VE Day 75: Events in Kent include appearance by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo at Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival's family day

Bestselling children's author Michael Morpurgo will be among the guests at a special literary event in Kent for families on VE Day.

The author of War Horse is coming to the county in May to launch a day of themed family activities at Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival.

Michael Morpurgo. Picture courtesy of Phil Crow.
Michael Morpurgo. Picture courtesy of Phil Crow.

The four-day event in Edenbridge takes place over the first May Bank holiday weekend, which has been moved this year to coincide with the anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

As it coincides with the 75th anniversary of VE Day - or Victory in Europe Day - on Friday, May 8 there is distinct wartime theme to this year's festival.

And among the special guests on Friday's Family Day will be the War Horse author, who will talk to children and their families about his many books set in both the First and Second World Wars and why he feels so strongly about depicting these events for children today. Scroll down for more details about getting tickets.

The acclaimed National Theatre production of War Horse is based on the much-loved book by Michael Morpurgo about a horse sold to the British Cavalry and his soldier owner's quest to find him
The acclaimed National Theatre production of War Horse is based on the much-loved book by Michael Morpurgo about a horse sold to the British Cavalry and his soldier owner's quest to find him

The wartime theme will then continue with children’s authors Anna Fargher and Lucy Strange talking about their novels The Umbrella Mouse and Our Castle by the Sea, which recreate life during the Second World War through the eyes of animals and children.

There will also be 1940s wartime songs, Lindy Hop dancing, a street party with tables and bunting to picnic at and the Last Post sounded at 3pm.

The 75th anniversary of VE Day will be marked on Friday, May 8
The 75th anniversary of VE Day will be marked on Friday, May 8

Alongside the wartime themed events for VE Day will be clay modelling sessions with Aardman Animations, a Tiger Who came to Tea Party with a real tiger visitor as well as stories, songs and theatre company performances.

Thursday, May 7 at the festival is a day reserved for schools but highlights for adult visitors on Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10 include appearances by ex-editor of Vogue Alexandra Shulman, bestselling writers Maggie O’Farrell and Joanna Trollope, Second World War historian Andrew Roberts and former editor of the Telegraph Charles Moore.

The online programme will go live on March 8 for pre-registered guests and Friends of the Festival. Tickets will be available online from March 15 via www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk/literary_festival

Ticket prices for individual events range are £14 for adults and £7 for children. To pre-register for priority booking opening on March 8 click here.

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