It’s been a fantastic week of events here in Bridport for the annual literary festival – the best in its 17 year history.

Director Tanya Bruce-Lockhart was determined to make up for the disappointment of 2020 when we could only host one day of ‘live’ events due to covid constraints.

And audiences agree that the line-up of speakers and quality of talks was absolutely amazing.

The broad range of events opened with Jonathan Sumption in conversation with Howard Davies about his sometimes controversial views and ended with the inspirational James Rebanks talking about his hopes for future farming.

It was great to see so many farmers among the audience.

As a farmer’s daughter who grew up in the 1960s and 70s on a county council smallholding in Somerset, I could relate to so much of what Rebanks said in conversation with Elizabeth Wainwright. He is such a force for good as a champion of the countryside and the stewards of the land – the farmers.

There were almost full houses in all BridLit’s venues, which is heartening to see when so many events have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Other talks included Peter Hain and growing up in South Africa, Marina Wheeler’s mother’s life growing up and through India’s Partition and Tim Marshall identifying why politics are linked to geography.

Said Tanya: ‘It was great to see almost full houses in all of our venues and the town felt a buzz of energy – this is  Bridport’s Literary Festival and we are delighted that so many visitors as well as locals come to sample our wonderful town and all it has to offer.’

She thanked all those who helped to make the event such a success, including Antonia Squire from The Book Shop, Bridport, who managed book sales at signings so well.

So all those involved in this year’s Bridport Literary Festival, take a bow. You deserve to put your feet up!