the whole programme



the whole programme
In Scotland’s National Book Town
Organised by The Association of Wigtown Booksellers
Welcome to Wigtown’s annual Spring
Book Weekend and to a host of events to
suit all ages and interests. This year sees
the welcome return of speakers from the
University of Glasgow, Crichton Campus,
and a series of events with both familiar
and new faces. So, whether you would
like to be educated, informed or
entertained (or all three) we hope you’ll
find something stimulating in the
programme of literature, tastings,
exhibitions, walks and workshops, and
time to relax in the bookshops,
restaurants, and cafés which the town
has to offer.
The Association of Wigtown Booksellers
At the Sign of the Dragon
Bayview Bistro (01988 402391)
Beltie Books Café (01988 402730)
Bladnoch Inn (01988 402200)
Café Rendezvous (01988 402074)
CRAFT (01988 403236)
Galloway Inn (01988 402431)
Glaisnock Café (01988 402249)
Hillcrest House (01988 402018)
ReadingLasses Café (01988 403266)
A list of places to stay can be found at
Town-centre parking is free. There are
additional spaces in the Lorry Park on
South Main Street. Parking will also be
available at Wigtown Primary School on
Saturday and Sunday.
St Ninian’s, New Road
(01988 403446)
Beltie Books & Café
6 Bank Street
(01988 402730)
Byre Books
24 South Main St
(01988 402133)
The Bookshop
17 North Main St
(01988 402499)
Curly Tale Books
18 North Main St
(01988 402896)
GC Books
Unit 10, Bladnoch Bridge Estate
(01988 402688)
Glaisnock Café & Books
20 South Main St
(01988 402249)
The Book End Studio
23 North Main St
(01988 402403)
The Old Bank Bookshop
7 South Main St
(01988 402111)
The Open Book
2 High St
(01988 402010)
ReadingLasses & Café
17 South Main St
(01988 403266)
[email protected]
(01988 402190)
The Association of Wigtown Booksellers
Janet Walkinshaw
The Five-Year Queen
3pm | The Old Bank Bookshop | free
CHILDREN Renita Boyle
Honk Rattle Roll In
10am | Curly Tale Books | free
Local writer, Janet Walkinshaw, launches The FiveYear Queen, the second volume of her Scottish
Reformation trilogy. Mary of Guise is the reluctant
bride of James V, King of Scots, chosen to cement the
alliance between France and Scotland in the face of
Henry VIII’s aggression and the Protestantism
sweeping Europe. Expecting only exile to a primitive
society, she finds a cultured Renaissance king and
court, but knows herself to be always the outsider.
The Wigtown debut of the much anticipated picture
book Honk! Honk! Rattle! Rattle! by Renita Boyle and
Mike Abel. Original artwork will also be on display.
Dr Ralph Jessop
Remembering Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities
10am | RSPB Visitor Centre | £5
Join Ben and Kati in Wigtown’s newest eatery and
sample eight different craft beers and canapés.
Beer tasting £5. With canapés £10.
Memory plays an enormous role in Dickens’ Tale of Two
Cities. The importance of Dickens’ treatment of the
topic of memory has been noted by critics, but recent
research now shows an extraordinary sophistication in
the novel’s handling of memory, its loss, recovery, and
its crucial relation to the present and future. Excerpts
from several films reveal the novel’s strangely
continuing relevance to modern culture.
Aline Templeton
Marjory Fleming, Galloway and Me
7pm | The Old Bank Bookshop | £5
Janet Brennan-Inglis
Galloway Castles in Danger
11am | RSPB Visitor Centre | £5
Beer Tasting
6pm | CRAFT, 30 South Main St | £5/£10
Aline Templeton talks about
her life of crime and the
settings and characters in
her nine-book series about
‘Big Marge’ Fleming, the
Galloway DI who is also a
farmer’s wife, and how it all
started here in Wigtown
fifteen years ago.
Which Dahl Dunnit?
