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Hammerman is part of this year's festival
1:04pm Friday 4th May 2012 in Swindon Festival of Literature 2012 celebrates the power of words
THE inspiring tale of Swindon’s ‘forgotten local hero’was spread a little wider thanks to a film broadcast by BBC West earlier in the year.
Inside Out West, featured a short film about South Marston-born writer Alfred Williams, who is enjoying something of a revival, 82 years after his death.
It has been made by Swindon-based producer Fiona Scott and traces the route Williams took while researching one of his books, exactly 100 years ago.
“Alfred is often overlooked as a local hero, but he was a remarkable figure and we wanted to make a film to give just a flavour of what he was all about,” said Fiona.
“We got presenter Alastair McKee to get on his bike and trace part of the route that Alfred cycled in 1912 while researching his book Villages of the White Horse.
“It was a fun film to make and we hope it encourages more people to find out more about Alfred, his amazing life and his wonderful books.”
John composed a West End-style musical about Williams’s life called The Hammerman, which was premiered in November 2010, and he is re-staging it this month.
Adver columnist Graham Carter, who co-founded the Alfred Williams Heritage Society in 2009, worked with the BBC crew during filming.
He said: “We are really pleased this film and The Hammerman musical will take Alfred’s name to a wider audience.
“We often talk in terms of him being a forgotten local hero, so it’s nice to see a resurgence of interest in his life and work.
“I think he has a lot to say to us in these difficult times because of the way he led his life.
“He was self-taught, an honest worker and packed such a lot into his short life. Swindon should be proud of him.”
In addition, The Alfred Williams Heritage Society is putting on illustrated talks and will join forces with the Friends of Alfred Williams for a special talk at this year’s Swindon Festival of Literature.
The Hammerman will be performed at the Phoenix Theatre, New College, from March 15 to 17, at 7.30pm. All tickets are £15. Book at alfredwilliams.org.uk/ tickets or call 07814 254269. Inside Out West is broadcast to BBC West viewers only.