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I was invited to the 2019 York Festival of Ideas, which is the largest free festival in the UK with a huge range of events taking place across the city –  “world-class speakers, exhibitions, theatre, music, films, guided walks, family-friendly activities and much more”.

The festival has been running since 2011 and is a collaboration between the University of York, York Theatre Royal, York Museums Trust, the National Centre for Early Music and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. “Its objective, then and now, is to enhance York’s reputation as a city of ideas and innovation through offering the highest calibre of public events to local, regional and visitor audiences.”

My event was held in a terrific location – Cycle Heaven, a really large bike shop and cafe – see pics! It was professionally organised and run by the shop and festival volunteers.

The event had been sold out (75 free tickets) but it was a very rainy afternoon. I wasn’t sure there would be even half of the audience in attendance – but York cyclists and festival go-ers are made of stronger stuff.

70 (damp to completely sodden) people turned up and it was one of my best talks to date. The energy, interest and participation by the audience was really great. Questions were many. Lots of people got into costumes during and after the talk. And I also sold all my books – so my bag was much lighter for my return home. 

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