A BELOVED literary festival came back in full force on Friday, July 8, following a two year hiatus.

Ways With Words kicked off with a launch party with speeches from the Dartington Trust CEO Alan Boldon, Ways With Words Festival Presidents Polly Toynbee and David Walker and Ways With Words Managing Director Leah Varnell.

The ten day festival, which comes to a close on July 17, invites writers, speakers and many others to take to the stage in the Great Hall and other venues at Dartington Hall Estate.

The launch party also featured a musical performance by the Great Catsby Trio: Zoe Lambeth, Steve Dow and Martin Jenkins, who make up the trio, brough their much loved music to proceedings.

Great Gatsby Trio at Ways With Words 2022
Great Catsby Trio (Ethan Heppell / MDA)

Alan Boldon, CEO of Dartington Trust, said: I am delighted to be able to welcome Way With Words and to celebrate our 30th year of delivering this festival together.

‘Thank you so much for coming, to Leah and everyone involved thank you for putting an amazing programme together, it is really exciting and I wish you all the best with the delivery of this incredible event.’

Festival President Polly Toynbee said: ‘It is wonderful to be here on the 30th anniversary, we have been here many years and it always is a great highlight of each year.

‘We are very honoured to be co-presidents of Ways With Words at Dartington.’

Ways With Words Managing Director, Leah Varnell, said: ‘I need to thank all the speakers for coming, without them we would be sat in an empty room and that is a bit tedious.

‘To the drivers and stewards and volunteers, all the team who come together magically to deliver the festival with such passion and euthusiam - I thank all of you.’

‘There is so many people who help bring this festival together, it is not a one woman effort.’

The first talk of the festival, dubbed ‘Building a Positive Future’, was delivered by Polly Toynbee and David Walker.

Attendees eagerly await to be let in for the first task of this years Ways With Words festival
(Ethan Heppell / MDA)