WANTAGE’s literary festival has come to an end after more than a week of talks by authors, experts and locals.

The start of the week saw audiences treated to talks by internationally renowned author Pam Ayres and Lord David Owen, both at the Beacon Theatre, Wantage.

Pam Ayres regaled funny tales of her youth growing up in Stanford in the Vale and trips to Wantage, when she would buy material for dresses for her Saturday nights out on the town.

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Lord Owen spoke about President Trump’s rise to power.

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Pam Ayres. Picture: Wantage Camera Club.

There were also talks from Giles Milton’s on ‘D-Day: The Soldiers’ Story’ and espionage author Henry Hemming spoke about how spies changed the course of America joining the second world war.

As the week continued, Air Commodore Iain McCoubrey from Letcombe Regis relived stories of being a doctor in the RAF for more than 30 years.

His years of service coincided with the Cold War, Falklands and Iraqi wars.

Technological and medical science evolved a great deal over this period, sadly as a result of the injuries inflicted.

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Local horseracing trainer Henrietta Knight, talked to ITV Racing frontman Luke Harvey about the trials and tribulations of making it as a champion jockey.

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Henrietta Knight. Picture: Wantage Camera Club.

There were also community events including a joint adventure with the Vale and Downland Museum and Midcounties Co-operative.

Families flowed through the museum’s doors to take part in the free ‘Training Your Dragon’ activity day.

The day of activities included Viking games, shield painting and dragon craft.

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Tristan Gooley explored Wantage’s Betjeman Millennium Park with an audience on Wednesday.

The ‘Natural Navigator’ took groups around the park explaining the importance of water and signs for finding ways around the countryside.

As the week came to a close, there were talks by the BBC’s Blue Planet’s oceanographer Jon Copley, local doctors Rachel Clarke and Henry Marsh, followed by maths star and children’s TV presenter Johnny Ball.

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Viking fun. Picture: Wantage Camera Club.

Styled as a ‘Northern drag superstar’ Crystal Rasmussen dazzled with funny and moving tales of being ‘queer’ on the drag scene at The Beacon on Friday.

Her talk was based on the recollections detailed in the book ‘Diary of a Drag Queen’, charting her day-to-day adventures over one tumultuous year.

Comedian Katy Brand will closed the festival by explaining her life-long obsession with Dirty Dancing and how it has influenced her attitudes to sex, love, romance, rights and responsibilities.

The talk was based on her book I Carried a Watermelon and is followed by a screening of the hit 1987 romance film.

Wantage Literary Festival takes place at a series of venues throughout the south Oxfordshire town each October.

This year, venues included the Beacon Theatre, Vale and Downland Museum and the Methodist church on Newbury Street.