More than 6,000 thousand book lovers descended on Chester for the city’s annual feast of words.

This year’s Essar Chester Literature Festival came to an end on October 27 after playing host to some of the world’s most famous authors – and their fans – at events in the Town Hall and University of Chester.

A total of nearly 6,000 tickets were sold for 44 events, held across 16 days.

Festival manager Paul Lavin said: “It’s been another successful year for the Essar Chester Literature Festival, we hosted some of the literary world’s finest talent, as well as evenings of music, debate and comedy.”

The festival concluded with a celebration of Dylan Thomas, whose touring shed opened the festival.

Playwright Glyn Maxwell joined a panel of actors from Clywd Theatr Cymru in Mold to recite extracts from Dylan’s work. Maxwell’s new radio play City of Tomorrow aired for the first time on Monday to mark Thomas’ centenary year.

Also among those appearing at the festival were punk rock legend Johnny Rotten, national treasure Sheila Hancock and brother of Princess Diana, Charles Spencer.

As well as author talks, the festival played host to a series of workshops, a poetry pub crawl and a live poetry night.

Authors Kate Mosse, Christie Watson and Esther Freud were also in the line-up and took part in events throughout the fortnight.

A host of TV and radio personalities also featured including sports presenter Dan Walker and BBC Radio 4’s James Naughtie. Other highlights included Francesca Martinez and Sir Ranulph Fiennes plus performances from folk band Police Dog Hogan.

Ian Cotton, head of communications for Essar Oil UK, festival headline sponsor, said: “We are proud to support a festival which brings some of the leading literary names to our region.”

Organisers Chester Performs are already looking towards next year; the city’s young person’s literature festival Wayword will take place in February half term.

For more information and updates visit www.chesterperforms.com .

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