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Stratford Literary Festival 2018

Stratford Literary Festival Spring Festival 2018

Sheldon Bosley Knight were again thrilled to sponsor this hugely successful series of Literary Events featuring a wide variety of personalities and genres of writing.

Audiences were enthralled by a wonderful line-up of famous faces including Sir Michael Parkinson, Jodi Picoult & John Simpson.

Stratford Literary Festival is a registered charity and works with schools, undertakes projects in the community and also takes workshops into prisons to help residents write bedtime stories to their children.

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Stratford Literary Festival Autumn 2017

Yotam Ottolenghi Book Sweet
Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh with SBK staff
L-R: Sarah Graham, Sue James, Laura Gaydon of SBK with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

SBK were delighted to be asked once again to sponsor the 2017 Stratford Literary Festival Autumn programme and as always, the choice of speakers did not disappoint.

The programme began in September with the delightful duo Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, talking all things “Sweet”.

The audience were captivated by Yotam’s tales of the early days in his career and learned that his speciality at the time was whisking egg whites – something he clearly maintains to this day.

The pair ended their session by creating a superb fruit and meringue roulade that was auctioned off afterwards and raised £100 for the Literary Outreach Programme.

Jon Sopel at Stratford Literary FestivalThe BBC’s North America Editor Jon Sopel flew in from the US to appear on stage during October and regaled the audience with some highly amusing anecdotes of Trump’s America.

He provided some incredibly candid insights into American politics and his own up-close experiences of Trump’s America, from gun shops to riots and the gaudy splendour of Donald Trump’s billion dollar empire.

Shami Chakrabarti, currently the UK’s leading voice in human rights gave an impassioned talk on global gender inequality, arguing it as the greatest human rights abuse blighting our planet.

Fergal Keane, BBC Kenya Editor provided the Festival with a literary first when he joined live from Kenya via video link. No stranger to war, he grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and has reported on some of the most disturbing war zones during his career as a BBC journalist.

Suzanne James Rick Stein Laura Gaydon SBK
Suzanne James and Laura Gaydon of SBK with Rick Stein

Ending on another food note, Rick Stein took the audience on a culinary journey of California and Mexico, extolling the virtues of chillis and tortillas.

Despite his immense popularity and skills as a chef, restaurateur, author and TV presenter, he still feels he’s not a ‘proper chef’ and will one day be found out.  We very much doubt that.

Another successful festival over, we now look forward with anticipation to the Spring 2018 programme.

For more photos please visit our SBK Facebook Page.



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SBK Sponsors The Stratford Literary Festival

Stratford literary festival autumn programme 2017

Stratford literary festival autumn programme 2017 The 2017 Stratford-upon-Avon Autumn Literary Festival is almost here and SBK are proud to once again sponsor the programme.

Our events this season feature a great line-up of personalities, starting this Friday 22nd September with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, followed by Jon Sopel, Shami Chakrabarti, Fergal Keane and Rick Stein over the coming weeks, providing some wide-ranging and fascinating conversations to look forward to.

The full event programme can be viewed at

This year SBK are doing something a little different.

We are holding a competition to win a prize of £100 of Waterstones vouchers. To enter, all you need to do is fill in this short form online and you’ll automatically be put forward for the prize draw. Terms and conditions are noted below.

We hope you enjoy the Festival events and we look forward to seeing you there.

Free prize draw rules and regulations

  1. You must be resident in mainland UK to enter our free prize draw.
  2. All entrants must be aged 18 or over.
  3. Employees of Sheldon Bosley Knight and their families are not eligible to enter.
  4. Only one entry per person is permitted. 
  5. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are lost, or damaged.
  6. The closing date is 17th November 2017.
  7. The first valid entry drawn will be the winner.
  8. The winner will be formally notified by email no more than 14 days after the closing date. Full details of the prize will be given in writing upon request. Where we notify a winner by email, we will ask for confirmation of receipt by reply email.
  9. Sheldon Bosley Knight’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The prize winner will be randomly drawn from all the valid entries, and contacted by Sheldon Bosley Knight. Only the winner will be contacted personally.
  10. No cash alternative or alternative prize is available on entrants’ request.
  11. Sheldon Bosley Knight will not be liable for any damage, loss or disappointment suffered by any person taking part or not being able to take part in this prize draw. 
  12. Use of false name or address, e.g. a name by which the entrant is not usually known, will disqualify them from receiving any prize. Sheldon Bosley Knight reserves the right to oblige any potential winner to provide documentary proof of their identity and address as directed by Sheldon Bosley Knight before such person may claim their prize. 
  13. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time. Entry in this free prize draw implies acceptance of these rules.

