panel of publishing experts can tell you how a book makes its way into print, offer tips to get on the route to publication, and provide insights on how the book industry works.

Emma Warnock attended Queen's University Belfast where she completed a PhD in contemporary fiction in 2006. She worked as a freelance editor before joining No Alibis Press as commissioning editor in 2018.

Brendan Barrington is an editorial director at Penguin Ireland, and editor and publisher of The Dublin Review.

Tramp Press was founded by Lisa Coen and Sarah Davis-Goff in 2014 with the aim of publishing exceptional work exceptionally well. Tramp's recent successes include Mike McCormack's Solar Bones and Emilie Pine's No. 1 Bestseller Notes to Self.

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Literary Lunchtime with Will Eaves
Apr
27
1:00 PM13:00

Literary Lunchtime with Will Eaves

Admission: £8 | TICKETS AVAILABLE AT DOOR

Will Eaves’s novel Murmur takes as its starting point the conviction and chemical castration of brilliant Enigma Code-breaking mathematician Alan Turing. It’s an inventive imagining of the mind of a genius; a heart-breaking and thought-provoking dive into the human consciousness.

Will Eaves is the author of five novels and two collections of poetry. He was the Arts Editor of the Times Literary Supplement from 1995 to 2011 and now teaches at the University of Warwick. Murmur was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize in 2018.

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Whittrick Press: In Conversation with Sybil Allen & Anne Montgomery
Apr
27
12:30 PM12:30

Whittrick Press: In Conversation with Sybil Allen & Anne Montgomery

Admission: £8 | TICKETS AVAILABLE AT DOOR

Lifelong friends actress Sybil Allen and artist, illustrator and textile designer Anne Montgomery published their stunning children’s book, Mixed Veg with Whittrick Press in 2018. Like the best produce, Mixed Veg has taken its time to come into the world. Sybil and Anne will discuss how the initial manuscript and drawings that germinated in the 1970s flowered into a picture book 40 years later.

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Darjeeling Express with Asma Khan
Apr
27
12:00 PM12:00

Darjeeling Express with Asma Khan

Admission: £8 | TICKETS AVAILABLE AT DOOR

Meet proprietor of acclaimed London restaurant Darjeeling Express Asma Khan, who has been making headlines: she hired an all-female kitchen team; she’s the founder of a charity for second daughters in India, who can require further support than other family members, and she is the first chef from Britain to appear on hit Netflix documentary show Chef's Table. We’re delighted to have Asma with us to share stories and some delicious food with our audience!

A project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Supported and facilitated by the Institute for Conflict Research (ICR).

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Poetry Reading with Seán Hewitt and Paul Maddern
Apr
27
11:00 AM11:00

Poetry Reading with Seán Hewitt and Paul Maddern

Admission: £8 | TICKETS AVAILABLE AT DOOR

Despite the thorns of love and pain, the poems in Seán Hewitt’s debut pamphlet Lantern are unafraid to dive into the wilderness. Paul Maddern’s latest publication The Tipping Line, is part auto-biography, part exploration of artistic practice, and part historical record, moving between the beaches of Donegal and Bermuda, and through the cities of London, Leeds, and New York.

Seán Hewitt is a fiction reviewer for the Irish Times and a Leverhulme Research Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. Paul Maddern was born in Bermuda and lived in Canada, the USA, and England before moving to Co. Down in 2000. He is the proprietor of The River Mill writers retreat in Co Down.

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Writing for the stage workshop with Rosemary Jenkinson
Apr
27
10:30 AM10:30

Writing for the stage workshop with Rosemary Jenkinson

  • Barry Gallery, St Malachy’s Parish Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Admission: £10 | TICKETS AVAILABLE AT DOOR

Rosemary Jenkinson is an award-winning playwright and short story writer. She was Artist-in-Residence at the Lyric Theatre in 2017 and received a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Her plays include The Bonefire (winner of the 2006 Stewart Parker BBC Radio Award), Basra Boy, White Star of the North, Planet Belfast, Here Comes the Night, Michelle and Arlene, Lives in Translation and I Shall Wear Purple. She has published three collections of short stories, most recently Catholic Boy (Doire Press, 2018).

