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Hot chocolate! Yorkshire Children's Literature Festival is going bonkers

More than 20,000 Billy Bonkers chocolate bars are being produced to celebrate the first-ever Broughton Hall Children’s Literature Festival, near Skipton, which is being held in September.

The specially-commissioned bars, which have been made by leading UK chocolate manufacturers Whitakers Chocolates of Skipton, will be available in supermarkets across the county from August 1 until September 29.

The chocolate bars contain 500 Golden Tickets, printed on the bar, which will allow the winners free access to an event of their choice at the festival.

This special Billy Bonkers competition is the brainchild of Trevor Wilson, the organiser of the pioneering festival, which runs from Thursday September 27 to Sunday September 30.

On the first two days, well-known children’s authors will visit schools across Yorkshire, while on the Saturday and Sunday, authors such as Clare Balding, M G Leonard and G P Taylor will speak at Broughton Hall in an explosion of exciting events.

Altogether more than 65 authors, poets, illustrators, storytellers and animators will be taking part. Over 200 schools will be involved, reaching out to over 40,000 children across Yorkshire.

William Whitaker, managing director of Whitakers Chocolates, said: “To be involved in Yorkshire’s first children’s literature festival is a real honour. We’ve had great fun producing the Billy Bonkers chocolate bars and hiding the 500 precious golden tickets. We wish the best of luck to everyone and are looking forward to hearing some wonderful stories at the festival in September”.

The Festival will raise money for the pioneering mental health charity, The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, that helps train teachers to recognise, and then address, mental health issues in young children such as cyber bullying and peer group pressure. Funds raised from the festival will go directly back into schools to enhance this programme.

Trevor Wilson, the managing director of Authors Abroad, the leading organiser of authors’ visits to schools across the world, explained: “We are launching our exciting Billy Bonkers campaign on August 1, which is Yorkshire Day. It’s appropriate as this is the first major children’s literature festival to be held in the county, and the Billy Bonkers bars are being made by Yorkshire’s leading chocolatiers Whitakers.

“We can’t wait to welcome the 500 Golden Ticket holders to Broughton Hall on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival. The winners choose their event and, with the help of a code printed on the bars, can book online at

“Supermarkets taking part include Booths, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, the Co-op and Iceland, together with Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton and Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn. Full details of all outlets are also on our website.

“We are delighted that we have been able to attract such a stellar line-up to our festival in our very first year. Other authors include Sir Chris Hoy, Carnegie Medal Winner Tanya Landman, poet Tony Walsh who performed at the One Love Manchester concert, Young Samurai and BodyGuard author Chris Bradford, Ross Welford, Robin Stevens and World Slam Poetry champion Harry Baker, to name but a few.

“The festival fulfils my life-long dream of bringing some of the biggest names in children’s literature to the idyllic setting of Broughton Hall, home of the Tempest family since the 11th century. It promises to be a very special weekend,” explained Trevor.

Events at Broughton Hall kick off with a bang on the Friday night (September 28) with a concert by Andy and the Odd Sock. CBeebies star Andy Day will be joined for this very special gig by his Odd Sock friends; Rio on Guitar, Blu on Bass, Moxy hitting the Drums and Andy’s kilt wearing Cousin Mac on keys.

There will be a Gala Dinner at Broughton Hall on Saturday night (September 29), with Clare Balding appearing on Saturday afternoon.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Robert Beaumont .

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