Children recite Charles Dickens novel Mugby Junction at Rugby station

MHRA-15-06-12 Dickens Jun38'Harris School, year eight Pupil Lloyd Manu  dressed in a top hat reading aloud to promote the Charles Dickens reading marathon, part of the upcoming Rugby Festival of Culture.
MHRA-15-06-12 Dickens Jun38'Harris School, year eight Pupil Lloyd Manu dressed in a top hat reading aloud to promote the Charles Dickens reading marathon, part of the upcoming Rugby Festival of Culture.

PASSENGERS at Rugby station will see an unusual sight next month - seven children reading a work by Charles Dickens.

A group of year 8 students from Harris School will tell the story of The Signalman on platform 2 on Tuesday July 3 from 8am to 10am. The tale is one of Dickens’s Mugby Junction stories, which were inspired by a visit to Rugby station in the mid-19th century.

The youngsters are taking part in the Rugby Reads Dickens festival, which will raise money for Rugby Myton Hospice and is supported by the Rotary Club of Rugby.

As part of the festival, Nicholas Nickleby will be read aloud in the garden of St Andrew’s church from 10am to 3pm every weekday during the fortnight it runs - Monday July 2 to Friday July 13. Members of the public are invited to join in.

Rex Pogson, who is helping to organise the festival, said: “Everyone is welcome - for five minutes, five hours or five days.

“No performance skills are needed - it’s an informal, friendly circle of readers, providing a continuous literary celebration.”

In addition, Rugbeians are being asked to read something of Dickens - whether it’s a favourite novel, a piece chosen from the internet or even a song from Oliver - at some point from 8am to 8pm throughout the fortnight.

Mr Pogson said: “Just do whatever you can and wherever you can - in your garden, at work, by yourself in your living room, or with a group of friends over coffee.”

And interest in the festival is mounting. Mr Pogson said: “Already we have thousands of people committed to reading aloud - in 15 schools across Rugby, in the library and other public buildings, in town centre businesses, and among individuals who are organising reading parties. Please join in.”

To register to take part, email info@ucltd.co.uk, visit www.rugbyfestivalofculture.co.uk or call 07500 484756.

Rugby Reads Dickens marks the 200th anniversary of the author’s birth. It is part of the Rugby Festival of Culture, which includes various other events.