This was a step-change year for Book Week. Firstly, founder Neville Farmer moved away from the town and secondly the event was adopted by Bewdley Festival. This initiative was led by Trevor Price who joined the team to replace Neville. Trevor’s business experience and the Festival’s backing gave the team the ambition and confidence to aim high and as a result the programme included the then Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and bestselling authors Katie Fforde and Jo Thomas.
The previous year’s success with the Saturday ‘foodie’ event led the team to develop the ‘tea and cake’ concept with Katie and Jo being interviewed by local radio personality Rachel New while the audience enjoyed afternoon tea. This format became a popular feature of succeeding years.
Shortly after her appearance, Dinah Jefferies’s book The Tea Planters Wife shot to the top of the best selling fiction list as a result of it being made a Richard and Judy Book Club choice that same week.
This, together with the poet-laureate’s bravura performance in front of a packed house, the success of ‘tea and cake in the afternoon’, and the standard of speakers generally, made 2015 the year Book Week hit its stride.