The Great Reading Adventure. Let's read it together. Helen Dunmore and The Siege.
Download Readers' Guide Registration Contact Acknowledgements Copyright
Home News
Helen Dunmore
The Siege
On these pages we will post reports on activities taking place during the Great Reading Adventure in schools and college, libraries, businesses, the local community. If you have organised an event as part of this project,
The Soviet Union at War
Bristol at War
please send us details along with any photos you might have taken and we will include a selection here. We also welcome examples of drawings, stories, poems and other work produced in schools or workshops.
Press Releases
Reader Contributions
Events and Competitions
Follow the link in the side bar for official press releases.
Bibliography and Resources

Major Funders Announce Support of the Great Reading Adventure

We are grateful to all those who give their time, resources, contacts, talent and enthusiasm in support of the Great Reading Adventure. This is a partnership initiative and all contributions are valued.

For 2005 we welcome for the first time the financial support of Arts Council England, South West (ACESW) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), each of which have provided grants that have enabled us to expand our activities for younger people.

Nick Capaldi Regional Executive Director from ACESW spoke at the launch event on 6 January 2005 at Watershed. He said:

ACESW is pleased to support Bristol’s Great Reading Adventure through our Grants for the Arts programme. The Great Reading Adventure has shown the considerable benefits to be gained by bringing communities together to share the reading experience and to participate in arts activities. We are particularly pleased that some of our support will be used to run artist, writer and dance workshops in schools, colleges and libraries, and look forward to seeing the work that is produced there. The 2005 Adventure is set to be the biggest adventure yet.

Nick Capaldi
Nick Capaldi, Arts Council England South West.

Adrian Tinniswood, Chair of the HLF Committee for the South West, also spoke at the launch. He said:

HLF is delighted to support initiatives such as Bristol’s Great Reading Adventure which provide innovative, accessible and entertaining ways of encouraging people to reminiscence and learn about our heritage. I am sure the 2005 Adventure’s commemoration of the civilian experience of World War Two will be particularly engaging for the people of Bristol. The project itself and the coverage in the Evening Post will provide many opportunities for people to share their stories and learn more about their city's past.

Adrian Tinniswood
Adrian Tinniswood, Heritage Lottery Fund.

Great Reading Adventure Business Book Club

We are encouraging local businesses to join our Great Reading Adventure Business Book Club. For £250 (plus VAT), each member company will receive 20 copies of the book selected for the year along with 20 readers’ guides and assorted publicity material. As well as getting the opportunity of reading and discussing the book with their colleagues, members will have the satisfaction of knowing that their support has enabled us to purchase more books that we can donate free to local schools, colleges and libraries.

Contact us at for details on how to join.

Euan Cresswell, Managing Director Westmark

Westmark logo

Westmark are delighted to support the 2005 Great Reading Adventure, and encourage both reading and writing for all across the whole of Bristol. The book chosen this year should not be missed.

Paul Andrew, Programme Controller GWR FM Bristol

GWR logo

GWR FM’s community programme Bristol Kidz actively supports all local initiatives, like the Great Reading Adventure, that promote reading with children and young people.

The Great Reading Adventure Launch

Bristol launched its third Great Reading Adventure on 6th January with a morning of commemoration and celebration to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

The launch took place at the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol where there were readings from the novel, as well as eyewitness accounts from the Bristol blitz and a finale of dancers performing dance steps from the Second World War.

Following the events at Watershed, Helen Dunmore visited local bookshops to sign copies of her Penguin novels. In the afternoon, Cllr Simon Cook, Bristol's Lord Mayor, met pupils at St George's C of E Primary and Fair Furlong Primary to read from the children's books being promoted during the Adventure – Nina Bawden's Carrie's War and Helen Dunmore's Tara's Tree House.

The launch received extensive local media coverage including a live interview with Helen on BBC Points West and film of the Fair Furlong pupils on ITV West News.

Cllr Simon Cook (Bristol Lord Mayor), Kim Hicks (reader at launch), Helen Dunmore and Mike Drew (reader at launch).
Cllr Simon Cook (Bristol Lord Mayor), Kim Hicks (reader at launch), Helen Dunmore and Mike Drew (reader at launch).

Juliet Annan (Helen Dunmore's editor), Andrew Kelly (director BCDP), Cllr Simon Cook (Bristol Lord Mayor) and Helen Dunmore.
Juliet Annan (Helen Dunmore's editor), Andrew Kelly (director BCDP), Cllr Simon Cook (Bristol Lord Mayor) and Helen Dunmore.

Graeme and Ann of Hoppin' Mad performing at the launch.

Cllr Simon Cook, Lord Mayor, reading Tara's Tree House to pupils at St George's CE Primary School.

Helen Dunmore signing books at Waterstone's, The Galleries.

Photography: Martin Chainey.