HISTORY will be coming to life in Broad Chalke next week.

Chalke Valley History Festival gets underway on Monday and runs until Sunday, June 30 at Church Bottom.

Festival director Jane Pleydell-Bouverie said: “The Chalke Valley History Festival site in Broad Chalke is looking stunning after the rain but we hope the sun will be shining next week. We are really excited as we have an amazing and varied programme on offer including many unique events with veterans, and the giant model Hawker Typhoon is now almost complete.”

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The festival will feature more than 150 talks as well as discussions and topical debates, alongside a living history encampment, where experts bring history to life.

Those taking part in the festival for the first time include best-selling crime novelist Minette Walters who will be discussing the Black Death, the former broadcast war reporter Martin Bell, Britain’s first female black professor of history Olivette Otele, and Ralph Northumberland who will be providing a fascinating account of the Percy family and Alnwick Castle.

Plus, comedian and actor Harry Enfield will be a panellist on the comedy panel show, Histrionics.

Festival favourites and well-known names returning include Neil Oliver, Victoria Hislop, Dan Snow, Kate Williams, Antonia Fraser, Jacob Rees Mogg, Tracy Borman, Ben Macintyre, David Owen, Ian Hislop, Anita Anand and Niall Ferguson.

Delivering the second CVHF Directors’ Lecture, Rania Abouzeid, the internationally acclaimed journalist and Middle East expert, will talk about the catastrophic civil war in Syria.

There will also be appearances by Ken Tout, a veteran of one of the most famous tank engagements of the Second World War, and John Jammes, former member of the French resistance and winner of the Croix de Guerre.

The 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings will be marked. To open the festival, there will be a special D-Day 75 morning to commemorate those who fought in the Normandy campaign. For the first time, the festival will also be recreating a Second World War trench.

The festival weekend will see a new programme of living history events, showcasing the age of the Anglo Saxons and Vikings, right the way through to the Second World War.

For more go to cvhf.org.uk