Alan Garner celebrates 50th anniversary in Alderley Edge

Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen which is set in Alderley Edge and takes its inspiration from the Legend of Alderley.

The classic, written by Alan Garner between September 1956 and August 1958, was published by William Collins on 10th October 1960 and has never been out of print.

Events celebrating this achievement have been held throughout the year, starting in March at the Oxford Literary Festival and culminating in a series of events in, on and under Alderley Edge this weekend.

The celebrations for 10-10-10 kicked off in Alderley Edge with medieval storytelling at the library. Tom Hughes lead an interactive storytelling session based on Cheshire Myths and Legends which was attended by about 40 people.

Then on Friday night I was fortunate enough to attend a talk given by Alan Garner at Alderley Edge Methodist Church. An audience of 180 people, some local residents and others fans of Alan's work who had travelled to hear one of Cheshire's most celebrated writers talk about some of the key people who had influenced his life and his writing.

Alan, who grew up in Alderley Edge where his father's family have lived for more than 400 years, provided a fascinating and amusing insight into his earliest influences, the people of Alderley Edge and their stories. The audience responded with rapturous applause.

The 10-10-10 celebrations continued yesterday at the Edge with a Medieval Fair, featuring demonstrations from a potter, badge maker, wood carver and displays of medieval food. Entertainment also included dressing a knight and storytelling.

Free walking tours of the main landmarks of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen took place throughout the day and visitors were also given the opportunity to tour the mines of Alderley Edge with the Derbyshire Caving Club.

The celebrations in Alderley Edge to mark the 50th anniversary of Alan Garner's classic novel are now over, but the exhibition at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester continues until November 28th - providing an opportunity to discover more about the Legend of Alderley, The Weirdstone of Brisingham, Alderley Edge and the life and works of Alan Garner.

Archaeology from the Edge and objects that inspired Alan's writing are also on display along with a new portrait of Alan Garner, by BP Portrait Award winner Andrew Tift, which takes pride of place in the exhibition.

Alan Garner, Local History, The Legend of Alderley, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen