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Boswell Book Festival

Neither gale force winds or rain battering the marquee could dampen the enthusiasm of the audience at the first Boswell Book Festival held at Auchinleck House on 21st -22nd May.
We spent a glorious nine hours there listening to wonderful speakers. First up was Diana Athill, who began writing her memoirs of her life at the publisher Andre Deutsch after she retired aged 75. Now in her nineties, she regaled the audience with glimpses into the lives of authors she knew well, along with her views on many disparate subjects.
The actor Bill Paterson, a familiar voice from radio and TV voice-overs, spoke about how he came to write his stories about his childhood in Dennistoun and read tempting snippets to the audience.
Andrew Urquhart, also in his nineties, held the audience captivated as he related his experiences as a Japanese POW. He worked on the infamous railway before being put into a prison ship which was sunk by US forces. Alistair was rescued and retaken prisoner by the Japanese and sent to a prison camp near Nagasaki where he was when the atomic bomb fell.
The former BBC correspondent, Kate Adie was last on our programme and talked about her experiences in Belfast during the troubles and in the war in the Balkans.
The day was punctuated by trips to the Festival cafe run by the Failford Inn – the food was delicious – and even the portable toilets deserve a mention for simply being nothing like bog (!) standard portaloos.
Ann Burnett

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