A Wigtown: The Festival (WTF) Event
8.30pm | Meet County Buildings | £1 | 10+
The Wigtown: The Festival (WTF) young people’s
team invites you to test your detective skills and Roald
Dahl character knowledge in this fun murder mystery
event. Follow the clues around town to deduce which
character committed the crime. Teams of up to 5
people, must include at least 1 adult (over 18). Torch,
warm clothes and sturdy footwear advised.
Folded Book Exhibition by Wendy
9am – 5pm daily | Glaisnock Café
Old books do not die in Wigtown. Browse Wendy’s
creations or commission your own.
Wigtown Spring Book Weekend
Dumfries and Galloway has
about 100 castles, from sites
that are a mere rickle o’
stanes, to the grand palace
that is Drumlanrig Castle.
Most are either consolidated
ruins, such as Threave Castle,
or occupied by private
owners. However, a number
of very significant buildings
are at real risk of further
deterioration or even collapse.
Janet discusses the sad state
of some of our local
architectural heritage and
asks, what can we do to
safeguard it?
Professor Ted Cowan
FRSE, Emeritus Professor of Scottish History &
Literature, University of Glasgow
The Dumfries & Galloway Enlightenment
12 noon | The Old Bank Bookshop | £5
During the Eighteenth Century, Edinburgh and Glasgow
became intellectual powerhouses of ideas sweeping
Europe – to become known as The Enlightenment. This
talk seeks to demonstrate that the movement was not
29 April – 1 May 2016
restricted to Scotland’s
cities, by exploring the
growth of new ideas about
society, history, the arts,
philosophy, natural history
and science in Dumfries
and Galloway - where
Robert Burns was by no
means alone in speculating
upon the possible
perfectibility of
Paul Tarling, RSPB Warden
Giving Nature a Home – Improving
wader habitat on Wigtown Bay
1pm | Glaisnock Café | £4
Follow the story of development at the RSPB Crook of
Baldoon Nature Reserve. Two lagoons; rewetted
grassland for breeding and wintering waders and
wildfowl; what’s next?
Dr Shaista Shirazi
The 10 Hottest Fields of Science
1pm | RSPB Visitor Centre | £5
Scientific research is a large and sprawling endeavour,
with thousands of laboratories around the world
studying their own ultra-specialised piece of a much
more significant whole. To advance our understanding
of the world around us, we must pursue increasingly
specific sub-disciplines, from retina neural
computation to space plasma physics. Based on
Thomson Reuters’ scene-scoping study on 100 Key
Scientific Research Fronts, Shaista’s talk is a must for
science enthusiasts eager to stay updated on cuttingedge research but lacking the time to read every issue
of Science or Nature cover-to-cover.
Lalage Bown
OBE, FRSE, Professor Emeritus, University of Glasgow
Was it Yesterday? By A.M. Bown
2pm | The Old Bank Bookshop | £5
“Yesterday” was the First
World War, and this
fictionalised account of the
author’s four years at the
front has humour,
poignancy and a sense of
real lives – and real deaths.
Lalage Bown introduces a
new edition of her father’s
book, which was first
published in 1928.
Julie Houston
Book and Art Workshop
2pm | The Book End Studio | £5
Come, have fun, and create something unique!
Sandy McKnight
Poetry and Stories
3pm | The Bookshop | £4
Local poet and storyteller Sandy reads from his
collections of poetry and promises to entertain you
with his stories, both fictional and true.
Dr Lizanne Henderson
A Country of Enchantments: Thomas
Watling’s Observations of Australia’s
Natural World
3pm | RSPB Visitor Centre |£5
In the years following the arrival of the First Fleet to
Australia in 1788, the first wave of European settlers
were immediately struck by the differences between
this Antipodean ‘New World’ and the ‘Old World’ of
western Europe. One such early observer of the native
wildlife, aboriginal population, and colonial settlement
at Sydney Cove was Dumfries artist Thomas Watling,
sentenced to transportation to Botany Bay for
forgery. Watling’s work will be set against late
eighteenth century intellectual and artistic contexts and
the ways in which these influences might have shaped
his opinions and observations of Australia and its fauna.
