Latest Articles

Benedict Allen: Ultimate Explorer 

Thursday 1st November, 7.30pm

The Great Hall, Oundle School

Tickets £16, conc. £13

Benedict Allen, one of the world’s most renowned adventurer-explorers, will be coming to Oundle as part of his brand-new tour of the UK.  Benedict Allen will tell the whole unvarnished truth of his most recent adventure – a solo expedition to Papua New Guinea, during which he filmed his journey to visit a community he had befriended thirty years earlier – when he hit the headlines after failing to turn up for a flight to Hong Kong, prompting his friends and family, and eventually the world media, to become concerned for his wellbeing.

Benedict will recall the highs and lows of this awe-inspiring trip, tell exhilarating tales from his life as an explorer and show neverbefore-seen material from his travels across the globe.  Regularly filming his intrepid expeditions, Benedict’s most recent television series was Birds Of Paradise: The Ultimate Quest (BBC Two), a two-part series which aired in February 2017, in which Allen was joined by BBC Security Correspondent and avid birdwatcher Frank Gardner.  Allen’s goal was to help Gardner, a wheel-chair user, fulfil his lifelong dream of seeing birds-of-paradise.

His six series’ for the BBC include Travellers’ Century, Skeleton Coast, Edge of Blue Heaven, Last of the Medicine Men and Ice Dogs.  He also recently presented Adventures for Boys: The Lost World of Ryder Haggard and was a contributor for BBC Two’s Extreme Dreams. Benedict has written two best-selling books amongst his total ten books, which include
The Faber Book of Exploration and Into the Abyss.  He has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines and is a hugely popular corporate motivational speaker.  In 2010 Benedict became a trustee and member of council of the Royal Geographical Society.

This is a two hour event including a twenty minute interval.  Suitable for all ages.


Adam Hart Davis: Very Heath Robinson

Wednesday 5th December, 7.45pm

St Peter’s Church, North Street, Oundle

Tickets £8, conc. £6, £1 off early-bird tickets bought before 28th November

This book takes a nostalgic look back to the imaginative world of William Heath Robinson, one of the few artists to have given his name to the English language. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the expression Heath Robinson is used to describe ‘any absurdly ingenious and impracticable device’.  You will find plenty of them here.  Very Heath Robinson is full of quirky contraptions for lighting cigars, making coffee, extinguishing candles and generally making everyday life easy.  You can even mow the lawn in comfort thanks to the super deluxe Ransomes’ motor mower, complete with wireless, drinks cabinet and tiffin table.  

A dozen collections of Heath Robinson’s work have been published over the last 80 years, starting in his lifetime, but most have been compilations of pictures with minimal text.  Very Heath Robinson is the first to explain the technical and social background out of which the pictures grew and to weave art and history into a connected story.  It portrays Heath Robinson as the visionary he was, foreseeing technical advances decades before they occurred and commenting wryly on urban issues such as traffic jams, litter and flat living that regularly niggle us today. 

Adam Hart-Davis is the perfect person to set the artist’s mechanical fantasies in context, to tell the stories of rapid technological and social change that lay behind Heath Robinson’s idiosyncratic brand of satire and to laugh along with the jokes. He has even built his own Heath Robinson-style machine.

Adam is a scientist, author, photographer, historian and broadcaster, well known in the UK for presenting the BBC television series Local Heroes and What the Romans Did for Us, the latter spawning several spin-off series involving the Victorians, the Tudors, the Stuarts and the Ancients. He was also a copresenter of Tomorrow’s World, and presented Science Shack.

Tickets available from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle, open Mon-Fri 10am to 1pm on 01832 274734 or at

Details from Helen on 07743 988181 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Oundle Festival of Literature November 2018

Oundle Festival of Literature November 2018