When Charles Causley was a small boy, growing up in Launceston, he wrote to Richmal Crompton, asking her if he could join William Brown's gang.
It is uncertain whether the Just William author agreed to his request, but such was the poet's love of her stories that on his 75th birthday a group of friends put together a box of William-themed gifts. Among them was a catapult, peashooter, water bombs and membership of The Outlaws Club.
The collection, complete with its idiosyncratic – and well-used – contents, is on show at Launceston's Lawrence House Museum this week as part of the town's Charles Causley literary festival.
Running from June 6 to 9, the annual event, which is now in its fourth year, will include contributions from writers, musicians and historians. From a poetry tent to Sir Andrew Motion, The Dead Choughs Collective to the Beast of Bodmin Moor, this year's festival kicks off with the premiere of a CD of Charles Causley poems put to music by a distant relative, Jim Causley. The recording was made in February at Cyprus Well, the poet's home.
Other highlights include appearances by Cornish performance poetry partnership Dew Vardh (Bert Biscoe and Pol Hodge), Bob Tinker and the Jazz Prophets, Dalla and The Ukeladies. Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion will read from his new collection, The Customs House, while acclaimed Cornish actor Dave Mynne offers Great Expectations, a one-man show condensing the Dickens epic into an hour. There are also walks and talks on Causley's contribution to the artistic life of the town.
Back at Lawrence House Museum, it's worth taking a look at what will now be a permanent collection showcasing the poet's life and work. Among the exhibits are his HMS Cormorant sailor's hat, a bust in bronze by Anthony Stones, numerous photographs, a rare copy of a one-act pay written by him at the age of 19, his CBE and Queen's Medal for Poetry, along with several first editions. For opening times visit lawrencehousemuseum.org.uk
OTHER EVENTS THIS WEEK
Church Hall: Light lunches and teas Thursday from 10.30am.
Queens Theatre: One Night of Queen Friday 7.45pm.
Village Hall: League of friends of the Barnstaple hospitals fund raising committee Jumble Sale, Saturday 10am.
Roundhouse Barn, Fenton Pits: Garden open Day with music. people are invited to pop in Sunday from 2.30pm-7pm. Cream teas until 5.30pm and then wine. raffle, quiz, sale of plants etc. Entrance donation will be from £5 for the Cornwall Music Therapy Trust.
Town Museum: Open Mon-Fri 10.30am-4.30pm, Saturday 10.30am-2.30pm. Closed Sunday and Bank holidays.
Scout HQ: Blood donor sessions on Monday from 1.15pm-3.15pm and 4.45pm -7.15pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
Parkhouse Centre: Blood donor sessions on Friday from 1pm-3.15pm and 5pm-7.15pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
Public Hall: Blood donor sessions on Wednesday from 1.15pm-3.15pm and 4.45pm-7.15pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
Village Hall: Bugle Silver Band supporters committee Bingo. Eyes down. Monday 7.30pm.
Village Hall car park 638167: North Devon Ramblers walk local paths and lanes. About six miles. Tuesday 10.30am.
Methodist Church: Messy Church, biblical theme of crafts and activities. All ages, children with adult. Sunday 3.30pm-5.45pm.
Sevenstones: Charity car boot every Saturday from 10am, every Sunday from 1pm. Weather permitting.
Wesley Centre: Camborne Old Cornwall Society, Tuesday 7.30pm.
Met car park: Newquay Pentire Probus Club walk , Wednesday 10.30am start. Lunch at Hotel & Golf Club 12.30 for 1pm. New members always welcome. Details 01637 878990.
Billy Bray's three Eyes Chapel, Kerley Downs: Chapel Anniversary Service. All welcome. Sunday 2.30pm.
Stone Lane Gardens: 'Mythic Garden' outdoor sculpture exhibition in a woodland setting. Entry £5 adult, £2.50 child. Details 01647 231311. Daily 2-6pm.
Playing Field: Car Boot Sale, in aid of Wembworthy Church: Saturday 2pm. Details 01769 580241.
Village Hall: Playford style country dancing. Friday 8.00pm.
North Embankment, Memorial Stone: The LST & Landing Craft Association Devon Remembrance Service for the 69th anniversary of the D Day landings. We will be pleased to see anyone who wishes to take part.Thursday 12noon.
RAF Memorial Museum: Open daily 10.30am-4pm. Free entry. Donations appreciated.
Exeter Pinhoe, Sandy Park: Blood donor session on Friday from 1.15pm-3.15pm and 4.45pm-7.15pm.
New Theatre: Cygnet Theatre presents Ignite Festival's The Hour of the Lynx. All tickets £6. Monday & Fri 7pm, Tues 8pm, Wed 3pm; A Little Light Breathing, Monday 9.30pm, Tues/Wed 10pm, Fri 5pm; Double Bill: Evolving Motion & 3rd Stage Dance Company, Tues 7pm, Wed 8.30pm; Vienna Gerundagula Productions, Wed/Thurs 7pm; Dimitry Babichev, Thurs 8.30pm; Alexandria, Friday 8pm, Sat 9pm; Women, Friday 9.30pm, Sat 4pm; The Buttercup, Fri 7pm, Sat 2pm.