CHILDREN Frank English
Meet the Author
4pm | Curly Tale Books | 9+ | free
Author of fantasy adventure stories including Magic
Parcel and The Gathering Storm, Frank invites you to
join him on an exciting journey.
The Spring Kist & Tearoom
Saturday 30 April & Sunday 1 May
10am -4pm | County Buildings
With more than 25 artists, craft makers and
artisan food and drink producers, The Spring
Kist offers a warm welcome and a unique
shopping experience where you can meet the
artist, maker or producer as you browse.
Wigtown Guide in Scots
Borrow a pre-loaded MP3 player and
headphones from The Kist and enjoy the Scots
Tour, created by pupils at Wigtown Primary.
Book online at or telephone 01988 403222
Wigtown Spring Book Weekend
Dr Guillaume Tiberghien
Authenticity in Tourism Experiences
4pm | RSPB Visitor Centre | £5
Dr Guillaume Tiberghien highlights the importance of
the concept of Authenticity in tourism experiences.
Drawing upon examples of tourists' experiences in
various geographical contexts including Kazakhstan
and New Zealand, the discussion will delve into the
complex and often contested notion of authenticity in
tourism studies. Further considerations will look at
how authentic tourism experiences can be defined and
promoted in existing and prospective tourism
destinations in Dumfries and Galloway.
William Neal
Moods Indigo
5pm | The Old Bank Bookshop | £5
An introductory talk to ‘Moods Indigo’: music and
paintings based upon the Galloway landscape, by
former rock-album-cover artist William Neal. This new
project from the Galloway-based artist, with musical
arrangements by Alan Cameron, is primarily an
exhibition of the artist’s paintings with original work,
limited edition prints and CDs.
Murray Armstrong
Scotland’s Radical War
6pm | Beltie Books | free
Murray Armstrong talks about his latest research for
his next book on the Scottish Insurrection of
1820. Associate editor of the Guardian, Murray joined
the paper in 1987 as a subeditor in the features
department before becoming production editor of
Weekend Magazine, managing editor of features,
associate editor of G2 and assistant editor on the news
desk. He is also the author of the Liberty Tree.
CHILDREN Rolf Buwert
Haggis, A Brief History
10am | Curly Tale Books | Family | free
Do you know the history of the haggis? Join popular
storyteller Rolf Buwert as he reads from his delightful
new picture book, illustrated by Shalla Gray.
Sammi Wood
Given up for Dead
11am | The Old Bank Bookshop | free
When Sammi Wood’s mum put her healthy three year
old to bed one evening, she had no idea that within
twenty four hours her young daughter would be in
hospital fighting for her life. In this honest and moving
interview, Sammi talks to author Julia MacDonald about
the story of her long road to recovery following those
first dramatic hours, and the reality of living with the
profound disabilities caused by her illness.
Andrew Nicholson
The Excavation of the Galloway Hoard
12 noon | The Bookshop | £5
In September
2014 an
amateur metal
over 100 gold
and silver
objects dating
back to the
Viking period, the largest such hoard to be found in
over 150 years. Described by the BBC news as ‘one of
the most important hoards ever found in Scotland’,
county archaeologist Andrew will describe - with
illustrations - the significance of the discovery, and how
it came to be excavated.
Alison Barnes
Glimpses of Galloway
1pm | The Old Bank Bookshop | free
Beer Tasting
6pm | CRAFT, 30 South Main St | £5/£10
Join Ben and Kati in Wigtown’s newest eatery and
sample eight different craft beers and canapés.
Beer tasting £5. With canapés £10.
Wigtown Spring Book Weekend
Glimpses of Galloway is a celebration of 70 years’
enjoyment of the Stewartry and Shire in prose, verse
and parody, illustrated with colour photos, paintings
and drawings. It opens with childhood glimpses of
Victory Celebrations in Castle Douglas in 1945, and
goes on to reflect the delights of the unspoiled
countryside on and around Carrick shore; and ends
with themes stimulated by speakers at Wigtown’s
annual book festival.
