Festival raises a glass to a new sponsor
A good book and a nice glass of wine! The very complimentary worlds of wines and books join forces with the announcement that Laithwaites Wine – one of the country’s most successful wine merchants – has become the lead sponsor of the Henley Literary Festival.
Laithwaites Wine has grown over 40 years to be one of the most highly respected and successful wine companies in the country while The Henley Literary Festival, now in its sixth year, has become an established event in the world of books.
Festival founder Sue Ryan said: “This is the best possible news we could have. Festivals like ours cannot continue without proper financial support and just as we were wondering how long we could continue to get bigger and better Laithwaites secured its future by offering us their support. They are the perfect partner for us as they reflect what we are about. Like us they are a local company with a national reach, and like us their success is based on a discerning and enthusiastic public.”
The Henley Literary Festival was started in 2007 and has established itself as one of the most popular events with the public, publishers and authors alike and last year nearly 11,000 tickets were sold.
This year’s Festival takes place from September 24-30 and will host more than 80 events at some of the prettiest and most talked about venues in and around the Thames-side town.
Details of who will be appearing will be announced later but among those already confirmed to appear are actor and traveller extraordinaire, Michael Palin, who has written his first novel, one of the country’s foremost contemporary novelists David Lodge, former Prime Minister John Major, former minister, now broadcaster Michael Portillo and cookery writer Josceline Dimbleby.
Laithwaites’ local roots are a significant factor in the sponsorship. Like the Literary Festival the company has grown locally from small beginnings and is now one of the most respected in the UK. The founders and chairman Tony and Barbara Laithwaite live in Peppard where – when they were younger – they used to hold the popular ‘Wines in the Garden’ events for Oxfam. The family have planted vineyards in Wyfold, Marlow, Theale and Windsor Great Park. There was once a shop in Henley but the closest are now in Beaconsfield, Windsor, Binfield, Theale and Virginia Water. Laithwaites will provide wines at the major events and are keen to commit to an event that is supported so strongly by the people of Henley. Even if they always hold it bang in the middle of vintage time!
Tony Laithwaite says
“Laithwaites Wines are delighted to sponsor The Henley Literary Festival this year. It is a really great event and our offices in New Street will be right at the centre of activities! We hope all Henley comes to enjoy a glass with us at one of the venues“