Borders Book Festival set to open with Sir Jackie Stewart in pole position

THE BORDERS book festival opens this week with motorsport icon Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE opening the four-day event.

Sir Jackie will appear at the festival to tell the story of his life on and off the track, to benefit Race Against Dementia, the charity he founded.

After former F1 star novelist Mick Herron, author of the spy thriller Slow Horses, will be joined on stage by actor Jack Lowden, who co-starred alongside Gary Oldman and Kristen Scott Thomas in the recent television adaptation.

Run this Thursday 16 Through Sunday June 19, the book festival returns to Harmony Garden, Melrose, for the first time since 2019, with a program of over 100 events.

Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE, is set to open the event with an account of his life on and off the track. (C) CEP

Participants include Joanna Lumley, comedian Miles Jupp, crime writer Val McDermid, former minister Ed Balls and the BBC’s Clive Myrie with a very special Melrose edition of Mastermind.

Ahead of Thursday’s opening, festival director Alistair Moffat said: “Finally, it’s time to go again.

“Harmony Garden looks set for the festival, and it won’t be long before we can open the marquees and welcome back the audience we’ve missed so much.

“We remain very aware that we are holding the book festival in the wake of Covid, and there will be masks at the venues for anyone who wants one and hand sanitizers on site.

As part of the Scottish Year of Stories 2022, the book festival offers a series of events to highlight the wealth of stories inspired, written or created in Scotland, and woven throughout the four days.

The Family Book Festival takes place at McInroy & Wood Orchard throughout Saturday and Sunday (June 18 and 19).

The two-day program focuses on events for young people, with a number of free activities such as rhyming sessions, interactive craft activities, comic book workshops and a Lego club.

The winner of this year’s prestigious £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is also set to be announced at an event at the book festival.

Alice Tarbuck, Head of Literature at Creative Scotland, said: “It’s wonderful to see the Borders Book Festival return to Melrose’s beautiful Harmony Garden for the first time since 2019, in a hopeful celebration of the power of storytelling.

“This year’s impressive program of live events offers something for everyone, from contrasting poetry by Janette Ayachi and William Letford to songs and storytelling by Karine Polwart and Kate Leiper in the children’s programme.

“It is particularly encouraging to see the return of the popular schools program, which brings literature to schools across borders.”

Angela C. Hale