Wimbledon Bookfest

Wimbledon Bookfest is a charity that promotes arts, culture and education. It is an amazing event that runs every year on Wimbledon Common that inspires thousands of people and allows all audiences to expand their knowledge, whatever the event. It offers amazing opportunities for students too through dedicated school events and volunteer work experience for some. On the 10th October, Year 12 from Ursuline High School went to the ‘Critical minds’ talk I was lucky enough to attend this event where people from Roehampton University spoke to us about their studies. As A-level students it was very interesting to hear about topics we may not study anymore or those we have not come across. There was a talk about Zoology- a subject I’d never really thought about as a student studying History, Politics and English. It was a very valuable and informative talk, an enriching experience for all present.

A student from Wimbledon College, Darragh Murray, attended the Bookfest and when asked about why he went, he said, “Having attended multiple events at the festival, both with my school and by myself, I am confident that the Bookfest has expanded my subject knowledge with regards to my A-Levels. The standard of speakers in the tent is high, there is a tangible feeling that they are indeed experts in their field. Having attended Alan Rusbridger’s, (former editor of the Guardian) interview with Shamira Afshar I have been able to listen to the discussion around the changing state of journalism in both the technological age and the era of “information chaos” as Rusbridger describes it. I intend to read Rusbridger’s recently published book entitled ‘Breaking News’. and reference this book as a form of further reading as I begin to write my personal statement for university.

The Bookfest is not just for sixth formers however, Tom Fletcher, an author for children’s books was there this year and met many primary school students as well as singing and reading to them. Additionally there was a talk from Theo Paphitis, who is a local retail magnet and entrepreneur. He also appeared on BBC’s Dragons Den, and owns ‘Rymans’, ‘Robert Dyes’ and ‘Boux Avenue’. His talk was about the future of the shopping high street, which entailed a view that online shopping is taking over, and the high street is not like it once was. The Bookfest has a wide range of speakers, catering for many interests and therefore attracts many groups of people to the event every year. If you haven’t made it this year, look out for it next year, its one annual local Wimbledon event that shouldn’t be missed!