Book Town Founders Reunited in for Wigtown to Mark 25th Anniversary 

Key figures from the campaign to have Wigtown named as Scotland’s National Book Town were reunited yesterday to mark the 25th anniversary of their success. 

Among them was Sandra McDowall, who was secretary of the Community Council which made the bid for Book Town status.

She was joined by three former officers of Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council (now Dumfries and Galloway Council).

Derek Crichton (who was Area Manager, West), Les Jardine (who was Director of Community Resources and Graham Trickey (Head of Economic and Community Development) recognised that Wigtown had everything needed to become Scotland’s Book Town and the community spirit to make it succeed. The brief they were given was to “find the money and develop the project”.

Also present in Wigtown were Meta Maltman, who was chair of Machars Action, who saw a newspaper advert saying that a competition was being held for a new national Book Town – she brought it to the attention of colleagues and initiated the whole bid process. With her was Donald King, a member of the committee which put together the winning bid.

Anne Barclay, Wigtown Festival Company Operations Director, said: “We owe an immense debt of gratitude to all these people, and everyone who worked with them, who had the determination to put together Wigtown’s Book Town bid and the vision to see what it could become. Thanks to them we have enjoyed a quarter of a century of regeneration and growth so that Wigtown is now a flourishing town with a world-famous book festival.”

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