29 April – 1 May 2016
Dr Stuart Hanscomb
Explaining the Appeal of the Horror
1pm | RSPB Visitor Centre | £5
Horror is among the most popular genres, and yet its
appeal is based on our enjoying emotional experiences
(fear and disgust) that we ordinarily seek to avoid.
Addressing this ‘paradox of horror’, Stuart attempts to
make sense of it and offer a new theory, touching on
the purpose of art, some fundamental existential
concerns, and why there is such a strong link between
horror and humour. Even if you don’t like horror
yourself, this will help you understand those that do.
Dr Fraser Hunter
Principal Curator, Iron Age & Roman Collections
National Museums of Scotland
Celts: Art and Identity
3pm | The Old Bank Bookshop | £5
2016 sees the first major exhibition on Celtic art in
Scotland for over 40 years, at the National Museum in
Edinburgh. But what is Celtic art, and what do we mean
by Celtic? Dr Fraser Hunter, one of the exhibition’s
curators, will explore what lies behind the label, looking
at what decorated objects can tell us about art, power
and European connections over more than 2000 years.
Come and hear the stories behind a range of treasures
from Balmaclellan to the Black Sea.
Sara Maitland
Fairy Stories in the Forest
2pm | Meet at The Bookshop | £5
Celebrate the rather pleasing fact that it is May Day by
bringing in the May with Sara as the author of A Book
of Silence takes you on a woodland walk on the fringes
of Wigtown. Enjoy the various harbingers of spring in
Galloway and local folklore in beautiful surroundings.
In the event of unsuitable weather Sara will give a talk
in The Bookshop.
Dr Benjamin Franks
Anti-State Activists and the Problem of
the Scottish Independence Referendum:
Implications for the Brexit Campaign
2pm | RSPB Visitor Centre | £5
The referendum on Scottish Independence stimulated
lively public debate about the shape and powers of the
Scottish nation. It even generated much discussion
amongst anti-state activists who usually reject
participation in elections. What was it about this
referendum that led many to abandon abstentionist
positions to take sides in the campaign? This talk,
drawing on research with activists, will attempt to
answer this question and consider the impacts for
future referendums such as the forthcoming vote on
UK withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit).
Julie Houston
Book and Art Workshop
2pm | The Book End Studio | £5
Come, have fun, and create something unique!
Cake Tasting
3-5pm | Glaisnock Café | £5/£3.50
Enjoy a selection of 3 homemade cakes themed around
popular books and authors, served with a hot drink.
Children’s cake tasting, themed around super heroes
and comic books. Adults £5 | Children £3.50.
© National Museums of Scotland
CHILDREN Jayne Baldwin & Shalla Gray
Big Bill and the Larking Lambs
4pm | Curly Tale Books | Family | free
The Curly Tale team will be launching their latest
'Beltie' book in which Big Bill the Bull and his Beltie
bairns meet some cheeky young sheep. Provisionally
called 'Big Bill and the Larking Lambs' the event will
feature a first reading along with fun and games.
Alison Lang
An Aisling (The Dream)
6pm | Beltie Books | free
Alison Lang writes in Gaelic and
English. She is the Gaelic editor
for Sandstone Press, and has also
written books for Clàr and Acair
Books. She has appeared at the
Edinburgh, Ullapool and Aye Wright
book festivals, and her books have
been shortlisted for Donald Meek
and Saltire Society awards. “Highly
commended” in the Donald Meek Awards, An Aisling
(The Dream) is an unruly saga of friendship, jealousy,
Gaelic identity, Scottish politics, a 25-year romance and
a whole lot of guilt and questions.
Book online at or telephone 01988 403222
Wigtown Spring Book Weekend
Book Launch:
Below the Graft
A collection of poetry by
Rosemary Baker – poet,
academic, antiquarian
bookseller and long-time
resident of Wigtown. This is
the first publication by the
Association of Wigtown
Booksellers, with support
from the Unit3 Poetry Group.
Monday 2 May | 6pm | Beltie Books | free
Cover image © Colin Tennant Photography 2015

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