Story-telling, poetry, singing and inspiring words. On Saturday 19th October, The Burton at Bideford held a young people’s event at the Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories exhibition. Attended by Sir Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare, Michael enchanted audiences with readings from his books, singing and stories of the past. The Burton at Bideford is the last stop on the tour for the exclusive exhibition curated by Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, the event marked the end of the tour and celebrated the end of the exhibition which closes on October 28.

Attended by a small group of 30 local children from schools and education settings across Torridge, they enjoyed a reading from Michael’s new book ‘Boy Giant: Son of Gulliver’, “A stunning new story of hope, humanity and high-seas adventure for children and adults everywhere”. They also had the opportunity to ask questions which included Michael’s favourite book, character and what inspired him to become a writer. Michael talked of his and his wife Clare’s charity Farms For City Children, which was set up to relieve the poverty of rural experience of young children from inner-city and urban areas by providing them with a week’s holiday in which they work actively and purposefully on farms in the heart of the countryside. The event ended with a touching song sung (and written) by Michael inspired by his book and recent movie release ‘Waiting for Anya’, the story of a young shepherd who helps smuggle Jewish children across the border from German-occupied southern France into Spain during the Second World War.

Burton at Bideford Director, Ian Danby says:

‘It was fantastic to see so many enraptured children’s faces from schools across the district, many of whom had won places by writing or telling stories. Michael is a master of both telling and reading stories and talked openly about his love of teaching children and socks’.