Sheldon Bosley Knight is compliant with the data protection act. Our policy is such that we will not pass on your details to any third party without your prior consent and your details will only be used for our own marketing purposes.

Sheldon Bosley Knight
Morgan House 
58 Ely Street 
Stratford Upon Avon
CV37 6LN

Tel: +44 (0)1789 292310



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Stratford Literary Festival Autumn 2016

Stratford Literary Festival - Autumn 2016

Ken Clarke MPWe were delighted once again to sponsor the 2016 Autumn Festival in partnership with the Stratford Literary Festival. 

This year’s line-up featured three very well-known figures representing a varied and highly entertaining programme.

First up was Ken Clarke, MP, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and political heavy weight, a colourful character described as the ‘big beast’ and known for his forthright views.

Talking about his autobiography, Kind of Blue, he explained he’d chosen the title because of his love of jazz and his stance on the left of the Conservative party.Rev Richard Coles

He gave his attentive audience insights into cabinet meetings, his relationship with Margaret Thatcher and his views on Brexit and the current cabinet.

Next we had an hour in the company of the Reverend Richard Coles, pop star turned vicar, and the time flew past as we listened to his honest and engaging recollections.

These included the difficulties of growing up as a teenager and choirboy, the two years he spent studying in Stratford-upon-Avon, his rock and roll years with the Communards, his Damascene moment when he found God and his life now as a parish priest and TV/radio personality.  What an extraordinary life and incredibly engaging man.

Nadiya Hussain - Stratford Literary Festival - SBKLast but certainly not least we had a fascinating and delightful evening listening to the remarkable Nadiya Hussain.

A very articulate and genuine person, she had the audience entranced by her honesty and wit.

She explained how, as a Muslim woman, she finds living in the UK and how immediately after she won The Great British Bake Off, her family had to have a police presence in their home and she wondered what she had done to her children and husband whom she clearly adores and who are still her Number One priority.

In the short while since she became a familiar face on our TV screens, she has written two cookery books, has a novel being published in the new year, has made a documentary about Bangladesh where she was born and yet still finds time to be a hands-on mum.

Congratulations to Stratford Literary Festival for another successful Autumn programme.

Sue James with Nadiya Hussain - Stratford Literary Festival 2016Rev Richard Coles and Suzanne James SBK

James Walton - SBK - Stratford Literary Festival Autumn 2016


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Yee-haa! A round-up of the SBK Charity Quiz 2016

Sheldon Bosley Charity Quiz 2016

Sheldon Bosley Charity Quiz 2016 - Quiz Master Ted Beale with Sue JamesThe Sheldon Bosley Knight Charity Quiz this year was in aid of Riding for the Disabled Association and once again we were delighted with the support we received from local businesses and organisations who entered a total of 25 teams.

Held at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford, the hall was packed and the atmosphere was terrific, everyone in very jovial mood with a competitive undercurrent nonetheless.

Our theme was the Wild West with plenty of Stetsons and cowboy boots in evidence and the occasional “yee haa” and “rounding up the posse”.

Each team was joined by an SBK host who helped by doing the bar runs and assisting with answering the questions – or getting them wrong in some instances.

This was the second year running that SBK staff member Frances Peach has been on the winning team – will she make it 3 in a row next year….?

Sheldon Bosley Charity Quiz 2016 - Winners The Lit WitsEd Bracher, Chief Executive of the RDA gave us an interesting insight into the important work provided by the charity and the fact they rely heavily on volunteers, donations and legacies to provide their services, so the funds raised were warmly welcomed.

Following a game of heads and tails to warm up the audience, won by Julia Howells of defending quiz champions Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the quiz began and the competitive undercurrents came through.

