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MIKE PITTS – on Digging Up Britain.

Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Swindon SN1 4BJ
Tel: 01793 524481
12.30pm ~ 14th May ~ £8 (£7)


Britain has a very long saga of prehistory, which is often forgotten.
But in the last decade, astounding archaeological discoveries have shed new light on those who have gone before us, people who lived on these islands between a thousand and a million years ago, radically altering the way we think about our history. 
Broadcaster, television presenter, and award-winning author and archaeologist, Mike Pitts presents exciting and surprising discoveries, from the more recent and familiar to the most remote and bizarre, in his latest book Digging Up Britain.


Does our underground past inform our overground present?

SPRING FESTIVAL QUIZ – for teams and individuals!
Presented in association with The Swindon Quiz Factory.  

Luxborough Suite, Lydiard House, West Swindon SN5 3PA
Tel: 01793 524481
7pm ~ 14th May ~ £5

Here is a cool, competitive, evening of camaraderie and fun for anyone who loves quizzes with general knowledge questions, sport, and current affairs, plus picture rounds, a music round, and even one on Swindon and the Swindon Spring Festival!
Most of the evening will be taken up with the Team Quiz, with teams of up to 6 members welcome to take part. If you have not got a team, come along anyway and we’ll find you one! 


Towards the end of the evening, there will also be a quiz for individuals, where each team nominates one member to play. All teams will be playing for the title of Spring Festival Quiz Champions; and the individuals, for the title of Spring Festival Master-mind! 
There will be bottles of bubbly, cash prizes, and gleaming trophies for the winners; and chocolate treats and showers of flowers for all other participants! 
Note. The venue has a fully-stocked bar, so please do not bring your own drinks or food.

GUY SHRUBSOLE – on Who Owns England?


Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Swindon SN1 4BJ
Tel: 01793 524481
6.30pm ~ 14th May ~ £8 (£7)

How did the biggest landowners get to be in possession of millions of acres of England?
Behind this simple question may lie one of the oldest and best-kept secrets. For centuries, owners have covered up: by constructing walls, burying surveys, and more recently, even sheltering behind offshore companies. But with the dawn of digital mapping and the Freedom of Information Act, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the big landowners to hide.
Finding his way through tightly-guarded country estates, ecologically ravaged grouse moors, and empty Mayfair mansions, writer Guy Shrubsole has uncovered a wealth of new information about the people who claim ownership of swathes of England. From secret military islands to tunnels deep beneath London, the author has unearthed truths concealed since the Domesday Book about who really thinks they own the ‘green and pleasant land’.  


DOUBLE TICKET for Guy Shrubsole and Ray Mears ~ £15

RAY MEARS – on life lived to the full, in the wild!


Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Swindon SN1 4BJ
Tel: 01793 524481
8pm ~ 14th May ~ £10 (£9)

What do you know about wilderness bushcraft? Would you like to know how to cook an egg, on a stick, outdoors, day or night, over an open fire, and even how to light that fire? Do you think that life in the wild could be life at its best? 
Author, broadcaster, adventurer, bushcraft practitioner, and wilderness philosopher Ray Mears does.
Ray reckons that bushcraft liberates and empowers us; reacquaints us with our natural roots; and invites us to open our eyes and rediscover a sense of wonder and discovery, in the wild! 


THURSDAY 14th MAY - Dawood Ali McCallum – on Mrs A’s Indian Gentlemen.

Central Library

Regent Circus, Swindon SN1 1QG
Tel: 01793 466454
7pm ~ 14th May ~ £5 

How, in 1943, might railway engineer Imtiaz ‘Billy’ Khan, logistics supremo Vincent Rosario, and maths prodigy Akaash Ray find themselves in Swindon, lodging with the well-intentioned Mrs A, hilariously navigating bland food, faulty toilet cisterns, secret assignments, and a mutual distrust of one another?
Answers may come in tonight’s talk but certainly in the book by local author Dawood Ali McCallum, who, for more than 40 years, has travelled extensively in India.  In this talk, he will reflect on just how much work, life and attitudes have changed in Swindon since the days in which Mrs A’s Indian Gentlemen is set: a book about Swindon, dedicated to the people of Swindon, written by a Swindonian, and published in…India!

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