Talks and Events

Essex Book Festival Events 2021

Fens, Forests & Fields: in conversation

Date /Time: Tuesday, 15 June, 2021, 7 -8pmFens, forests, trees book cover

Marking the publication of a new book on the hidden landscape of ‘the Land of the Fanns’ - a rich mixture of ancient fenlands, farmland, rivers and parkland on the borders of east London and Essex - writer and social historian Ken Worpole will be talking about the vital re-discovery of this landscape, and its importance in an age of increasing outdoor recreation. As one of the main contributors to Fens, Forests & Fields, Ken will be in conversation at the Essex Writers’ House about his long-standing interest in the lost landscapes of Essex, and sharing many of the photographs in the book taken by photographer Tamara Stoll.

Information & booking: The event is free but booking is essential
Venue: Online


Guided walk: No matter how many skies have fallen: back to the land in wartime Britain

Date /Time: Sunday, 1 August, 2021, 10.30 – 1pm

Join a walk from Wivenhoe Station to Frating Hall Farm with writer and social historian, Ken Worpole, to mark the publication of his new book, No matter how many skies may fall: back to the land in wartime Britain. At the centre of this story is Frating Hall Farm, where in 1943 a group of radical pacifists took possession of the 300-acre farm, creating a self-sufficient community of up to 50 adults and children and a sanctuary for refugees and prisoners-of-war, which lasted for twelve years. Over time the farm traded successfully, but was also the centre of local cultural life, with choirs and drama productions touring local farm workhalls and churches, and at harvest time it welcomed dozens of volunteers and supporters who still remember a place of great energy and idealism. Ken’s new book recreates the life of this bold experiment, widening out into an enquiry into the passionate ideals of the back-to-the-land movement in wartime and post-war England.

Information & booking: Limited numbers, so booking is essential
Venue: Assemble Wivenhoe Station, 10.30 am.

In association with the Essex Writers’ House

Fens, Forests & Fields: a bike ride through the Fanns

Date /Time: Thursday, 17 June, 2021, 10.30am – 1.30pm approx. lake

Join an easy, flat, 11-mile bike ride through ‘the Land of the Fanns’ led by writer Ken Worpole. This marks the publication of the book, Fens, Forests & Fields, celebrating the hidden landscape of ‘the Land of the Fanns’. Starting at Rainham Station, the ride heads towards Little Belhus Country Park with its beautiful lakes and bluebell woods, and then on to the River Ingrebourne Cycle Path, along which the group completes the second half of the journey back to Rainham. Ken WorpoleThere will be a short early brunch break, and then a coffee break. Copies of the book will be available on the day at the beginning, and at the end of the ride.

Information & booking:
Venue: Assemble outside Rainham Station, 10.30 am. Numbers limited, booking essential.

Book launch: No matter how many skies have fallen: back to the land in wartime Britain

No matter how many skies may fall book cover

Date /Time: Sunday, 1 August, 2021, 3pm – 4.30pm

Join Ken Worpole as he launches his new book in the remarkable Nottage Maritime Institute in Wivenhoe, Essex, organised by Wivenhoe Bookshop in partnership with the Essex Book Festival. Some of the original members of the Frating Hall Farm community will be joining Ken and willing to answer questions about this memorable experimental land settlement which continued from 1943 - 1954.

Information & booking:
Venue: The Nottage Institute, Wivenhoe, Essex