A Ravenmaster, a Fleet Street journalist and Sir Michael Palin rub shoulders at book festival - how to get tickets

Michael Palin will be at Scarborough Spa
Michael Palin will be at Scarborough Spa

History and Heritage play a big part in this year’s Books by the Beach as Scarborough welcomes Yeoman warder Christopher Skaife, otherwise known as the Ravenmaster.

The event runs at various locations in Scarborough from Thursday April 11 to Saturday April 14.

For centuries the Tower of London has been home to a group of famous raven residents.

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Legend has it that if the ravens should ever leave, the Tower will crumble into dust, and great harm will befall the kingdom. One man is personally responsible for ensuring such a disaster never comes to pass - the Ravenmaster.

Over the years Chris has come to know them like no one else. On Thursday April 11 at 5.30pm Chris will be giving a behind the scenes account of life with these intelligent and mischievous birds. An unmissable hour of folklore, history and superstitions at Scarborough Library.

Journalist and historian Simon Heffer will be sharing a social history of Victorian life on Sunday April 14 at 3pm in St. Martin-on-The-Hill Church.

The church designed by George Bodley, contains exquisite examples of wall paintings and window decoration from many pre-Raphaelite artists including William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Director of Books by the Beach Heather French said: “St.Martin's is a hidden gem. Books by the Beach brings in many tourists to Scarborough and I love to set events in different settings to share the richness of our local heritage.

"I urge anyone who hasn’t visited the church before to come along on Sunday 14 April when there will be opportunity to view this Victorian art exhibition. Simon will be joined by fellow historian Allan Mallinson."

Simon has also held senior editorial positions in Fleet Street for 30 years. As top journalist he will also be taking part in the Sunday papers panel on April 14 at 10.30am, alongside former politician Alan Johnson and festival patron Helen Boaden. Come along and listen to what’s hot off the press and the lighter side of the news.

This year’s festival’s headliner is Sir Michael Palin and additional seating is now available for his event on Sunday April 14 at Scarborough Spa.

Tickets at Spa box office tel 01723 821888 or online at www.scarboroughspa.co.uk

Tickets for all other festival events are on sale at Stephen Joseph box office - tel 01723 370541 or online at www.booksbythebeach.co.uk