AvantiGas sponsors Radio 4’s Jenni Murray at the Bewdley Festival

Iconic broadcaster and journalist Jenni Murray presents her History of Britain in 21 Women at the 30th Bewdley Festival on Monday (October 9) with AvantiGas jointly sponsoring the sell-out event.

Iconic broadcaster and journalist Jenni Murray presents her History of Britain in 21 Women at the 30th Bewdley Festival on Monday (October 9) with AvantiGas jointly sponsoring the sell-out event.

We will be there on the day too to report on the events from the picturesque, Georgian conservation town in North Worcestershire that has big ambitions for presenting live shows featuring household names and top celebrities.

Jenni’s talk, based on her book of the same name, features brief biographies of pioneering, influential women ranging from Mary Quant to Mrs Thatcher, Boadicea to writer Fanny Burney as well as featuring female scientists, artists, physicians, mathematicians and women’s rights campaigners.

AvantiGas Brand and Marketing Executive Abi Martin said: “We’re delighted to support the Bewdley Festival and Jenni Murray’s talk. We have many customers in the area and apart from helping to provide them with local entertainment we know that the festival provides a boost to lots of local businesses including pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs.

“Sponsoring Jenni’s performance seemed the perfect way to demonstrate our commitment to the area. Her theme resonates with AvantiGas too as we value, support and encourage women in executive roles in an industry that has traditionally been very male-dominated.”

The festival opens today (Friday) with a show of music and poetry featuring Roger McGough of Radio 4’s Poetry Please and Sixties comedy group The Scaffold (Lily the Pink). Over the 10 days of the festival other famous names appearing include comedian Sara Pascoe, Graham Gouldman of hit-makers 10cc, The Tom Robinson Band, TV historian Dan Cruickshank and pop producer and railway enthusiast Pete Waterman.

Monday’s programme also includes a talk by actor Timothy Watson, alias Rob Titchener, the wife-abusing baddie who kept millions of Archers fans on the edge of their seats throughout his time in the series.

Bewdley festival’s Sponsorship Co-ordinator Trevor Price said: “The festival is entirely self-funded, which is an amazing achievement, and we’re delighted that a company like AvantiGas has become involved with us. It’s exactly the type of business that we want to get involved with.”

“It’s a very small, intimate festival and it started really because of the tourist trade, to extend the season. It’s never had a penny in Lottery grants or Arts Council grants.”

The festival is run entirely by volunteers. Says Trevor: “It’s very eclectic. There’s always music, talks, lectures… We do things through the year as well so we’re turning it into a 12-month brand, and alongside it we have Bewdley Book Week in September, when we bring in authors from around and about, and we have Music in the Hall as part of the whole arts thing that goes on here.

“We have a fabulous committee full of people who want to give lots back to Bewdley. This little town – population about 9,500 – puts on over 100 events every year. It’s unbelievable.”

Celebrities who have appeared at the festival over the years include Jo Brand, Arthur Smith, Tony Benn, Michael Portillo and Stephen Fry, who appeared in the inaugural festival 30 years ago, as did  Roger McGough, whose return appearance provides this year’s opening event.

 

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