Delderfield centenary celebrations in Sidmouth revealed

CENTENARY celebrations to mark the life and work of Sidmouth author and playright, R F Delderfield, will take place in the town in June.

Marion Lindsey-Noble, author of Butterfly Moments, a biography of the man known for such titles as A Horseman Riding By and Worm’s Eye View, has planned a day of events on Sunday, June 24, to commemorate Sidmouth’s most famous son.

Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton will also mark Delderfield’s centenary. At Exmouth, his play, Worm’s Eye View, will be staged during its May arts festival, and his books will be exhibited at Budleigh Salterton Museum.

However, most of the celebrations will take place in Sidmouth, starting with introductory speeches at Kennaway House, by Marion, VIP guests, including Delderfield’s daughter Veronica Persse, and local people.

This will be followed by performances of Delderfield’s play Sailors Beware! by members of Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society, in Kennaway House’s Cellar Bar.

“At the same time there will be guided tours through Sidmouth, organised by museum guides, with particular emphasis on places and residences connected to the Delderfield family, including Delderfield’s homes and memorial stone,” said Marion, who has extended her biography of the writer and will sign copies of the special centenary edition on the day at Kennaway House.

The Toastrack will be on hand during the afternoon to take visitors to his homes, Dove Cottage, Manor Road and The Gazebo, in the grounds of Peak Cottage, Peak Hill.

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Free cream teas will be served during the afternoon at Kennaway House, either indoors or in the grounds if fine.

Marion said Jamie Hodder-Williams of publishers Hodders, had offered to fund posters in Sidmouth for the celebration and she hopes well-known actors, who have depicted parts in Delderfield plays, will accept invitations to join the event.

“I have also invited Caroline De Wolfe, whose father Felix was theatrical agent for Delderfield who got Worm’s Eye View on the stage,” said Marion.

Tickets for the day will go on sale at Paragon Books and Kennaway House from May 1, priced �5.

l Look out in the Herald next month for a chance to enter a competition to win copies of Delderfield’s books.