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From the Archives 4: the Year 2016

As Pamela Holmes’ book The Huntingfield Paintress was originally published in 2016

I thought it would be good to have a look at that year in the archives of Suffolk Book League. How different 2016 was to now – in terms of the world situation, at any rate. In terms of Suffolk Book League, it looks as if, both then and now, it was very much business as usual, with a varied programme of speakers – although our processes were much more paper-based then. Having said this, in 2016 we were yet to have our first online meeting of any sort – now we are all Zoom veterans, of course.

Our programme for 2016 included Margaret Drabble, Nicci French, Julia Blackburn and a ‘Polish noir’ joint event with Felixstowe Festival involving two Polish crime writers. The minutes indicate that this last was not a great success in terms of audience numbers; perhaps we got the publicity wrong. Much more successful was a book launch for Rosy Thornton at Woodbridge Library – (her book of locally-based short stories Sandlands) – another joint event, this time with Woodbridge Library.

There were a lot of changes on the Committee that year with Brian Morron retiring as our long-standing Chairman and Kay McElhinney as Editor of BookTalk. Intriguingly, the March 2016 issue of BookTalk itself includes a preview of the first BooksEast festival* on 11th-15th May – whatever happened to that event, I wonder? It is such a relief to note that at least Felixstowe Book Festival is very much still with us.

*Burton, A. (2016) ‘BooksEast Festival: 11-15 May’, BookTalk, issue 166, March, p. 9.

Janet Bayliss


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