The first Chelsea History Festival is to take place at the National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Chelsea and the Chelsea Physic Garden, off Royal Hospital Road, London, on October 9-13. The organisers of the all-new, five-day history festival say it will host more than 35 events and will provide a platform for both established authors and emerging performers to help make history more accessible.
The festival opens with celebrated Arnhem veteran, Victor Gregg, in conversation with bestselling historian Rick Stroud, followed by a lecture from Antony Beevor on the famous ‘battle for the bridges’. Thursday’s main event is an evening performance of The Lark Ascending, which is taking place in the Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Max Hastings headlines Friday with a talk on his new book Chastised: The Dambusters Story, 1943, which will be published this September. Saturday is set to be the principal day of the festival with over 20 scheduled events that will include history walks around the neighbourhood, and David Nott sharing his experiences as a surgeon in Aleppo, Syria.
Founder of Britain’s Chalke Valley History Festival, James Holland has been instrumental in consulting on the schedule, together with the Chelsea History Festival’s creative director, artist and author, Harry Parker. Holland says: “It is great to see the Chelsea History Festival join the calendar of history events in Britain. Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea is so rich in heritage and provides a magnificent setting at the heart of one of the great cities of the world. Being so easily accessible to many millions of people makes it an ideal location in which to share the stories that have shaped our world.” Tickets go on sale in September, ranging from free events to £30. The full programme will be available at www.chelseahistoryfestival.com