Book event reviving lost tradition

Booksellers Jayne Baldwin and Shaun Bythell preparing for this weekend's Wig competition.
Booksellers Jayne Baldwin and Shaun Bythell preparing for this weekend's Wig competition.

Booksellers in Scotland’s National Booktown are making the final preparations for this year’s Spring Weekend.

Music, theatre, talks, workshops and food events make a packed programme for the annual festival organised by the Association of Wigtown Booksellers in partnership with the Wigtown Festival Company.

Running from 11am on Friday 28th April to a community Beltane barbecue on Monday 1st May there’s something for every interest and every age group.

Carl Davis, chair of the Association of Wigtown Booksellers said: “We’re hoping to build on the success of last year’s festival which attracted record audiences. We’re delighted to work in partnership with local organisations like the Swallow Theatre to present an excellent and exciting programme of events involving local people and speakers from further afield. This festival highlights the extraordinary depth of talent we have in the area from poets to historians, novelists to wildlife experts.”

Tickets are available from the Wigtown Festival Company at 11 North Main Street, Wigtown. 01988 403222 or

Booksellers in Wigtown will be reviving a lost tradition during their annual Spring Book event this weekend.

Visitors to the town will be able to take part in an activity believed to have been practised centuries ago called ‘Which Wig, Where Wig?’ Many of the town’s traders will be either wearing or displaying a wig in their bookshop or cafe as a tribute to the origins of the town’s name. Entrants will be challenged to find the wigs and make a note of their colour and where they are being displayed. A winner will be chosen from the correct entries at the end of the Spring Book Weekend and will receive a Wigtown goodie bag.

Chair of the Association of Wigtown Booksellers, Carl Davis, said: “We’re often asked how Wigtown got its name. When we heard of a reference to a lost tradition being discovered in some old documents recently we thought it was a great way to celebrate how Wigtown got its name and raise money for a good cause.”

Entry forms can be bought for £1 at participating bookshops and all proceeds will go to the Relay For Life Dumfries and Galloway Cancer Research UK.

What have a brownie, a fairy, a toddler and a wee dug got in common? Their stories will all be told at Curly Tale Books this weekend.

As part of the Wigtown Spring Book Weekend (April 28th to May 1st) the children’s bookshop will be holding four events previewing forthcoming books by a variety of authors. On Saturday morning Amanda Sunderland will be talking about her next book featuring her adorable character Wee McAsh, based on her own miniature dachshund. In the afternoon Perth based author Pauline Tait will read from her first book ‘Fairy in the Kettle’ and will reveal the fairy’s new adventure.

On Sunday morning storyteller Sandy McKnight will introduce Wheedleneeps the brownie, who isn’t a small girl or a chocolate cake. Sandy has been inspired by the traditional story of Aiken Drum to create a dark tale of a mythical creature normally known for being helpful and good. In the afternoon Shalla Gray will be previewing her lovely new picture book aimed at the under fives called Jasmine’s Jumpers. Children are invited to wear their favourite jumpers. All the events are either at 11am or 2pm.

On Monday May 1st Kirkcudbright artist Ruthie Redden will be leading a journal making workshop at 10am and 1pm. This popular event is by ticket only. Tickets for all events are available from Wigtown Festival Company on 01988 403222.