Festival Bench in memory of Dame Hilary Mantel

Posted on 27th September 2023

A specially designed bench takes its place outside Budleigh Library in memory of the Festival President

The Festival has unveiled a commemorative bench outside Budleigh Salterton Library – bearing the inscription, ‘So now get up’ – the opening lines of Dame Hilary’s Wolf Hall trilogy and a theme which runs through the three novels. Actor Ben Miles, who played Thomas Cromwell in the RSC adaptation of the trilogy, spoke at the dedication of the bench, which was also attended by Dame Hilary’s agent Bill Hamilton, her lifelong friend Anne Preston, the mayor of Budleigh and local councillors.

Sue Briggs, Festival Chair, added: “We wanted to commemorate the life of Dame Hilary, so to have this unique and beautifully-crafted bench situated outside of our library feels like an apposite tribute to her. We hope people will take a moment to pause here and remember her.

“Thank you to the town council, East Devon District Council and Libraries Unlimited for working with us to enable the bench to be in position so it could be unveiled during the festival.”

The bespoke bench, which features a Tudor rose at the centre of its design, was created by Matt Coe from Dingle Forge, based in Bow, just outside Crediton.

Posted by Annie on 27th September 2023

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