National Libraries Day/Harry Potter Event

So 5th Feb was Harry Potter Event by Bloomsbury, which united Harry Potter fans by having various events around the UK. Stroud, my local city, took part on this but our event was held 7th Feb to coincide with National Libraries Day. And what a success it was! We fully sold out of the tickets we had. Many magical things happened – Kids (and adults) got sorted, there was quidditch, butterbeer, pumpkin juice, snacks, wand making, wordsearch, treasure hunt and costume competitions. And to top it off, we had Chris Rankin (aka Percy Weasley) for the day meeting fans, having photoshoots and signing autographs. Chris, who lives in South Wales, is best known for his role as one of the older Weasley twins but has now moved behind the camera and was a part of the production team for the BBC show ‘Atlantis’. He was a genuine guy who took the time to meet his fans and answer any questions that they passed his way. Chris was definitely the highlight of the day!!!

The event was organised and run by Heather Goff, a huge Harry Potter fan who wanted to bring together Harry Potter fans within the local area. And that she did, and she did a splendid job at organising the event – mainly from her bed! She got together a great team who helped bring it all together, talked Chris into coming (I think there was a cake bribe in there somewhere) and made sure that there was plenty for the kids to do. It definitely went down a treat and both kids and adults alike had a fantastic time.

I took a few minutes to talk to the organiser of the event, Heather Goff, and got her views on what it was like to organise the event and why she chose to celebrate The Chosen One.

1. What made you wanna host the event?

I wanted to host event because HP means so much to me. I’ve had fibromyalgia for many years but in 2009 I was bed ridden for months and at some points was so poorly I couldn’t hold a book, so I listened to the audio books read by Stephen fry. It rekindled my love for the series and took me into another world which wasn’t full of pain, tablets, stress, and depression. I think it saved my life. When I heard about the book night I knew it was a great chance to say thanks to J.K Rowling, Bloomsbury and pass on the magic to the next generation of readers whilst also getting my geek on!

2. How did you get started?

I set up an event on Facebook to see if people would be interested in coming, but I had no venue, so I asked the local library what they were planning and they said we could collaborate! I spend most of my time in bed or on the sofa, so everything was planned via Facebook, Twitter and online.

3. What was the most difficult thing to organise?

The most difficult thing to organise was the physical stuff, like putting out posters, window display, collecting sticks for wands, making props etc. Luckily I have some great friends and supportive family who did all that for me when they had time. For this I am forever grateful.

4. What would you do differently?

If I had to do it differently I would definitely try for more fundraising, and I feel bad that one of my girls was stuck manning the door all day, but apart from that, it was all good.

5. What was your opinion of the event??

I’m so pleased with how it all went, Chris said he had a lovely day and said he’d come back if we did another event, he’s so lovely and friendly and seemed to enjoy meeting everyone who came. All the games and competitions were well received and we raised £257 for the Harry Potter Alliance. Bonus!

So there a go. A successful fun Harry Potter themed night. We hope they do it again next year, although the thought of spiders hanging from the ceiling does not excite me at all.



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