Amid much head scratching, chin rubbing and brow furrowing, the teams battled it out vying for this year’s prize with the Stratford Literary Festival team “Lit Wits” emerging as the winners.  The RDA team “Only RDA Fools and Horses” came a very close second.

Annie Ashworth from the Lit Wits was delighted with the outcome and we hope they will return again next year to defend their crown.

The tie break for bottom of the leader board was won by Robert Lunn & Lowth solicitors who were magnanimous in their “win” and were presented with wagon wheels as a commiseration prize for their efforts. Better luck next year!

Sheldon Bosley Charity Quiz 2016 - Quiz Prizes and CupThere were some very inventive and clever team names and the prize for the best name went to Harrison Clark Rickerbys solicitors for ‘Sparks & Mensa’.

We would like to thank The Garrick Inn, Daisychain, and 33 The Scullery who all kindly donated raffle prizes.

The grand total raised including entry fees, raffle and the heads and tails game was £2,238. Thank you to everyone who supported the event and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.

For more photos of the event please click here to view our Facebook Album.


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Congratulations to the Winners!

Michelle Dale - ticket winnerWell done to the three lucky winners who won our recent competition to see Sir Tim Rice in Conversation at the the Arts House in Stratford upon Avon on 1st November.

Each winner was presented with a pair of front row tickets and pictured here are two of our winners, Michelle Dale receiving her ticket from Sue James (left) and Caroline Day receiving her ticket from Annie Vincent (below).

Caroline Day ticket winnerOn learning that she had won, Michelle said, “Really thrilled to win these tickets. Especially as I was in the Bill Kenright production of Joseph at the RSC when I was 11 (many years ago!)”

Our third winner was Alistair Price who is pictured with the rest of the winners and guests.

Congratulations to all of the winners and hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did!

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An Evening with Brian Blessed and Max Hastings

Brian Blessed in Stratford upon Avon

Max Hastings - The Secret WarSheldon Bosley and their guests spent a fascinating and somewhat diverse evening at the Stratford Literary Festival on Thursday.

Firstly, the highly respected military historian, Max Hastings, talked about his new book The Secret War, Spies, Codes and Guerillas.  He regaled the audience with tales of eccentric professors and a number of somewhat inept secret agents whilst also giving a fascinating insight into the complexities of global intelligence during WW2.  Following a relaxing drink at the bar in the Stratford Artshouse, the second author to speak was completely different though equally enjoyable.

Brian Blessed in Stratford upon AvonTo a packed room, Brian Blessed, the actor, film star, coffin maker, wrestler, explorer, mountaineer and would-be space traveller treated the audience to a unique and highly entertaining account of his extraordinary life frequently interspersed with shouts of ‘Gordon’s Alive’!  As well as his ribald stories and an operatic turn he showed his more reflective side too and, to the disappointment of those in the room who could have continued listening for hours, he eventually concluded the evening with the philosophy by which he says he has always lived, ‘the greatest danger in life is not taking the adventure’.

Stratford Literary Festival Autumn 2015Sheldon Bosley are delighted to be associated with the Stratford upon Avon Literary Festival, which continues to go from strength to strength.  The Autumn Plus Programme featured a string of entertaining events for all ages and we are very fortunate to have a festival of this high standard, right on our doorstep.

Brian Blessed Signing Autographs

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Sheldon Bosley Sponsors Stratford Literary Festival

An Evening with Dan Snow at the Stratford Literary Fesitival

If you listen to Dan Snow, the history guy off the telly, for even a short time it is clear to most of us that there is an awful lot we don’t know about what makes us, and indeed many other nations, the people we are.  Sheldon Bosley were delighted to sponsor the Stratford Literary Festival event on evening of 13th November where Dan spoke to an audience of about 150 for a couple of hours and during that time we learned a great deal including interesting asides about his TV career, family life and an amazing array of historical world events.  He is a man passionate about his subject and his ability to communicate this enthusiasm to the audience is a gift, no doubt in part learned from his father, Peter – there was definitely something familiar about the arm waving.

Pictured with him is Suzanne James, Partner at Sheldon Bosley

Dan Snow at the Stratford Literary Festival with Sue James of Sheldon Bosley
Dan Snow at the Stratford Literary Festival with Suzanne James of Sheldon Bosley