Thursday 15 October 2015

Loogabarooga Festival!

It has never been my intention through this blog to favour anything in particular other than events that promote the exciting town in which we live! So, my initial posts focussed on impressing upon you why Loughborough was not a "rubbish" town, and this was followed by descriptions and photographs of the town's successful In Bloom entries.

Today I'd like to remind you about the forthcoming Loogabarooga Festival, a festival which is a celebration of illustrated children's literature. And the reason it's being held in Loughborough, is, of course, because of our association with Ladybird Books. The history of Ladybird Books can be found on the internet, in books, in newspapers and in articles, but briefly, Wills and Hepworth (as they were at the time of printing of the first Ladybird Books) were originally based, I believe, in Market Street and produced trade and street directories. The first books in the Ladybird series were in 1914, when the company were based in Angel Yard. The trademark ladybird was registered in 1915, but more books in the series were not published until during the Second World War when other publishing work dried up. In about 1971 the company moved to the Beeches Road, and in 1972 the company became part of the Pearson Group. In the 1990s Ladybird became part of the Penguin Group and production at Loughborough stopped, although the books are still published today.

The factory on Beeches Road, once home to Ladybird Books, is now home to a wallpaper and fabrics company.

The Loogabarooga Festival has been timed to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the creation of the first books in the Ladybird series, and features a whole host of events spread over the latter half of Leicestershire Schools' half-term, and the beginning of half-term for schools in most of the rest of the country. Festival leaflets and brochures are available in many shops and tourist places, and include details of the whole festival.

The range of events is wide and includes talks, book signings, many creative opportunities (like painting, pottery), and theatre performances. There are also a number of events taking place with a focus on schools, so a ladybird march, an author talk and a local illustrator will hold a workshop.

Local businesses are also offering a range of special deals, and there's a treasure trail and the chance to win your height in books!!

As if all this weren't enough, there's also a wide range of satellite events, including a fantastic Ladybird exhibition in Charnwood Museum, which runs until 1st November, and a local illustrator is exhibiting in the Queen's Park café.

And have you seen those lovely benches?? Designed in the shape of books, with colourful paintings covering them, benches have sprung up in town! The two I spotted were in Queen's Park, where I think they make taking a rest an exciting experience!

Posters, bunting and adverts are also popping up all over the town! There may have been an air ambulance landing on the bowling green in Queen's Park earlier in the week, but now this is the host of several festival advertisements!

The festival runs from Thursday 22nd October through to Monday 26th October. I think the aim is to make this the first of an annual event, but do pop along to at least one event this year if you can!!



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