Princess Pavilion: T'Pau, return of the 80s. Seated. Friday 8pm.
Methodist church: Chapel Anniversary, 10.30am service conducted by Rev Reed, 6pm Service by Deacon Tamblin, 7.45pm Concert by the Pentyr Singers. Tickets £3 at the door. Sunday . All welcome.
Village Hall: Ballroom/Sequence dance. Saturday 8pm.
Memorial Hall: Blood donor sessions on Monday 1pm-3.15pm and 5pm-7.15pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
Paynter's Lane End Hall: Country Market Tuesday 9.15-11am.
Methodist Church Vestry: Coffee morning for church funds. Wednesday 10.30am.
Harbour House: Colours of India, Sculptures from Devon.Tuesday from 10am-5pm until June 16.
Community Centre: Natural History Society presentation by Dr Robin Wootton' Strange Neighbours – the Fascination and Beauty of Devon's Insects'. Newcomers are very welcome. Tues 7.30pm.
Village Hall: Homemade soup, dessert, tea/coffee, only £3. Wednesday 12-2pm.
Village Hall: Gaming Evening, 16+ age group. Friday 5-10pm. Admission £1.
Long Room: Liskeard Country Market. Friday 8.30am-12noon.
Village Hall: Okehampton Sequence Dance Club. £1.50 per person. Beginners welcome. Wednesday 8pm-10.30pm.
Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone: An evening lecture at on Thursday 7pm on the history of church houses and their role in the community.
Community Centre: Cruse Bereavement Care meeting of Newquay Friendship Group. Ring 01637 874823 before attending for the first time. Tuesday 2-4pm.
Sports & Community Centre: Blood donor session on Monday from 1.15-3.30pm and 4.45-7.30pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
The Avenue Church: Plymouth Area Police Choir in Concert. In aid of Shaldon Road Methodist Church. Admission programme £5 at the door on night or 01625 360400. Friday 7.30pm.
Race Course: Blood donor sessions from Friday 1.15-3.15pm and 4.45-7.15pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
The Gott Hall: Prize Bingo, raffle and home made supper. facilities for wheelchairs. Visitors welcome. Thursday 7.30pm.
The Gott Hall: Soup n Sweet lunches. No need to book. Wheelchair facilities. Monday 12noon-1.30pm.
The Gott Hall: Coffee and craft group meet every Friday 10.30am-12.30pm. New members welcome.
PORTHCURNO NR PENZANCE
Minack Theatre: Antony and Cleopatra presented by Another Way Theatre Company. Mon-Friday.
Methodist Church: Coffee morning every Tuesday. 10.30am-12noon.
Village Hall: Whist drive Tuesday 7.30pm.
Victory Hall: Whist Drive. Friday 7.30pm.
Elliotts Store/Museum: Open Wed, Thurs, Sat, 2pm-4pm. Until end of September.
Mary Newmans Cottage: Open Wed-Thurs and Sat-Sun 12noon to 4pm Until end September.
Village Hall: Blood donor sessions on Thursday from 1.15-3.15pm and 4.45 to 7.15pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
Museum: Open daily 10.30am-5pm. Until end of October. Admission free.
Town Museum: Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-2.30pm, closed Sun and BH. Admission free.
ST BLAZEY GATE
Leekseed Methodist church: Cream tea afternoon with various stalls to raise money for Aaron Kirwan, medical treatment. All welcome. Saturday 2pm.
Village Hall: Farmers Market. Saturday 9.30-12.30pm.
ST DAY, REDRUTH
Gwennap Church: Treverva Male Voice Choir Summer Concert. Wednesday 7.30pm.
Church: A Bach Pilgrimage with Thomas Bowes, violin. Monday 7.30pm.
The Wharf: Music Thursday Open Mic Night at 8pm; Friday music with Rock N Roll Outlaws, Saturday Music with T'Pau at 8pm.
Museum: Open daily 11am-3pm. Exhibition of the 70th anniversary of US 29th Infantry Div, May 1943.
Comedy Hall: Bob Mills, comedian. £10. Monday 8pm.
Council Chambers: Blood donor sessions on Monday from 1.15-3.15 and 4.45-7.15pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
Torquay Barton Baptist Church Hall: Blood donor sessions on Thursday from 1.15 - 3.15pm and 4.45 -7.15pm. To book ring 0300 123 23 23.
Babbacombe Theatre: Spellbound. Tuesday and Thurs 8.15pm.
St Mary's Church: Devon Baroque Ensemble, harpsichord by Jonathan Watts. Tickets at the door £12. Friday 7.30pm.
Hall for Cornwall: Truro Country Market. Tuesday 9.15-3pm.