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Poetry and Plants with Jean Bleakney
Apr
27
10:30 AM10:30

Poetry and Plants with Jean Bleakney

Admission: £10/£8 concession (Ticket includes garden entry ticket) | SOLD OUT

Accompany Poet and Plantswoman, Jean Bleakney on a special morning walk through the beautiful gardens of Hillsborough Castle, pausing to admire and hear more about the plants and vistas whilst discovering how and why the garden remains a perennial inspiration for poets. 

Oh grant the muse with pausing step to press

Each sun-bright avenue, and green recess

 - ‘The Temple of Nature’, Erasmus Darwin

 Supported by Historic Royal Palaces

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Mixed Veg with Seedhead Arts & Myra Zepf
Apr
27
10:00 AM10:00

Mixed Veg with Seedhead Arts & Myra Zepf

Admission: Free | Drop In. No Booking Required

“The day Tom declared war on vegetables was a day he would never forget…”

Just like Tom, star of the beautifully illustrated book Mixed Veg, you too will encounter a crop of boisterous vegetable creatures as you explore the grounds of St Malachy’s Parish Church. There will be plenty of ‘thyme’ for craft activities from Seedhead Arts, writing your way through ‘The Story Patch’ with Myra Zepf and a short reading from Mixed Veg author Sybil Allen at 11am.

This drop-in event is suitable for children aged 3 – 10 years.

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Poetry Ireland Introductions
Apr
26
9:30 PM21:30

Poetry Ireland Introductions

Admission: Free | BOOK HERE

Relax with some poetry best served chilled over refreshments in The Hillside a charming, rustic pub which first opened its doors to patrons in 1752. Poetry Ireland Introductions is a programme which encourages excellence in the writing and performance of poetry in Ireland, by supporting emerging talented poets in the early stages of their careers. Three of the 2019 poets, who have been selected by Martina Evans, will read their work. 

The poets reading on the night are Emily S Cooper, Jim McElroy and Andrew Rahal

 Supported by Poetry Ireland

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Literary Lives with James Runcie
Apr
26
8:00 PM20:00

Literary Lives with James Runcie

Admission: £8 | TICKETS AVAILABLE AT DOOR

Meet James Runcie, the creator behind Sidney Chambers, Grantchester’s unconventional clergyman who can go where the police cannot. Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death was published in 2012, soon followed by five more in the treasured Grantchester Mysteries series. He has also written The Road to Grantchester, the captivating prequel to the Grantchester series. In 2014, ITV launched Grantchester, a prime-time series starring James Norton. The fourth series was broadcast earlier this year.

James Runcie is an award-winning film-maker, Commissioning Editor for Arts at BBC Radio 4, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of eleven novels which have been translated all over the world. He is formerly Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival and was Head of Literature at the Southbank Centre in London from 2013-2015. He lives in Edinburgh.

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The Ravenmaster: A Talk by Christopher Skaife
Apr
26
6:30 PM18:30

The Ravenmaster: A Talk by Christopher Skaife

Admission: £15 / £13 concession | BOOK HERE

For centuries the Tower of London has been home to a group of famous avian residents: the ravens. Each year they are seen by millions of visitors and have become as integral a part of the Tower as its ancient stones. Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife is the current Ravenmaster at the Tower of London and in his fascinating new book, he describes the ravens’ formidable intelligence, their idiosyncrasies, and their occasionally wicked sense of humour. Over the years in which he has cared for the physical and mental well-being of these remarkable birds, Christopher Skaife has come to know them like no one else. His book is an intimate behind-the-scenes account of life with the ravens of the Tower.

Supported by Historic Royal Palaces

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The Great Hillsborough Book Hunt
Apr
26
4:00 PM16:00

The Great Hillsborough Book Hunt

Admission: Free | No Booking Required

Everyone is welcome at the Great Hillsborough Book Hunt. You don't have to be an avid reader to enjoy this fun, interactive treasure hunt. We've hidden books all around the village. Follow the clues, solve the riddles and meet us back at The Owl and the Pussycat for answers and prizes at 6.30pm sharp. Suitable for all ages.

This event starts from The Owl & The Pussycat Cafe

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