Free children's event on Easter Saturday will launch A Town Explores A Book Festival

​St Leonards-on-Sea's A Town Explores A Book festival opens on Saturday March 30 and runs through the school spring holiday with fun, free family activities and exhibitions.
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​It features a discovery trail that extends from the sea up to the Four Courts neighbourhood.

The book choice this year is The Railway Children, E. Nesbit’s book published in 1905.

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The festival opens on Saturday 30th March with a street party in Kings Road, from 11am, offering free fête-style activities in a road decorated with red petticoat flags referencing the famous moment in the book when the children stop a train from crashing into a landslide.

A Town Loves a Book FestivalA Town Loves a Book Festival
A Town Loves a Book Festival

Visitors can collect a ticket for a scurry around shops where answering easy quiz questions about the book earns a clip to their ticket. Collect all the ‘clips’ for a fun surprise. Children will be able to fashion their own cardboard carriages with artists Sheffa Katz and Aria Stainton and process up and down the road led by a magical engine created by sound artist, Sam Brown. The street party also includes free family print making and ceramics workshops and a dog show with registration for three classes at 11am and 1pm.

Artist Arran will be inviting adults to wheel a barrow up the road with a chosen number of weighted bags to find out what work was like for rail labourers, ‘navvies’, who build the railway. This activity relates to the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Chalk Cliff Trust funded Platform Panel Project at St Leonards Warrior Square Station which highlights St Leonards’ fascinating railway history.

At the opening of this project at 12.30pm, festival young ambassadors Aishah, Rupert and Ghost, young people who live in the town, will cut the ribbon. The festival ambassadors represent the central characters in E. Nesbit’s famous book, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis. They demonstrate the key aim of the festival: to explore how a heritage book relates to life today.

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Collect the festival trail map to enjoy outdoor art including 3,000 school children’s drawings on the Asda station path and free indoor activities at festival hubs Archer Lodge on Charles Road and The Four Courts Wellbeing Hub open week days during the festival period, 11am - 4pm.

Exhibitions at the venues have been created by Cabaret Mechanical Theatre working with 200 children, Hastings and Bexhill Mencap’s Active Arts, the Four Courts Community and Stitch tlc.

A Town Explores A Book festival is delivered by Explore The Arch theatre company working with the ATEABFUnds team, supported by Sussex Community Foundation and Making It Happen - East Sussex through Hastings Voluntary Action

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